What Does A Freight Forwarder Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Freight Forwarders

Freight Forwarders research rates, routings, or modes of transport for shipment of products. Maintain awareness of regulations affecting the international movement of cargo. Make arrangements for additional services, such as storage or inland transportation.

Salary
$47170
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Freight Forwarders research rates, routings, or modes of transport for shipment of products. Maintain awareness of regulations affecting the international movement of cargo. Make arrangements for additional services, such as storage or inland transportation.

  • Calculate weight, volume, or cost of goods to be moved.
  • Inform clients of factors such as shipping options, timelines, transfers, or regulations affecting shipments.
  • Prepare shipping documentation, such as bills of lading, packing lists, dock receipts, or certificates of origin.
  • Provide shipment status notification to exporters, consignees, or insurers.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Freight Forwarders keep records of goods dispatched or received. They prepare invoices or cost quotations for freight transportation.

A typical day for a Freight Forwarder will also include:

  • Verify adherence of documentation to customs, insurance, or regulatory requirements.
  • Determine efficient and cost-effective methods of moving goods from one location to another.
  • Pay or arrange for payment of freight or insurance fees or other charges.
  • Provide shipment status notification to exporters, consignees, or insurers.
  • Monitor or record locations of goods in transit.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Freight Forwarders also complete customs paperwork. They may also obtain or arrange cargo insurance.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Freight Forwarders maintain current knowledge of relevant legislation, political situations, or other factors that could affect freight shipping. They might also arrange for special transport of sensitive cargoes, such as livestock, food, or medical supplies.

In addition, they verify proper packaging and labeling of exported goods.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them make arrangements with customs brokers to facilitate the passage of goods through customs.

To some Freight Forwarders, it is also their responsibility to provide detailed port information to importers or exporters.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
6%

Limited freedom
10%

Some freedom
43%

A lot of freedom
41%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
3%

Limited freedom
3%

Some freedom
42%

A lot of freedom
52%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Average

Is this job meaningful

Average

66% said they were satisfied with their job and 48% said they found their job meaningful.


Anton Noss
TForce Worldwide

I have been in the International/Domestic Freight Forwarding industry for 20 years.

  • Monitoring shipments to ensure they arrive at their destination.
  • Reply to customer requests, quote requests. Advise Customers of issues/delays/potential problems.
  • Check in with Sales Team.
  • Process and move shipments.
  • Much of what we do is problem solving. Many shipments run into issues that we must spend time and resources to address and resolve. Many times the customer does not know anything had happened, and this would be the preference.

Cons

  • Long hours, and what can seem like endless work.
  • Very competitive industry.

Pros

  • Working with all different countries and cultures from around the world. Making and having friends/colleagues in other countries. Traveling to other countries for work.
  • There are many different departments you can work in. It can be an exciting and rewarding career.

Pros

Suitable for people who like to follow routines.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

Salary is below average.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$47170 per year

Average hourly wage

$23 per hour

Entry-level Freight Forwarders with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $27,780 to $34,400 per year or $13 to $17 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $69,890 $34
Senior (Top 25%) $56,060 $27
Median $43,770 $21
Junior (Bottom 25%) $34,400 $17
No experience (Bottom 10%) $27,780 $13

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
1%

40 hours
46%

More than 40 hours
53%

Working schedule

85%

12%

3%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
4%

Important
11%

Very important
16%

Extremely important
68%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
16%

Fairly important
2%

Important
14%

Very important
32%

Extremely important
36%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
6%

Important
21%

Very important
22%

Extremely important
51%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
96%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
100%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
10%

Every day
62%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
56%

Once a year
30%

Once a month
8%

Once a week
3%

Every day
4%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
1%

Once a year
17%

Once a month
24%

Once a week
30%

Every day
28%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
0%

Once a year
19%

Once a month
18%

Once a week
33%

Every day
30%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
85%

Once a year
4%

Once a month
9%

Once a week
3%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
8%

Slightly competitive
13%

Moderately competitive
33%

Highly competitive
18%

Extremely competitive
28%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
11%

Fairly important
3%

Important
14%

Very Important
25%

Extremely Important
47%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
5%

Moderate impact
15%

Important impact
37%

Very important impact
43%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
4%

Once a year
0%

Once a month
9%

Once a week
11%

Every day
76%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
22%

Limited responsibility
26%

Moderate responsibility
17%

High responsibility
16%

Very high responsibility
18%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
5%

Limited responsibility
12%

Moderate responsibility
20%

High responsibility
35%

Very high responsibility
29%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
12%

Once a year or more
6%

Once a month or more
11%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
71%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
59%

Once a year or more
14%

Once a month or more
2%

Once a week or more
11%

Every day
15%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
70%

Once a year or more
9%

Once a month or more
15%

Once a week or more
6%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
88%

Once a year or more
8%

Once a month or more
3%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
45%

Post-Secondary Certificate
1%

Some College Courses
21%

Associate’s Degree or similar
12%

Bachelor’s Degree
21%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
11%

1 month
2%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
5%

6 months to 1 year
7%

1 to 2 years
26%

2 to 4 years
13%

4 to 6 years
22%

6 to 8 years
4%

8 to 10 years
1%

Over 10 years
8%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
7%

1 month
16%

1 to 3 months
35%

3 to 6 months
20%

6 months to 1 year
14%

1 to 2 years
6%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
2%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Organizer

People with this personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.

The Builder
38%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
43%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
19%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
33%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
67%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
95%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk-taking and often deal with business.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
48%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
55%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
43%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
57%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
67%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
52%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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