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The Freight Forwarding Process: What You Need to Know

The safe and efficient transport of freight by sea and air is critical to the success of many businesses and industries in Australia.

According to a report by the Australian Government’s Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE), the value of Australia’s maritime exports reached $333.8 billion in 2018–19. Australia also imported 100.5 million tonnes of goods worth approximately $239.0 billion by sea in 2018–19 [1].

$109 billion of international trade passed through Australia’s airports in FY2017-18, with more than 96 per cent of international airfreight passing through Australia’s four main capital city airports – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth [2].

While many individuals and corporations already utilise freight forwarding services to arrange the safe and successful movement of important freight, some may have questions surrounding this process…but don’t worry, we’re here to help!


What is a freight forwarder and customs broker?

In essence, freight forwarders help to arrange the movement of freight by sea and air from the supplier’s door to the consignee’s (recipient) door. They do not move the goods themselves but act as an expert in the logistics network. For example, a freight forwarder may organise a cargo to be moved from a plant to an airport by truck, flown to the destination city and then moved from the airport to a customer’s building by another truck.

Freight forwarding can include tasks such as deciding the best route and conditions for physical transport, booking consignments with carriers, handling the documentary requirements for goods in the various countries of the transport chain, monitoring the movement of consignments and obtaining and supplying tracing and tracking information for the client.


What are some benefits of freight forwarding?

Well, first and foremost, most freight forwarding companies are made up of professionals who are highly knowledgeable and experienced in the industry. Many freight forwarders are also licenced customs brokers. This means that they will be more efficient in tasks that may be challenging for those inexperienced and will be up to date with all relevant regulations and requirements. These include the customs clearance of the cargo through the Australian Border Force and the clearance of cargo via quarantine.

By considering the best route for certain goods, for example, they could potentially help a client save more money and time than an alternate route which takes longer. The clearance of cargo through customs control ensures the correct duty and GST payments are completed.


What are some key considerations with freight forwarding?

Freight forwarders are not responsible for shipping delays. These can occur for a wide variety of reasons, including adverse weather conditions, vessel/aircraft technical malfunctions, navigational hazards and delays at ports and airports due to current external events and factors (such as the coronavirus pandemic).


How Bullocks can help:

Bullocks Freightmasters International specialises in freight forwarding via air, sea, and road for imports and exports and are licenced customs brokers and accredited quarantine brokers.  Our professional and highly experienced team use the latest tracking and logistics technology to deliver a first-rate, seamless freight forwarding service. Strategically located in Fremantle, we can provide one of the most reliable and efficient freight forwarding services in Perth. Interested in finding out more about our processes? Contact us today at (08) 9431 9000 or email:



[1] Australian sea freight 2018–19, Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics, 2021.

[2] 2019 International Airfreight Indicator – Data and Management Series, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and Oxford Economics, 2019.