What is a Membership Freight Forwarder, and How is It Different from a Traditional Freight Forwarder?

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International freight memberships are extensive groups of global freight forwarders. These freight forwarders are typically very experienced. They work together to serve their commercial needs and collaborate with global shipping companies. Each freight membership has its own set of rules. Forwarders must observe these rules to join the membership.

There are many international freight memberships. They vary in size and function. Some are designed to serve international functions. Others focus on special issues that freight forwarders in local areas or specific domains face. Either way, international freight memberships add a lot of value to the work performed by forwarders. That’s why they’re different from a traditional freight forwarder.

A traditional freight forwarder won’t be part of such membership or network. Traditional freight forwarders have to deal with plenty of hassles such as –

  • Managing multiple clients with different interests
  • Collecting and classifying scattered data
  • Manage relationships with fellow freight forwarders, shipping companies, clients, etc.
  • Measure and evaluate data from each freight forwarding project.

All these tasks are understandably overwhelming. Fortunately, for a membership freight forwarder, achieving these tasks is less complicated. That’s because their memberships in international freight networks help them in various ways. Here are the perks of joining the leading freight forwarder memberships or alliances in the world –

Integrated Digital Platforms

Freight forwarders don’t have too much time/resources to build their own digital platforms. The prospect of building your own resource planning platform also comes with major financial risks. That’s where being part of a freight membership group can be of immense help. The leading freight forwarder alliances provide high-quality digital platforms to their members.

Freight forwarders can use these helpful digital tools and platforms to execute their business more efficiently. They can even assess what other members of the alliance (competitors) are doing to improve their services. Here are some types of innovative technologies that membership freight forwarders will use –

  • Integrated shipping platforms
  • Integrated order management platforms
  • Digital quotation and booking tools
  • Software solutions for on-the-spot invoicing

On many of these membership platforms, freight forwarders also get cargo insurance options. These options are integrated with the booking process. Overall, freight forwarders who are part of extensive membership groups don’t have to take on any financial risk.

Better Networking, More Access to Resources

When a “traditional” freight forwarder joins an international membership or alliance, they’re exposed to many professionals. Their list of fellow members may include some of the leading forwarders in the world. These co-members can easily become new business partners. Some membership groups even host annual events, business get-togethers, etc. Hence, membership freight forwarders have access to more resources than your typical “traditional” freight forwarder.

Insurance and Protection

Perhaps the biggest advantage membership freight forwarders have over their traditional counterparts is financial security. Freight forwarders have to deal with various financial uncertainties. That’s why the best freight forwarder alliances only allow financially stable professionals to join. Together, these well-vetted forwarding agents protect each other’s interests. That means receiving insurance on your assignments and orders.