So…I thought my blog this month would be about the Freight Forwarder.
Dull I hear you say. Well, that is exactly what I used to think. In fact no, I didn’t, I didn’t even know about freight forwarding. In fact, this may surprise none of you but I accidentally fell into this job. My good friend Emma put me in touch with Ian, and the rest, as they say, is history.
How many times had I seen lorries on the motorway with containers on the back, or when sat on the train going into Manchester and seeing the containers in a yard (just before Stockport if my memory serves me right), or freight being loaded onto a plane when I’ve been waiting to go holiday.
Yet I never gave it any thought what was happening. What were they doing?
That’s it. What are they doing? I’d only been in the job a week when I sent a picture to Ian of a OOCL container on the back of a truck (probably not the most exciting picture he’d ever received!). I was heading to the Trafford Centre. I had a ‘Eureka’ moment and it all made sense.
Now I know that to most of you reading this I am preaching to the converted.
Some of you work in the same industry. You understand about Bills of lading, container numbers, vessels and so on. But this is an industry that’s exciting and should be celebrated (with a gin!) Shouted from the rooftops!! Ok, well maybe that’s a step too far but you get my gist….the gin still applies though…
So, what is the job of a freight forwarder??
Well…we organise shipments for either a company or an individual. That could be something as small as a document or as large as a campervan and it could be transported by road, sea or air. A freight forwarder doesn’t move the goods but we are the (apparently) the experts in the logistics side.
But I think it’s the way it’s done that really gets under your skin.
We, the freight forwarder are there in the customers times of shipping needs to guide them through and hold their hand.
Now, don’t get me wrong, things don’t always go smoothly. In fact sometimes it’s the simplest of shipments that are the hardest. There are many people involved in moving cargo globally so that’s when we are here to offer advice, support and try and understand our customers needs.
However that is what makes the job so interesting. There are never two days the same. No two jobs are the same. Every day is quite literally a school day, you are constantly learning. So even the most experienced in this industry (Ian) is acquiring new skills and knowledge on a daily basis. There are not too many jobs that still offer that variety or the history for that matter!
Who would have known that that little piece of paper known as a Bill of Lading that was used all those hundreds of years ago would still be being used today? I know, right! So even though we now live in a digital world this document is still required today! Freight forwarding is a big deal and up until 18 months ago I didn’t know anything about the industry and I’m still no expert but I’m learning (faking it til I make it!) and realising a world without freight is a dull one.