Whether you’ve shipped internationally before or not, you’ll likely be aware of the mountain of paperwork it involves. From small cargo through to larger ones, it’s vital you understand what documents you need for all stages of the shipping process. This is where a freight forwarder comes in. As specialists and experts in the world of international cargo shipment, we’re there to help ensure you have everything required to make the process as smooth as possible. In today’s blog, we’ll go through just some of the documentation a freight forwarder can help you to obtain and fill out correctly.

Bill of Lading

Also known as a BOL, the Bill of Lading is a document that acknowledges the receipt of cargo. It provides a detailed breakdown of the shipping method and the route that this shipment is due to take. The bill also acts as a contract and is kept as a proof of ownership. The information on this document will include the shipment’s origination point, destination point, the route, content, and packaging type.

Commercial Invoice

These vital documents help to get your shipments through the customs, both in your home country and the destination country. They assist the customs authorities in identifying and issuing the right tax and import duty fees that are applicable to your package and goods. Incorrectly filled out commercial invoices will cause significant delays to your deliveries and may cause incorrect feeds to be paid too – either by you or the recipient.

Air Waybill

For airfreight, a freight forwarder can help you to fill out the airway bill correctly. These essential forms act as a form of ownership, acknowledging that the air carrier has taken possession of the shipment. It also acts as a recipe for the shipper and has much of the same information as the bill of lading – just for air freight.

Hazardous Goods Form

If you’re in the business of shipping hazardous goods, such as flammable liquids, pressurised gases or toxic goods, you’ll need a hazardous goods form. This informs customs on both ends of the contents of your shipment and allows them to apply relevant fees.

These are just some of the ways that a freight forwarder can help you reduce delays and get the best deals on international shipments. If you would like to speak to a member of our specialist team or request a quote, please get in contact here today.