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December 16, 2022

A Guide to Sea Freight Forwarding

Freight Forwarding has been an integral part of the trade for centuries. Tomatoes and potatoes originated in South America, and today, our imported outfits are imported by freight forwarding agents.

But what does freight forwarding mean? Let’s take a look.

What is Freight Forwarding?

It is the practice of planning and moving cargo goods from shippers at the origin to consignees at the destination via air, sea, rail or road. Freight Licensed and experienced freight forwarding agents take care of the complete end-to-end procedure and documentation. They organise the cargo movement from the manufacturer or seller to the end customer. Further, they liaison with the regulatory authorities to ensure smooth Custom Clearance and the carrier for seamless movement in export and import.

Freight forwarding agents typically manage the following documents for every shipment:

  • Commercial Invoice

  • Shipper’s Export Declaration

  • Bill of Lading

  • Documents for the Carrier

  • Documents needed by the country of export, import or transshipment

  • Documents required for Custom Clearance

There are various ways to transport a cargo shipment. Here’s a list.

Different Modes for Cargo Shipping

You can choose a different vessel to carry your cargo. It could be by air, sea, road or rail.

Air Freight

Air cargo moves around USD 6 trillion worth of shipments via worldwide export and import. It accounts for approximately 35% of the global goods movement. It utilises vessels of different carrying capacities depending on the airline, the origin and destination. Your package dimensions decide the type of container to be used. For example, transporting windmills, you will need to book space with a freighter instead of a passenger aircraft.

It is the costliest of all modes of transport.

Road Transport

India has the second-biggest road network in the world, carrying around 60% of the national freight. Road transport is usually employed for domestic trade and uses trucks, vans, cars, and two-wheelers as vessels. It offers an inexpensive mode of transportation for domestic destinations. From many intrastate posts to the ten-minute customer deliveries happen via road.

Rail Transport

Indian Railways carried almost 1.2 billion tonnes in 2020-21, generating revenue of ₹1.17 lakh crore. It is a cheap, fast, and environment-friendly mode of transport. The Indian government has started pushing rail as the preferred mode of transportation to reduce logistics costs from 14% of GDP to 10%.

Sea Freight

90% of global trade happens via sea and ocean. It is readily available and the cheapest mode of international transport. Around 200 million containers get shipped via sea freight every year. Besides, there are various other reasons freight forwarding agents prefer ocean freight.


Why Ocean Freight?

  • Cost-Effective: Sea Freight allows you to ship bigger volumes at lower costs. The carrier costs for ocean cargo are anyhow cheaper than air cargo.

  • Carry a Variety of Cargo: Shipping Line operators offer a variety of containers to transport odd-dimensional goods like automobiles, rail coaches, machine parts, and parts of wind turbines.
    Ocean freight can also carry gas-emitting, toxic, corrosive, magnetic, and things threatening public health.

  • Carbon Footprint: We all have become more environmentally-cautious. Even our shipping decisions are influenced by care for the planet. Aircraft consume much fuel and generate more carbon emissions than any other mode. Ocean freight, on the other hand, uses much less energy and promises a reduced carbon footprint. It can carry all kinds of shipments, from live animals to temperature-sensitive vaccines.

  • Multi-utility Containers: Containers carried by shipping vessels can be further used by road and rail transport. So, the cargo need not be unloaded from the shipping container to be taken to the customer’s doorstep.

Now, let’s look at how you can book sea freight.

Steps for Booking Sea Freight

1. Book the Container: You need to finalise and update the following data to book the container:

a.   Shipment origin and destination

b.   Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL): Select if you will use total container capacity or less, depending on the number of goods. For FCL, figure out the number of types of containers. For LCL, you only need to mention the weight and volume of cargo.

c.   Incoterms: Select the conditions of Incoterms defining the responsibility of the buyers and sellers as per the shipping contract.

2.   Select the Shipping Line: Based on their experience, services, and the rates offered, choose the freight forwarding agent with a great fleet of shipping vessels, extensive destination coverage and the most experience in export, import and handling regulatory procedures like Custom Clearance.

3.  Bill of Lading (B/L) Requirements: B/L is needed for all transactions related to international shipments. It acts as an agreement of carriage. Therefore, you need to be clear about the kind of Bill of Lading you manage to avoid miscommunication during the online container booking.

Why Nagarkot for Ocean Freight?

Every customer dreams of onboarding a partner that can take away all concerns. With a legacy spanning three decades, Nagarkot Logistics boasts many USPs that set us apart.

  • Extensive Experience of 35 years

  • Our Esteemed Leadership

  • Highly skilled and knowledgeable staff

  • Customer service orientation

  • Your one-stop-shop for all services

  • Our clientele 

  • Our success stories in Freight Forwarding and Custom Clearance

At Nagarkot, we assure you of many USPs and values that make transportation seamless for your freight.

Got something to ship? Connect with Our Freight Team today!