Do You Need A Freight Forwarder?

Do You Need A Freight Forwarder?

March 23rd 2018

A question you may be wondering at this point is ‘do I need a freight forwarder’? This is a question we get asked a lot so in this article we will explain the difference between an integrator such as Fedex or USP, and a freight forwarder.

A freight forwarder is an asset to companies who need large amounts of stock shipping overseas they create completely bespoke packages from the forwarding of stock to the dealing with tax’s and overseas customs charges. They will manage all elements of the shipment and let you know when shipments have been delivered and also arrange the picking up of goods.

The freight forwarder is a third-party provider who does not own assets such as planes, trucks and ships but has good contacts and connections in the industry that allow them to arrange everything from pick up to delivery. Also known as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier or (NVOCC).  Freight Forwarders can also manage the complete supply chain including your warehouses and also have staff sitting in your premises.

Integrator’s or couriers such as FedEx and USP may have their own ships, planes and trucks/ drivers and arrange their own transportation which means they have full control over every element of the process.

This post aims to explain the difference between the two delivery specialists and will help you decide which of the two service providers is most appropriate for your business.  Often Freight Forwarders will use integrators and would have preferred rates agreed so shipments can be even cheaper using a freight forwarder.

The difference between an integrator and a freight forwarder: FedEx and Freight forwarder

An integrator such as FedEx and DHL are used for smaller packages, this is fine and safe to use however, you may save yourself and your business a lot of cash if you end up having an enormous volume of small packages that weigh over a certain amount, and then decide to use a freight forwarder. This is because when you go over certain limits, companies like FedEx and DHL will charge extortionate rates and don’t have the buying power or the relationships with the companies than a freight forwarder may.


Is good for one off delivery of smaller items.
Have their own vehicles
If heavier than 100lbs, the price you’re paying will be a lot more expensive.
Integrators don’t have the buying power to negotiate prices. Deals mostly with smaller parcels.

Freight Forwarder

Cheaper for bulk items Deals with everything from the tax to the delivery
Work with multiple carriers so they can always get the best rates with the best service and space.
Doesn’t own their own vehicles.

Integrators are useful for smaller items, however, when you have big shipments make sure you use a freight forwarder to get the best deals and service for your companies shipping needs.