ocean freight forwarding

Understanding the Ocean Freight Forwarding Process: Key Stages

A significant portion of global trade and the transportation of commodities between nations involve ocean freight. The process of ocean freight forwarding in cargo shipment by sea entails arranging the transportation of commodities from the place of origin to the port of final destination. To get your shipment where it needs to go securely and on schedule, a lot of stages and collaboration between parties are required. This post will give a general overview of the whole process of shipping freight by sea without endorsing any one platform or business in particular.


Booking and Documentation 

Scheduling your ocean freight cargo with a certified freight forwarder is the first step. Important information such as the kind and amount of the items, the pickup and delivery addresses, the needed delivery date, and any special handling instructions will be requested by the forwarder. After that, they will produce the required export, import, and transit papers. A bill of lading, commercial invoice, packing list, certificates of origin, and any further paperwork needed for compliance are included in this.


Pre-Carriage and Pickup

The forwarder will schedule the pre-carriage of the products from the shipper’s facility to the export port once it has been booked. Usually, a truck is used for this, although alternative methods like rail are also possible. In addition to arranging for pickup, the forwarder will make sure the driver has the necessary documentation. The goods may be inspected and secured for transportation. Shipments are usually consolidated and protected using pallets, crates, or containers.


Port of Export 

The export procedure begins as soon as the shipment reaches the port. The forwarder schedules vessel space, sometimes weeks or months in advance, in collaboration with shipping lines and port operators. In addition to arranging cargo transportation to the terminal, weighing, and any necessary inspections, they also file customs export declarations. After that, the cargo is put aboard the assigned ship.


Ocean Carriage 

Depending on the trade route, the ship sets off and carries the cargo by sea to the port of import, which may take one to six weeks. The forwarder monitors the expected arrival time of the vessel while it is being transported by sea. It could be necessary for them to make arrangements for break bulk or roll-on roll-off (RORO) goods to be handled independently from containerized shipments.


Port of Import 

Import clearance starts as soon as the ship reaches its destination. The forwarder arranges for the cargo to be delivered from the terminal to the consignee and files customs import declarations. It’s possible to get extra services like local delivery, unpacking, or temporary storage. Taxes, duties, and other expenses are covered. Licenses and permits are guaranteed.


Post-Import Transportation 

The forwarder arranges for the goods to be transported inland from the port to its ultimate delivery point after it has cleared customs. Once more, trucks are widely employed, supplemented when needed by rail or other means. Appointments are made for deliveries. The forwarder keeps track of the package and gives the customer paperwork attesting to the delivery.


Value Added Services

A lot of forwarders provide value-added services in addition to standard transportation planning. This can comprise project cargo services, including packaging and unpacking, warehousing and distribution, trade advice, and cargo insurance, among other things. These additions assist in offering international shippers and importers a comprehensive logistical solution.



The coordination of all elements of maritime cargo transportation between nations is known as ocean freight forwarding. The paperwork, reservations, customs clearance, and transportation are all handled by qualified ocean freight forwarders to ensure that items are moved through this intricate international supply chain smoothly. Their knowledge contributes to timely delivery that fulfills all legal standards for sea freight global trade.  

1 Comment

  • Break Bulk Cargo Shipping

    At RTM Lines, we are experts in handling Break Bulk Cargo Shipping Logistics. We are dedicated to managing your International Ocean Freight Break Bulk Cargo Shipping and Logistics efficiently, ensuring a smooth journey from port to port.

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