Hello, it’s IINO.
Today’s topic is, “Forwarder’s job is Busy or Not?”
If you are interested in working as a freight forwarder and have no experience, you wouldn’t know what kind of job it is, and may wonder how busy it gets.
Using Google search, I’ve noticed there are people searching for how busy freight forwarders are, so I will talk about this topic.
So, is freight forwarding a busy job?
It all depends on the company and your position in the company.
There are freight forwarders who work for long hours with high volume workloads.
On the other hand, there are freight forwarders who get to go home on time.
At what point do they get too busy?
Or how much work should they take so they can get to go home on time.?
I will explain the key elements to determine whether a freight forwarding job is busy or not.
If you are planning to become a freight forwarder, or change your job, you might want to ask these questions at the job interview.
Today’s talk is based on the perspectives from a freight forwarding sales and cs operation clerk.
First, Volume of work.
Freight forwarding is a hospitality based role, so the work does not finish by just selling goods.
There are many processes to go through to collect cargo from the shipper, and to deliver it to another country safely.
You need to communicate effectively and complete documentation to do so.
If you provide a one stop service where you make arrangement to collect and deliver to the final destination, the volume of work will increase.
Also, the volume of work will depend on how many customers you oversee, and how much work you need to complete each month.
The next item is job description.
As I previously explained, if you provide a one stop service to the customer, you need to make arrangements for the cargo collection and transportation, to the final destination.
However, it depends on their intention of shipping and truck arrangement.
If the sales of freight forwarder focus on the only forwarding job, they do not need to arrange the customs clearance and transportation,only arrangement for vessel or aircraft.
A freight forwarding job is to utilize shipping line and airline spaces to arrange logistics for customers.
Sometimes, there is a case that a freight forwarder is only required to arrange a vessel or an aircraft.
The shipper may use another company for export/import tracks and custom clearance.
This will depend on the company and style of the sales person.
If the freight forwarders do not have the strength for getting the space, nor the freight is so competitive, the shipper will decide to use another company.
Therefore, many freight forwarders try to provide a one stop service to customers, which is not the only freight but also the total logistics service.
In terms of the workload, if it’s only arrangements for a vessel and an airfreight, the job for each customer will be quite easy.
One other thing to consider is how they divide roles for sales and cs operations.
It depends on the company, but it will be something like this.
Sales.- Seek new business, creates quotations, follow up existing customers, solve the problems.
CS operation. – Booking, documentation, custom clearance, truck arrangements, and issue invoices.
Each function is divided between sales and cs operations.
Now, let me talk about the cs operations workload.
Of course, the workload depends on the volume and contents of work.
If a company doesn’t have enough manpower, their workload is high and they are very busy.
Operations roles need to be completed efficiently and accurately.
If a mistake is made, it will create additional work.
It is important to have a balance between accuracy and speed.
In some companies, the cs operations will check the rate to make a quotation.
The sales people only deal with new business development, and trouble shooting.
The overall operation to send cargo is completed by cs operations.
Next, I’d like to talk about a freight forwarding sales person’s job in general.
For example, Sales people in Japan normally work outside, and they do not stay in their office.
If this person does not work hard, then this work is quite easy.
However, if it’s a hard working sales person, then they can be placed under big pressure due to the workload.
As you know, logistics work is required to deliver cargo on time.
However, there are many processes to the final destination, and sometimes they encounter a problem while the cargo is being transported.
There are different types of logistic problems.
I will give you an example of a problem we have with the current container shortages.
・We are unable to book vessel spaces.
・The container gets rolled over and is shipped the following week.
・The vessel skips the port, causing an additional week delay.
・The schedule is delayed as ports in other countries are congested.
・The cargo is stopped at the customs clearance.
・Unable to obtain container drayage.
These are problems that are out of our control.
In the meantime, a freight forwarding sales person needs to do what they can.
A good sales person who has many customers will have more problems.
The pressure given by the shipper is increased, especially when there is a problem.
Also, the workload of a freight forwarder changes with the seasons.
For example, if you are dealing with a shipper who conducts business with China.
The workload will increase before long holidays, –Lunar New Year and National day, Workloads also increase before the end of year and Songkran in Thailand.
Even after the holiday season finishes, workloads are still high for import operation in charge.
During the holiday season, the customs clearance stops, so they have to arrange documents and custom clearance work when they return from their holiday.
Now, let me summarize todays’ point.
So, if you have a question, “is a freight forwarder job busy?”
It depends on the company and the position you take.
Freight forwarding job is a hospitality service business, therefore, when there is an additional work or they provide a one stop service, the volume of work will increase.
CS operations and sales have different roles.
However, if operations check the vessel schedule, and booking, make quotations by checking currency rates, their workload will increase.
If the sales person has high workloads, they will also have increased problems.
When there is a problem, the pressure from the shipper is unbelievable.
Other than this, the shipper will try to ship cargo before the long holiday season, so exporting work will become busier.
After a long holiday, cargo is at the port or the airport.
But the customs may be delayed and there will be increased documentation work, such as arrival notice and D/O.
The importing work will become busier.
These elements will tell you whether the freight forwarder’s job is busy or not.
That’s all for today. Thank you.
Contact to IINO san