What is a Shipping Service Provider?

Many people confuse freight carriers with freight shipping service providers, but there is a significant difference. A freight shipping service is basically considered to be a third-party logistics dispatcher or non-asset based agents. This type of company organizes the logistics services for companies and individuals by arranging the movement of shipments through asset based carriers to their designation, both within and beyond national bounds. The service arranges space for the freight, loadings and often times the people responsible for driving the means of transportation.

The Carriers

There are two types of carriers in the freight shipping service industry; a contract carrier or a common carrier, both of which play an important role in the transport.

*A contract carrier has discretionary rights to accept or refuse any shipment for a company, private carrier or individual.

*A common carrier is required to provide services to companies or individual parties. A common carrier has strict rules and regulations by the shipping authority which they must follow and any disobedience of the guidelines may cause the common carrier to lose their license.

Both types of carriers offer all types of carrier services, including trucks, airplanes, railroads and ships.

Responsibilities of Shipping Services

There are vast arrays of responsibilities which come with the duties of a shipping service. The primary responsibility is preparing and processing the movement of the cargo, which includes having knowledge about preparing and processing documentation, including overseas transport. Duties typically include preparing the commercial invoice, the bill of loading and the shippers export declaration as well as prepare and process all documents according to the regulations of the shipping authority.

What Does a Third-Party Agent Do?

Third-party agents in the shipping service industry have extensive contact with the exporters. Exporters are responsible for booking the load, arranging space with the carrier company and ensuring the shipment is safely and securely delivered on time. If there is damage or loss with the shipment, the sender can hold the third-party agent responsible, so it is essential the documentation be perfect and shipping process flawless.

The third-party agent of a shipping service can specify a common carrier delivers the shipment, regardless of the size or the destination. Shipping clients have the option of choosing which type of carrier they want to deliver the load, but it is important to understand that contract carrier companies have the option of turning down a small shipment. There is hundreds of shipping service providers to choose from, so it is essential to find the most reliable and trustworthy provider which best suits your needs and which will be responsible for all aspects of the process.

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