Comprehensive Guide to International Freight Forwarding

The world of international trade can be a tough nut to crack, especially when it comes to navigating the logistics of moving goods across borders. This is where freight forwarding companies come into picture. They act as your confidant, elegantly trimming the entire process and ensuring your shipment arrives at its destination efficiently and on time. In a recent analysis, it was found that the worldwide freight forwarding sector boasted a value of USD 200 Billion in 2022, with projections indicating a potential surge to USD 320 Billion by 2032.


What is a Freight Forwarding Company?

A reliable freight forwarding company acts as an intermediary between you, the shipper, and the various transportation providers involved in moving your goods internationally. They are capable of handling a myriad of tasks, including:

  • Customs Clearance: This involves navigating the often-daunting world of import/export regulations and ensuring your shipment complies with all necessary documentation.
  • Freight Consolidation: Often, international shipments aren’t large enough to fill an entire container. Freight forwarders can consolidate multiple shipments from different clients, creating cost-effective solutions for smaller loads.
  • Route Planning & Scheduling: Based on your needs (speed, cost, etc.), the freight forwarder will select the most efficient route and schedule for your shipment.
  • Cargo Insurance: Accidents happen. Freight forwarders can help you secure cargo insurance to protect your valuable goods in transit.
  • Warehousing & Distribution: In some cases, your shipment might require temporary storage before final delivery. Freight forwarders can provide warehousing and distribution services to ensure smooth onward movement.

Benefits of Using a Freight Forwarding Company

There are numerous advantages to partnering with a reliable freight forwarding company. Here are just a few:

  • Expertise & Efficiency: Freight forwarders have extensive experience in international logistics and can navigate the complexities of the process, saving you time and money.
  • Cost Savings: Through consolidation and leveraging their network of partners, freight forwarders can often secure competitive rates for your shipment.
  • Reduced Risk: Navigating customs regulations can be a minefield. Freight forwarders can help ensure your shipment complies, minimizing the risk of delays or penalties.
  • Improved Visibility: Many freight forwarders offer track-and-trace capabilities, allowing you to monitor your shipment’s progress in real-time.
  • Focus on Your Business: By outsourcing the logistics to a professional, you can free up your time and resources to focus on your core business activities.

Finding the Right International Freight Forwarder

With so many options available, how do you find a reliable international freight forwarder? Below are some essential factors to take into consideration:

  • Experience: Look for a company with a proven track record of success in handling shipments similar to yours. This includes factors like the size and weight of your typical shipments, the types of goods you export (perishable goods may require specialized handling), and the destination countries you frequently ship to.  A company with experience handling shipments  to your specific destinations will have a better understanding of the customs regulations, documentation requirements, and potential challenges involved.
  • Service Offerings: Ensure the company offers the services you need, such as customs clearance for your specific destination country. Some may specialize in specific regions or modes of transportation (air freight vs. ocean freight). It’s crucial to find a company that can handle all aspects of your shipment, from origin pick-up to final delivery at the destination country. Additionally,  consider whether you need value-added services such as cargo insurance, warehousing, or customs brokerage.
  • Reputation: Do your research and read reviews from past clients to gauge the company’s reliability and customer service. Look for positive reviews that highlight the company’s responsiveness, communication style, and ability to solve problems. Industry associations and online directories can be a good starting point for finding reputable freight forwarders.
  • Communication: Effective communication is crucial. Choose a company that is responsive and keeps you informed throughout the shipping process. 
  • Competitive Rates: Compare quotes from several freight forwarders to ensure you’re getting the best possible value for your money. A good freight forwarder will provide you with regular updates on the status of your shipment and be readily available to answer any questions you may have.


International trade can be a powerful engine for growth, but navigating the logistics can be challenging. Partnering with a reliable freight forwarding company like myGermany can take the stress out of international shipping, allowing you to focus on expanding your business globally. myGermany is everything you’d wish for in a freight forwarding company, it’s transparent, cost-reductive, adaptive, trustworthy, sustainable, responsible and much more. 

Utilize this comprehensive guide as a starting point for your international shipping journey, and don’t hesitate to reach out to potential freight forwarders who can answer your specific questions and provide customized solutions.

FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

Can myGermany Pick-Up unpacked items in Germany & Pack it for international shipment?

Yes. We can pick up unpacked items with our dedicated driver. If your items are already packed (crates, pallets), we can use gathered trucks, which will be more cost effective. We can either ship directly to you, or get it into our warehouse where we check packaging and import/export conditions. We do pack, secure and support with export and customs formalities.

Can myGermany ship via Air, Sea, Road or Rail?

Yes. We do collaborate with several carriers and are able to provide you different shipping options via Air, Sea or Road. Best is to have the items in our warehouse where we understand packaging and export conditions in order to quote the international shipment.

Can myGermany handle the entire Pick-up process in Germany?

Yes. We handle the whole communication, payment and pick up if demanded. Please mind that articled need to be packed by the seller. Please also note that some articles are not in condition for an international transport, myGermany will check that upfront.We charge a 20,00 € standard fee for the Pick up Service (if higher pick-up costs occur, we will discuss with you before executing the pick up).

How do Freight Forwarding Services work?

myGermany can pick up your goods, consolidate them, pack them (e.g. build wooden crates or sea crates), prepare the shipping documents and then ship them via sea, air, rail or road.

We have a warehouse with ramp, forklift, high shelves and our employed carpenters can build packaging with ISSP certified wood.

Once we have the goods in our warehouse, we will discuss the packing and shipping options with you. Most of the time we still need to define or involve the customs agent in the receiving country. Once we agree, we find the appropriate aircraft or ships and book your goods onto them. You pay and advance and we initiate and control the shipment.

Taxes and customs duties in the receiving country are to be paid by you.

What are the Different Modes of freight transportation used?

We use Air, Road, Rail and Sea.
We collaborate with large carrier and cargo companies in order to find the perfect shipping option for you!

What Types of Cargo can be shipped through freight forwarding?

Almost everything which can legally be sent, please check here allowed goods.
And here some samples.

Do freight forwarders provide Customs Clearance Services?

Yes. We provide Export and Import Clearance Serices. We generate the export papers and also link you to customs brokers in your country, if needed.

Please check our Customs Clearance Services or Contact us.

What Documentation is required for freight forwarding?

We need
–  packaging list
– commercial or pro forma invoice
– eventually export declaration
– eventually export and import certificated (e.g. certificate of origin)
– eventually master safety data sheet (MSDS)
– eventually dangerous goods

myGermany will support / generate all of these.

What happens if there are Delays or Disruptions in the shipment?

If carriers face any issues, myGermany is informed and will handle it. Whatever is needed, we support to create, procure or submit it.

Delays will be actively communicated to you.

How can I Insure my cargo during transportation?

We can insure new items easily against damages and loss, it will be an additional cost.
Used items can be insured for loss only.

The insurance value is linked to the export value and cannot be higher than the export value.

Please contact us for details.

Can I consolidate Multiple Shipments into one Freight Container?

Yes you can. We gather your items here in our warehouse, store it until we have all things here to be shipped, and can consolidate/prepare/secure it in pallets, crates or containers to be shipped to you.

What Safety Measures are taken to Protect my cargo?

We have been working in the freight business since 2012 and employ freight packing specialists as well as carpenters to build sea chests.

We have shipped many things safely packed and demonstrably well kept, from antique old grandfather clocks, to pallets with glass vases, to entire kitchens and cars.

We use lashing straps, styrofoam, sea chests, inflatable container bags, hammer & nail to secure your goods.

Check here a few examples.

How do I file a Claim for lost or Damaged Cargo?

You contact us and we do coordinate or submit the claim to the carrier.
Please check here.

Can I schedule Specific Delivery times for my Freight?

Yes you can. Please contact us.

Do freight forwarders offer Warehousing & Distribution services?

Yes, we do.
Check our Warehouse Services.
Check our Fulfillment Services.

What are the typical Transit Times for different Shipping Routes?

If we ship by air, it is faster than by ship, but it is also more expensive. Basically, the farther away and heavier/larger the goods, the more expensive the shipping.

We work with DHL, DSV, DBSchenker, FedEx, UPS etc. and can often access standard routes for air and sea, which are accordingly cheap.

Basically: SEA / AIR / STREET
North America West Coast 30-40d / 2-8d / na
South America East Coast 20d / 2-9d / na
Europe 5-10d / 2-5d / 2-9d
Africa 20d / 4-12d / na
Asia 30-40d / 4-12d / na
Australia 27-35d / 4-8d / na

Translated with (free version)