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A freight forwarder , forwarder , or forwarding agent , also known as a non-vessel operating common carrier NVOCC , is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals or corporations to get goods from the manufacturer or producer to a market, customer or final point of distribution.
A forwarder does not move the goods but acts as an expert in the logistics network. These carriers can use a variety of shipping modes, including ships , airplanes , trucks , and railroads , and often do utilize multiple modes for a single shipment. For example, the freight forwarder may arrange to have cargo moved from a plant to an airport by truck, flown to the destination city, then moved from the airport to a customer's building by another truck.
International freight forwarders typically handle international shipments. International freight forwarders have additional expertise in preparing and processing customs and other documentation and performing activities pertaining to international shipments. Much of this information is now processed in a paperless environment. The FIATA shorthand description of the freight forwarder as the "Architect of Transport" illustrates the commercial position of the forwarder relative to its client.
In Europe, some forwarders specialize in "niche" areas such as rail-freight, and collection and deliveries around a large port. One of the earliest freight forwarders was Thomas Meadows and Company Limited of London, England, established in According to "Understanding the Freight Business," written and published by the executive staff of Thomas Meadows and Company in , the advent of reliable rail transport and steamships created demand for the fledgling freight forwarding industry.
Trade developed between Europe and North America, creating additional demand. The first international freight forwarders were innkeepers in London who held and re-forwarded the personal effects of their hotel guests. The original function of the forwarder was to arrange for carriage by contracting with various carriers.
Forwarder responsibilities included advice on documentation and customs requirements in the country of destination.
His correspondent agent overseas looked after his customers' goods and kept him informed about matters that would affect movement of goods. In modern times, the forwarder accepts the same responsibilities. It operates either as a domestic carrier or otherwise with a corresponding agent overseas or with his own branch-office. In a single transaction, the forwarder may be acting as a carrier principal or as an agent for his customer or both.
International freight forwarders, NVOCCs and customs brokers often charge for transferring documents to another transportation company at destination. This fee is a part of the ocean freight charges, being paid by the importer at the port of discharge in the International Commercial Term incoterm FOB free on board , and by the exporter at the origin in the incoterms CFR cost and freight and CIF cost, insurance and freight.
This fee is separate from documentation fees charged by carriers and NVOCCs as part of the freight charges on a bill of lading and is separate from other fees for document preparation or for release of cargo. Some companies call this an administration fee, document fee, document transfer fee, but it exists in some form in most destinations and is well known to most shippers. Steamship carriers do not have this fee. In Australia most licensed Customs Clearance Agents commonly referred to as Customs Brokers operate under a freight forwarder.
Transport Canada is the federal department responsible for implementing and enforcing transportation policies and programs. The Canada Border Services Agency is responsible for enforcing most regulations that affect international freight forwarders.
International security measures are the dominant concern. The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association CIFFA was established in to support and protect the character, status and interest of foreign freight forwarders by establishing uniform trade practice and regulations.
CIFFA also plays an educational role by providing certificate and advanced certificate programs. Associations including the Irish International Freight Association and FIATA help maintain the professionalism of this industry through educational and representative roles. In Kenya and Tanzania freight forwarders are commonly referred to clearing and forwarding agents.
A license is required, which can be acquired from Kenya Revenue Authority and Tanzania Revenue Authority respectively. Freight forwarders in Kenya and Tanzania are responsible for clearing consignments through Kenya and Tanzania customs, arranging transportation and forwarding the consignment to the consignee.
Freight-forwarding in Nigeria has been in place since the exporting of groundnut as a cash crop beginning in , though not initially as freight forwarding but as the means of transportation of goods and services from one country to another. Following the methodology of their British forebears, agents were used to facilitate the transport of goods and services. The association is registered with Ministry of Commerce, Govt.
BIFA is the trade association for UK-registered companies engaged in international movement of freight by all modes of transport, air, road, rail and sea. BIFA has around corporate members, known generally as freight forwarders, who offer a wide range of services within these various modes.
Training and Development BIFA provides industry training not only to members, but also to international traders. Courses are run throughout the year in various locations throughout the UK. Companies that handle domestic U. Such forwarders are "carriers" who accept freight for transport and are liable for delivering the freight under their own bill of lading. International ocean freight forwarders arranging for shipments to and from the US must be licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission as Ocean Transportation Intermediaries.
An ocean freight forwarder is "an individual or company in the United States that dispatches shipments from the United States via common carriers and books or otherwise arranges space for those shipments on behalf of shippers; ocean freight forwarders prepare and process documentation and perform related activities pertaining to shipments.
Companies acting strictly as an Ocean Freight Forwarder typically do not issue their own contract of carriage bill of lading and as agent are generally not liable for physical loss or damage to cargo except in cases of errors in judgment or paperwork or fiduciary responsibility. NVOCC s act as ocean freight carrier and issue their own bill of lading and are legally responsible for physical loss or damage in accordance with the terms and conditions of their bill of lading and tariff.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the concept used prior to the modern postal system, see Forwarding agent philately. This article is about freight forwarders. For companies which forward mail and parcels but not cargo, see Commercial mail receiving agency. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
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