Freight forwarding is all about transporting goods. If you can dream it, it can be transported. Whether your item is something small, like a matchbox car, or huge like a hummer – it can be brought from Point A to Point B. The logistics and costs will differ, of course, but rest assured that nearly anything can cross the globe with a freight forwarder’s help.
Let’s say that you need one special screw for your new Porsche auto. Just one little screw that is not available in any dealership or car garage in the entire United States. How do you get it? You have two options: your garage buys it for you, or you buy it online. The screw will be transported to you – probably from Germany – by a logistics company. Small packages have quicker, but perhaps more costly logistics. However, if your business is consistent with this type of order they probably already have a beneficial arrangement with a freight forwarder. This type of arrangement can mean big savings for a person or a company.
Look around you. Everything you see has been transported one way or another, and every little thing you experience is there for you because of a logistics company who brought it there. Let’s look at a few more examples.
Now, transporting a box of screws is easier to imagine for everyone in business. A supplier groups a few hundred or a few thousand screws together and the shipment is arranged from supplier to buyer, with help of a freight forwarder. Processes involved are usually the standard ones, with no need of special activities or documents. Easy? Yes.
A nice Bordeaux wine
Now let’s think about 10 pallets of Bordeaux wine from 2015. Most likely, this shipment will be carried all the way from France in a 20-foot container. So far so good. However, since wine is alcohol and can catch fire, it falls under the category of “Dangerous Goods.” This means that your shipment will need a few extra documents or certifications, and also a special location in the containership to guarantee the safety of the transportation.
Your shrimp for dinner
Think about your most recent shrimp cocktail. For it to exist, a few thousand pounds of shrimp from the topical waters of Honduras had to make their way to your favorite restaurants in the United States with special logistics. The shipments are quick, but delicate. Besides the standard activities and documents, special food administration procedures such as specific freezing temperatures and certifications take place for the shrimps to be allowed on an airplane. This is definitely a special area in the logistics industry, and freight forwarders take pride in handling all these special areas.
A hotel bed
Let’s think bigger… Have you ever wondered how all the beds in a Hilton are sourced for the opening of a new hotel? Whether the beds are purchased locally or abroad, the transportation AND the placement of the beds are not just the planning and arrival of a full truck. How do the beds get to the top floors of a hotel? And the furniture? Big hotels chains will not have all their new furniture being carried through the floor and on the lifts, because not everything will fit. Instead, the logistics preparation will include cranes that lift the beds and furniture up to the top floors. Next time you visit a large hotel, think about the logistics that took place to make it perfect.
The crane to rebuild your apartment building
Speaking of cranes, we have all seen those extremely tall cranes standing next to an apartment building while renovations or rebuilding take place. How did the crane arrive there? Cranes come from different countries around the world such as Kone from Finland and Cosco from China. As you can imagine, a crane cannot just fit into any container – they need storage in an open space. Special flat-racks have been created for heavy equipment and unique areas on transportation ships are reserved for specialized cargo. The loading and unloading from the ship are also tasks that need require a large amount of strategy. For these reasons, a specialized freight forwarder with experience in this area will come in handy.
The gasoline in your car
Most gasoline comes from refineries that process the petroleum extracted from the depths of the oceans. The way that petroleum is extracted involves having a platform in the middle of the ocean to carry out the drilling process. So how does the platform get there if it’s built on land? No standard ship can carry such an oil platform from a port to the middle of the sea, therefore, special logistics apply to this type of transportation as well. Since oil platform transport is not a daily or monthly business, it can be considered a project – and therefore project logistics exist, thanks to this and any kind of freight which needs extremely detailed planning and execution. Project logistics will be vital for construction activities, special world expos, and many other large scale ventures.
No matter what kind of object needs shipping, it can be done. From the smallest screw, to the largest oil platform, to all the shrimp, wine, and beds in between. Experienced freight forwarders will have the solutions to make your shipment happen.