A forwarder is a person who has to watch over many stages of transport and have wide knowledge about it. What qualities should characterize a good employee in this position?
Being a freight forwarder is a responsible task. He must smoothly coordinate the entire process of delivery of goods. A freight forwarder takes orders and redirects them to the carrier. His role is also to prepare contracts and negotiate transport costs. The work is related to the ability to master many elements at the same time, sometimes in a stressful atmosphere.
Every day a person in a position of a freight forwarder receives a huge amount of data. Therefore must be able to prioritize them to start with the most important ones.
The ability to organize and handle or accept several orders at the same time requires fast reactions, not always in accordance with the previously established schedule. The freight forwarder should be able to quickly find a convenient solution for both the consignee and the shipper without violating the terms of the contract.
Forwarding is based on working with people, therefore a person in this position must be able to conduct communication in such a way as to avoid conflicts. Forwarder should also be easy to establish contacts, cultural and assertive. It is important to build understanding with contractors and long-term relationships with customers, which will make them more likely and willing to use the services of a given forwarding company.
Work in this position can be stressful, especially during busy delivery periods such as holidays. A freight forwarder must be able to control his nerves and try to stay calm in every situation. Customers need to be sure that the person managing their transport is doing it professionally and responsibly.
The number of things that a freight forwarder must pay attention to is enormous, so the ability to carefully review the provisions of the contract, reliable completion of forms and other documents is required.
It is somehow connected with good self-organization of work. In the multitude of orders, a forwarder must be able to direct his attention to different orders. He should know at what stage the transport is, be able to move smoothly from one issue to another so that the whole process runs smoothly.
It is not only about the knowledge of basic concepts. A freight forwarder should also be familiar with transportation regulations. To keep up to date with the latest information, it is a good idea to sign up for, for example, regular transport courses, where you can learn more about the technical specifications of vehicles used for transport, cargo distribution or supply chain. This is especially important in the age of technology, which is increasingly used when organizing transports.
It happens that not every order will be delivered smoothly. Transport problems are not always dependent on the freight forwarder. However, in case of failure in any of the stages of shipping, you should be able to objectively assess where the mistake was made. Gaining experience and willingness to learn from it, shapes the forwarder.
Equally important is to anticipate what may happen e.g. during transport of a consignment. On that basis, the forwarder must accurately assess the route and means of transport in order to minimize the risk of delay in the delivery of goods.
In principle, yes, as long as you have the above characteristics. You do not need a university degree to work in this profession, but it can be very useful at least at the beginning of your career. It is worth enrolling in courses or postgraduate studies to gain basic knowledge in the field of freight forwarding and transport in a short period of time.