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It is a Company specialized in arranging storage and shipping of merchandise on behalf of its shippers. It usually provides a full range of services including tracking, preparation of shipping and export documents, warehousing, booking cargo space, negotiating freight charges, freight consolidation and the filing of claims. Freight forwarders usually ship under their own air waybills (called house air waybill) and their agents or associates at the destination (overseas freight forwarders) provide document delivery, deconsolidation and freight collection services. This is also called forwarder.

A basic definition is as follows: a freight forwarder is a company that arranges your importing and exporting of goods.

What is an IATA Number?

A number associated with a forwarder who has been approved and recognized by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to forward cargo, issue air waybills and other documents for carriers and collect charges for air shipments.

What is a house waybill?

The consolidator issues his own House Waybill (HWB) for each shipment and each customer receives a copy to identify his consignment.

What is consolidated shipping?

Air cargo consolidation is the practice of combining lots from multiple consignees into one shipment (i.e. your cargo will share space with the cargo of other shippers inside an aircraft)

What is a Claim?

A claim can be defined as a written complaint about any aspect of the performance of an organization in relation to a contract, combined with a demand for financial compensation. Main categories for claims are:

Damage: physical damage to the shipment

(Partial) loss: loss of an entire shipment, or one or more entire parcels from a larger shipment
Theft/pilferage): loss of items out of a parcel or a (partial) loss of a shipment that is certainly caused by theft

Delay: delivery of the shipment later than the agreed or reasonably expected delivery time

Claims from an end-customer to a forwarder, or from a forwarder to an airline must be filed timely according to the applicable transport conditions, either as a full claim or as a preliminary claim notification. It is important to always mention the air waybill number and flight/routing when a claim is filed.

If the product arrives in poor conditions a certified cargo inspector should examine the product and issue a Survey report of its condition along with a Destruction report.