Types of Freight Forwarders

shipping container being loaded for shipping

Freight forwarding is the practice of transporting bulk shipments from one location to different points of destinations. Businesses all around the world use freight forwarding as a way to export or import goods at a relatively low cost. A freight forwarder is simply the intermediary between the manufacturers and their customers that provides different types of freight forwarding services. Here’s a look at all the different types of freight forwarding services available in Malaysia and what the differences between them are.

Types of freight forwarders:


Sea freight forwarder

As the name suggests, a sea freight forwarder is used mostly for shipping cargo overseas usually by ferries or large cargo ships. The cargo is transported via a Full-container load (FCL) or Less-than container load (LCL) depending on the quantity of cargo you need transported. In addition to that, sea freight forwarding also includes ocean freight management services, break-bulk, project forwarding, or even partial and full charter services if you are transporting a large sum of cargo. To safeguard the valuable cargo, some sea freight forwarders also offer marine cargo insurance, which is essentially an insurance package for your cargo that acts as an extra layer of protection. 


Air freight forwarder

When it comes to global logistics, air freight forwarding is definitely one of the fastest and most effective methods of transport available in the current market. An air freight forwarder uses cargo planes to deliver goods that do not exceed a certain weight and is an ideal mode of transportation if you require same day or next day delivery. Air freight forwarding is considered to be one of the more expensive types of transportation service, however, it is the most reliable and fastest way for both domestic and international shipping.


Ground freight forwarder

Also known as door-to-door shipping, this mode of transportation is typically used to transport goods locally as it uses trucks or lorries to load and unload cargo from one state to another. This is one of the most used freight services by businesses and is also considered to be the cheaper option as well. However, the costs may vary depending on infrastructure problems, traffic, or any unpredictable road hazards.


Rail freight forwarder

The other mode of overland transport, the rail freight provides companies with a budget-friendly and economical transportation option. It is considered to be a safer and cheaper option compared with ground freight as it eliminates the risk of traffic congestion or road hazards. Depending on the location, rail freight also offers international shipping in addition to domestic shipping.


Typically, a freight forwarding company employs more than one method of shipping stated above. More often than not, all freight forwarding types are utilized to ensure that their client’s cargo arrives on time and in the perfect condition. For example, an international shipment may require a form of overland transport and both sea and air freight shipping.