Freight Forwarders as Key Facilitators of Cross-Border E-Commerce
With the diffusion of user-friendly technologies and increasing penetration of the Internet globally, e-commerce is witnessing exponential growth: the global online retail market now topping 1 trillion US dollars a year, and is set to double within four years.
Freight forwarders play a crucial role in facilitating cross-border e-commerce. They are intermediaries between buyers and sellers and manage the transportation of goods from the point of origin to the destination, handling the logistical, administrative, and regulatory aspects of the process.
E-Commerce is simply the buying and selling conducted via a technologically enabled online platform. Any kind of commercial transaction done through the internet easily passes as e-Commerce.
Nonetheless, today’s discussion is about the Freight Forwarder as a key facilitator of cross-border e-Commerce – especially in terms of drop-shipping. Drop Shipping simply means picking up from the manufacturer’s location or warehouse and delivering directly to retailers or customers. The idea of drop-shipping in e-Commerce sales is that products are not sold in a store – as in retail but directly from the factory or warehouse to customers across diverse geographical locations through an intermediary called the Freight Forwarder.
Beyond the transportation of goods, the role of the Freight Forwarder in e-Commerce encompasses technical expertise in handling the issues of compliance, cost-efficiency, end-to-end visibility and last-mile deliveries, as would be examined below:
Securing the Best Freight Rates: The Forwarder understands the required tariffs for several items and as such, can advise shippers on shipping rates vis a vis duty payment and other statutory charges they may not have known to constitute the total shipping cost.
Addresses Potential Compliance Issues: An average Forwarder understands the basic regulatory requirements of destination countries and can proficiently advise shippers on the extant laws, regulations and documentation required for a specific or collective set of shipments.
Taking the Burden off The Shippers ‘Shoulders: Forwarders take the burden off the shoulders of e-Commerce traders because they offer specialized support and expertise in managing their shipments from one end of the globe to another. The Forwarder understands the language of shipping and what is required for every transaction. The burden of shipping terminologies and terms is placed on the Forwarder to handle them more proficiently with zero room for error.
End-to-End Shipment Tracking: One of the greatest success factors of e-Commerce is an IT-enabled platform for cargo tracking. This is one area that requires the technical capability of a Forwarder to provide end-to-end visibility of shipments for shippers and allow them to gain control of their shipments from one end to another – including arrival dates and definite delivery timelines for distribution or delivery to final consumers in all designated locations.
Expert Advice: The Freight Forwarder has a comprehensive knowledge of trends, seasons and events that can affect the transportation of shipments to and from different parts of the world. For instance, the Chinese New Year disrupts the transportation of shipments to and from China for its entire duration. Again, the Forwarder understands and is well-positioned to advise shippers on how best to manage costs during peak periods and on the most viable options required to save time and cut costs.
Overall, freight forwarders are key facilitators of cross-border e-commerce, providing the necessary expertise, resources, and support to help businesses expand their reach and compete on a global scale.
Though Freight Forwarding was initially designed for the pre-e-Commerce era, cross-border e-Commerce would have been a lot more difficult without the technical expertise of Freight Forwarders. Freight Forwarders all over the world provide the logistics and technical expertise for the easy flow of e-commerce across diverse global locations. They provide the most efficient means of getting goods faster, better, cheaper and in the best conditions possible to the customers or final consumers.
Fortune Global is well-positioned as your trusted Forwarder with the technical and logistical expertise to handle your e-Commerce needs across the globe.