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International Forwarding Association Blog » International freight forwarding » Responsibilities of the forwarder in international freight forwarding

Responsibilities of the forwarder in international freight forwarding

The definition given by the International Federation of Freight Forwarding Association for freight forwarders is “Architects of Transport”, which is a brief description of the actual commercial position of the freight forwarder to the customer. In European freight forwarding, the forwarder has responsibilities which are negotiated for each shipment.

These responsibilities are part of each order, which is considered as international freight forwarding.

Responsibilities of the freight forwarder

The main responsibility of the freight forwarder is to arrange the movement of the cargo to its final destination point.

Apart from that, the freight forwarder must prepare and process the documents for international freight forwarding.

The forwarder must review the ready documentation including the commercial invoices and the bills of lading.

Regarding the other documents, required by the destination country where the goods will be imported, the carrier must review them in electronic format, which is used in order to limit the use of paper records.

The freight forwrder is responsible for establishing the communications with the other participants in the international freight forwarding process.

The freight forwarders’ responsibilities as specified by international conventions

The international conventions have specified the responsibilities of carriers, which include:

  • Providing CMR insurance, valid for the transportation period.
  • Notification before the transportation begins
  • Compliance to the requirements of the convention for ADR forwarding of dangerous cargo
  • Compliance to the requirements for transportation of oversize loads in the countries through which the forwarding route passes.

Advantages ensured by the forwarders in international freight forwarding

  • Preparing price quotations
  • Informing about the freight prices, port charges, cost of special documents, insurance prices as well as prices for handling the goods
  • Providing recommendations for the best packaging for the goods to keep them protected during transportation
  • Settling the packing of the goods, or placing them in containers at the port

Obligations of the forwarders in international road freight forwarding using automobile transport

  • Organizing the transportation with own trucks or vehicles provided by subcontractors.
  • Providing valid insurance for the vehicles – trucks and trailers
  • Providing appropriate transportation means with adequate load capacity
  • Providing all necessary licensing, authorisation and paying the road tolls
  • Providing daily information in regard to the location of the vehicles, with the help of modern tracking systems
  • Timely notification regarding any deviations from the route, and any additional costs imposed

Obligations of the forwarder in regard to loading and unloading

  • Written notification regarding the expected  arrival date at the final destination, no later than one day before the arrival date
  • Compliance to the deadline for free time for loading and unloading, including customs clearance – 24 hours for member states of the EU, and 48 hours for other countries.

Obligations and liabilities for claims for incurred damages

When situations arise in which claims for damages are asserted, the obligations of the forwarder include:

  • Presentation of the CMR and the Standing Card, which state the date and time of arrival and departure of the carrier vehicle
  • Presentation of the information and documents certifying the compliance with the deadlines for loading and unloading of the vehicle