WHAT IS SHIPPING AND FREIGHT FORWARDING?
Basically shipping and freight forwarding is about delivering goods and products - both locally and internationally - so that the products arrive to the companies and private persons. Today it’s not about transporting products from A to B with ships, trucks and airplanes. It’s just as important to arrange a total solution from door to door between the manufacturer and the receiver at the end.
There are many demands for the employees in the shipping business, and therefore, it can be a difficult business to work in. The field is regulated by both national and international rules and legislations. The shipping companies’ big investments require thorough planning, so that the transport can be done as effectively as possible. Therefore, there are a lot of different factors to keep in mind in the shipping business.
In freight forwarding it’s the forwarding agent that handles the most. A forwarding agent is a person that organizes shipments for individuals or corporations to get goods from the manufacturer or producer to a market, customer or final point of distribution. His job is to connect all of these things in the best and most effective way.
Logistics is also an important part of making shipping and freight forwarding possible. Logistics is about producing and store those products and goods that are transported with shipping and through freight forwarding. Logistics can be separated in three main areas. The first one is material supplies, that includes purchase, the choosing of supplier and signing of supply deals. The next main area is product controlling that includes material and capacity controlling, and the last area is distribution that is about activities such as planning of sales, processing of customers orders and planning of transport. Therefore, distribution is a part of the shipping, because you plan the transportation of the products.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO WORK IN SHIPPING?
If you want to work in shipping and freight forwarding, you need to be aware that it’s a very busy business. You will be working in high speed and in a busy and international environment where every day is different. As an employee in shipping, you will have contact to a lot of different clients and suppliers from different countries and cultures. Therefore, it’s important that you have a knowledge to different cultures and geographic conditions to the countries that you work with. With this knowledge you will quickly become a part of the clients’ supply chain, and you will work up a good relationship with them, which is important to get a overall great transport.
Working with shipping and freight forwarding is a job where you have a big responsibility. As a shipping employee you work with arranging transports of all kind of products. This can be all from clothes to building materials and cars. This often takes place over several land borders. Therefore, the work requires great language skills. The work tasks as a shipping employee are among others to calculate offers to clients and connect the different transportation types in one. You also need to take care of the legal conditions and insurance that are related to the transport.
WHAT POSITIONS EXIST IN THE SHIPPING BUSINESS?
There are a lot of different positions in shipping and freight forwarding. Most of the positions exist in national and international transport companies. It can be about selling, buying and arranging the transport, and this can both happen over sea, land and by air. A lot of bigger companies hire forwarding agents in their own transport departments.
The positions in shipping and freight forwarding includes:
- Forwarding agent
- Shipping agent
- Logistics employee
- Shipping operator
As already mentioned, the forwarding agent has a big role in shipping. The shipping agent has a lot of the same tasks as the forwarding agent. A shipping agent plan the transport of goods and products at sea. The work is about making contact between the shipping companies and the companies that need products transported by ship. Other parts of the transportation can be done by train, airplane or truck. As a shipping agent you are in contact with people all over the world and make fast decisions that often involves economics. Therefore, you need to be good at both languages and numbers.