Fright Forwarding is one of the oldest professions , dating back probably to the origin of world trade and commerce . Originally a freight forwarder was a commission agent performing on behalf of the exporter/importer routine functions like loading/unloading of goods , storage of goods , arranging local transport , procuring payments for his customer , etc .
Today Fright forwarder plays an important role in International Trade and Transport . The service that a freight forwarder renders may often range from routine an rudimentary function like booking of space or customs clearance to a comprehensive package of service or covering total transport and distribution process .
There is no internationally accepted definition of the term Freight Forwarder . They are known as different names in different countries such as " Customs House Agent " , "Clearing Agent" , "Customs Broker" , "Shipping and Forwarding Agent" and so on .
It has been widely recognized that Freight Forwarders promote national economy in several ways .
International Organization - FIATA .
The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association ( FIATA ) is the world body of freight forwarder established in 1926 . The above name FIATA is desired the French Name "Federation International des Association de Transitaires des Assimiles" . It consists of ordinary members and associate members . The ordinary members are national association of freight forwarders and the associate members are individual forwarding firms .FIATA has a membership of more then 35000 forwarding firms over 130 countries . The global status of organization has been recognized by United Nations bodies with which it enjoys consultative status . It has also been recognized by other International organizations connected with trade an transport such as the International Chamber of Commerce ( ICC ) and International Air Transport Association ( IATA )
There is no International formity in thee documentary procedure followed in freight forwarding and in the format and contents of the documents which have been commercial created . Nevertheless , efforts have been made by FIATA to promote uniform freight forwarding documents and there by improve the professional slandered of industry . FIATA has also evolved several documents which was aligned to the ECE layout key .
The documents usually adopted by members of FIATA are as follows .
1) FIATA FCR :- Forwarder's Certificate of Receipt .
2) FIATA FCT :- Forwarder's Certificate of Transport .
3) FBL :- FIATA Combined Transport Bill of Lading .
4) FWR :- FIATA Warehouse Receipt .
5) FIATA SDT :- Shipper's Deceleration for the Transport of Dangerous Goods .
6) FIATA Forwarding Instructions .
7) House Bills of Lading .
International Freight Forwarders, NVOCC's and customs brokers often charge for transferring documents to another transportation company at destination. This fee is a part of the ocean freight charges, being paid by the importer at the port of discharge in the incoterm FOB (free on board), and by the exporter at the origin in the incoterms CFR (cost and freight) and CIF (cost, insurance and freight). This fee is separate from documentation fees charged by carriers and NVOCCs as part of the freight charges on a bill of lading and is separate from other fees for document preparation or for release of cargo. Some companies call this an administration fee, document fee, document transfer fee, but it exists in some form in most destinations and is well known to most shippers. Steamship carriers do not have this fee.