Why use a freight forwarder?

In a globalized world with ever-increasing international trade, the importance of smooth, efficient logistics has never been more crucial. 

Whether you're a company making its first international contacts or a major player in global trade, managing shipments can quickly become a complex and time-consuming headache. 

This is where the fundamental role of the freight forwarder comes into play, as an indispensable link in the global goods transport chain. 

But why use a freight forwarder? Is it simply a matter of convenience, or are there tangible benefits that can transform your approach to international trade? 

In this article, we'll explore the many facets of freight forwarding and why their expertise can be the key to your success in the global marketplace.

Transit" generally refers to the process by which goods or people move from one point to another, often across several geographical areas or jurisdictions. 

In the context of trade and transport, transit takes on a crucial dimension, as it involves the management and coordination of various stages and players to ensure the efficient movement of goods from a place of origin to a final destination.

In the specific field of freight transport, transit can refer to several aspects.

International transit

It concerns the movement of goods between different countries. 

This includes crossing borders, dealing with customs formalities, and often changing from one product to another. mode of transport (for example, from sea to road).

Customs transit

A customs procedure allowing goods to be transported under customs control from one point to another, within the same country or between several countries, without paying customs duties on entry.

Goods are cleared at their final destination, facilitating cross-border transit.

Internal transit

Internal transit refers to the goods movement within the borders of a single country, involving different modes of transport (road, rail, river, etc.) and often requiring complex logistics to optimize costs and lead times.

The term "transit" therefore encompasses a wide range of activities and services that enable the fluid movement of goods through global supply chains. 

The success of these transit operations depends on meticulous planning, coordination between the various players (shippers, carriers, customs authorities, consignees, etc.) and the use of appropriate technologies to track and manage the flow of goods.


Visit the role of a freight forwarder is central to the field of international transport and logistics. 

Acting as an intermediary between shippers of goods and carriers, the freight forwarder offers a range of essential services to facilitate the efficient movement of goods across international and domestic borders. 

Transport organization

The freight forwarder selects and organizes the most appropriate modes of transport (sea, air, road, rail) to move goods from their point of origin to their final destination. 

This selection is based on criteria such as cost, lead time, type of goods and specific customer requirements.

Managing customs formalities 

One of the most complex aspects of international trade is the need to comply with the customs regulations of different countries. 

Freight forwarders take care of the administrative procedures involved in clearing goods through customs, including preparing and submitting the necessary documents.

Cargo consolidation

Forwarders can group (consolidate) shipments from several customers into a single batch to optimize costs and transport space. 

This consolidation is particularly useful for small shippers who do not have the quantity required to fill a standard container.

Storage and warehousing

They also offer warehousing services, enabling goods to be stored securely while awaiting shipment or final distribution.

Goods insurance 

Freight forwarders can help shippers arrange suitable transport insurance, protecting goods against loss, damage or delay in transit.

Shipment tracking 

They provide tracking systems that enable customers to know where their goods are in real time, offering complete visibility over the supply chain.

Consulting and support 

With their logistics expertise and international regulations, freight forwarders advise their customers on the best way to transport their goods, helping them to navigate through the complexities of global trade.

In short, the freight forwarder plays a crucial role in ensuring that goods reach their destination efficiently, economically and in compliance with regulations. 

By acting as a link between all the players involved in the transport process, the freight forwarder simplifies logistics challenges for companies of all sizes, enabling them to concentrate on their core business.

A forwarder's skills are diverse and cover a wide range of fields, reflecting the complexity of their role in the international transport and logistics sector.

In-depth knowledge of the transport and logistics sector 

A freight forwarder must have a detailed understanding of the different modes of transport (sea, air, road, rail), as well as the principles of logistics, warehousing and supply chain management.

Mastery of customs and international trade regulations

Laws and regulations concerning the import and export of goods vary from country to country. A precise knowledge of these regulations is crucial to effectively navigate the international legal framework.

Negotiation and organizational skills

Freight forwarders negotiate rates and contracts with carriers, logistics service providers and other partners. 

They must also be able to effectively organize and coordinate the various elements of the logistics chain.

Problem-solving skills

The freight transport sector is prone to unforeseen events (delays, damage, customs problems). 

The ability to solve problems quickly and find alternative solutions is therefore essential.

Communication and customer service skills

Managing relationships with customers, carriers and other stakeholders requires excellent communication skills. 

The forwarder must be able to provide clear and accurate information and manage customer expectations.

Computer and technology skills

Freight forwarders use various computer systems to manage shipments, track cargo and prepare customs documents. 

Mastery of technological tools is therefore essential.

Versatility and adaptability

The world of transport and logistics is constantly changing. Freight forwarders need to be able to adapt quickly to changing regulations, technological innovations and market fluctuations.

By combining these skills, a freight forwarder can offer a high-quality service, ensuring that their customers' goods are transported efficiently, safely and in compliance with current regulations.


Transit and logistics are two closely related concepts in the field of freight transport, but they refer to different aspects of this process.

Understanding the distinction between these terms is crucial to grasping the complexity of the supply chain and international transport.

Transit refers specifically to the movement of goods from one point to another. It can be international, internal, multimodal, direct or in other forms, as explained above. 

Transit focuses on the act of physically transferring goods, including aspects such as choosing the mode of transport (sea, air, road, rail), managing customs formalities for border crossings, and tracking shipments as they move. It's an essential part of logistics, but only one part.

Logistics, on the other hand, encompasses a much wider range of activities and services needed to effectively plan, execute and control the movement and positioning of goods, from their point of origin to their point of consumption. 

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Selecting suppliers and carriers.
  • Supply chain management.
  • Warehousing and storage.
  • Packaging and handling of goods.
  • Returns management.
  • Planning delivery routes and schedules.
  • Optimizing costs and improving service efficiency.
  • Management of associated information, providing real-time visibility and tracking of goods.

While freight forwarding focuses on the physical and operational aspects of moving goods, logistics takes a holistic view, integrating both strategy and execution, to ensure that goods are not only transported, but that they are done so efficiently, economically, and in a way that meets the specific needs of customers and the market. 

Logistics therefore aims to optimize supply chain processes to improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs, while transit is a component of this overall process.

Our commitment to excellence, combined with our in-depth understanding of the dynamics of transit and logistics, enables us to optimize your operations, reduce your costs and improve your overall efficiency. 

At Transport BTI, we don't just transport your goods; we offer you peace of mind, knowing that every aspect of your supply chain is managed by experts.

If you're looking for a reliable partner to meet your logistics challenges and make the most of your transport operations in Canada, the USA and Mexico, look no further. 

Contact us to find out how we can transform your supply chain into a significant competitive advantage. Let's sail to success together.

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