A freight forwarder is an agent who acts on behalf of importers, exporters or other companies or persons to organise the safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation of goods.
Freight forwarders arrange the best means of transport, taking into account the type of goods and the customers' delivery requirements. They use the services of shipping lines, airlines and road and rail freight operators. In some cases, the freight forwarding company itself provides the service.
Companies vary in size and type, from those operating on a national and international basis to smaller, more specialised firms, who deal with particular types of goods or operate within particular geographical areas.
At more senior levels, the role may also involve managing staff and overseeing activities within a department or specialising in a particular area, such as sea freight or air freight.