Freight Brokers vs Freight Forwarders

April 23 2021

Freight forwarders and freight brokers are key players in this vital and complex market. it is important to understand the roles of everyone involved in the transportation process. There are many differences between a broker and freight forwarder, but the most important difference is knowing how freight is protected.

Freight brokers

Freight broker’s job is not really complicated. They are contracted by the shippers ( customers) to find the proper carrier that can move their freight. 

Carriers prefer to work with brokers, because of the freight volume they would get working with them rather than working individually with customers. On another hand, customers prefer working with freight brokers too. Because of their negotiating skills and bargaining power,they can save the customer lots of money with better deals.

You also need to know that  brokers generally can’t be held liable for any claims, because they don’t take possession of the freight. The liable parties are the carrier and the shipper. They also don’t prepare paperwork for their clients or ship goods under their own bills of lading.

Freight Forwarders

Their job is a little more complex, because they are more active in the shipping process.

Unlike the freight brokers, freight forwarders are responsible for the customer’s shipment and its transportation. They can handle international shipments that move from country to country or across multiple countries. In other words, they take an active role in the preparation of the shipments in ways that brokers don’t.  Their services can also include :

  • packaging services
  • warehousing, 
  • consolidating shipments, 
  • preparing customs paperwork. 
  • ship under their own bills of lading

Main Differences

  • The brokers are not responsible for the cargo and never take possession of it. The forwarders are exactly the opposite- they take possession and responsibility of the cargo and its safety transportation. 
  • Freight forwarders can move shipments from country to country or across multiple countries unlike the freight brokers
  • The brokers don’t ship goods under their own bills of lading. The freight forwarding company does. 

Tips For Truckers Hauling Freight

It doesn’t matter if you are hauling for a broker or a forwarding company. Always make sure you have checked the freight after it’s being loaded on your truck. It’s much easier to notice and correct the problems before you have delivered the load. It might take you a little more time to do it, but will definitely save you stress and headaches for you and your company in the long run.

You can also read 7 ways brokers can improve relationships with carriers