Are you looking to export your handcrafted furniture to the United States or import coffee beans from Colombia? International trade is exploding nowadays, but with a wealth of opportunities and high profits, it brings tedious processes, documentation, and complexities. That’s why freight forwarding services exist. These wizards simplify the process, ensuring your cargo reaches its destination smoothly and efficiently.


But with hundreds of freight forwarders vying for your business, how do you choose the perfect fit for your specific needs?


This comprehensive guide will equip you with everything you need to know about freight forwarding, from understanding the different services offered to identifying the top-performing companies in the industry.


What is Freight Forwarding?


Freight forwarding is the art of managing the logistics of international cargo movement. It is a one-stop shop for all things related to getting your goods from point A to point B, across international borders. Freight forwarders act as third-party intermediaries, working seamlessly with shipping companies, airlines, haulers (land transport companies), and customs authorities to streamline the entire journey of your shipment.


Freight forwarders offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to take the burden off your shoulders. These services encompass:


  • Customs clearance: Freight forwarders possess the expertise and licenses to handle all the necessary paperwork, ensuring your cargo sails smoothly through customs.


  • Transportation: Whether you require air freight for speed, ocean freight for larger shipments, or a combination of both, freight forwarders have the connections and experience to arrange the most efficient transportation solution.


  • Documentation: From commercial invoices and packing lists to certificates of origin and bills of lading, freight forwarders ensure all the necessary documentation is prepared and in order.


  • Cargo insurance: Accidents happen, even during transport. Freight forwarders can help you secure comprehensive cargo insurance to protect your valuable goods against unforeseen events like loss, damage, or theft.


  • Warehousing: Many freight forwarders offer secure warehousing facilities to ensure your cargo is safe and sound until it’s time to hit the road, sea, or sky.


  • Supply chain management: Freight forwarders can go beyond simply moving your goods from point A to point B. They can also offer valuable insights and expertise in optimising your entire supply chain.



10 Best International Freight Forwarding Services for Businesses


DB Schenker


Founded in 1872, DB Schenker is a leading logistics and supply chain solutions provider with a presence in over 1850 locations worldwide, it offers a comprehensive suite of services designed to simplify your freight transportation, making it a top contender amongst international freight forwarding services.


With a presence spanning across continents, DB Schenker offers air, sea, and land freight, as well as intermodal solutions that combine air and ocean freight, providing you with flexibility and cost-effectiveness based on your specific needs.




With a strong heritage and years of experience, DSV is a leading logistics and supply chain solutions provider. The freight forwarders have gained a high level of expertise in providing solutions to complex freight forwarding and supply chain challenges. They understand your industry and business, fostering long-lasting and reliable partnerships.


DSV goes beyond just one mode of transport, offering air, sea, and land freight, as well as intermodal solutions that combine air and ocean freight. This flexibility provides you with cost-effectiveness and options tailored to your specific needs.


DHL Freight Forwarding


From air, ocean, and road freight to customs brokerage and supply chain optimisation, DHL streamlines the process, allowing you to focus on your core operations. Their proactive risk management and commitment to customer satisfaction ensure a smooth and efficient experience. Their seasoned professionals leverage their cutting-edge technology to provide innovative and comprehensive freight forwarding solutions for all your international shipping needs.




Founded in 1890, Kuehne+Nagel is an international freight forwarder spanning over 100 countries. Kuehne+Nagel goes beyond freight forwarding. They offer a comprehensive suite of services, encompassing everything from supply chain design and optimisation to customs clearance and risk management. Their industry-specific expertise ensures they understand the unique challenges and opportunities faced by your specific business.




Established in 2018, NimbusPost understands the unique nuances of the Indian logistics industry. They leverage their extensive network of international courier services to provide comprehensive coverage across all major cities and towns in India and beyond India. This ensures efficient and timely delivery, regardless of your shipment’s origin or destination.


NimbusPost offers diverse services, including freight forwarding, catering to the specific requirements of businesses of all sizes. Whether you require domestic air freight, surface transport, or express delivery, NimbusPost has a solution. They also provide value-added services such as a courier recommendation engine, cash-on-delivery (COD) options, warehousing and fulfillment solutions, and real-time shipment tracking.


Bolloré Logistics


Bolloré Logistics, a subsidiary of the CMA CGM Group, boasts a rich heritage spanning over a century. Their extensive network covers 146 countries and 358 sites, ensuring seamless cargo movement across the globe. They leverage their strong partnerships with local experts to navigate the complexities of each region, offering you invaluable insights and expertise.


The company offers diverse services, encompassing everything from customs clearance, freight forwarding, and contract logistics to global supply chain management and eCommerce solutions. Their modular approach allows you to customise services to meet your specific needs, whether you require air freight, ocean freight, or multimodal transportation.


Kerry Logistics


Established in Hong Kong in 1994, Kerry Logistics has a strong presence across Asia, with a network of over 50 countries and territories. This regional-focus freight forwarding company is equipped with in-depth knowledge of the local regulations, infrastructure, and cultural nuances critical for smooth and efficient operations. However, their global network and partnerships ensure they can handle complex international shipments beyond Asia, offering a comprehensive solution for your trade needs.


Kerry Logistics’ modular approach allows you to customise a solution that perfectly aligns with your specific needs, whether you require air freight, ocean freight, or cross-border trucking within Asia.



APT Logistics


APT Logistics possesses in-depth knowledge of Indian customs regulations and procedures, ensuring your shipments sail the process smoothly. Their global network of partners allows them to handle shipments seamlessly across various destinations, making them a one-stop shop for all your international logistics needs. Whether you require air freight, ocean freight, or multimodal transportation, they can customise a solution that perfectly aligns with your cargo type, destination, and desired delivery timeframe.


Expeditors International


Unlike traditional freight forwarders who own and operate their transportation assets, Expeditors leverages a vast network of partners across the globe. This service-based approach allows them to curate the most cost-effective and efficient route for your shipment, regardless of origin or destination. Whether you require air freight, ocean freight, or multimodal transportation, they can tailor a solution that meets your unique needs and budget.


Expeditors has a global network of over 340 locations spanning 100+ countries on six continents. This extensive reach ensures seamless movement of your cargo, regardless of its final destination. Additionally, their local teams possess in-depth knowledge of regional regulations, customs procedures, and cultural nuances, mitigating potential delays and ensuring smooth operations throughout the journey.


Addax Logistics


Addax Logistics has a proven track record of facilitating international trade for regional businesses. They make customs regulations and procedures hassle-free, ensuring your shipments process smoothly. Additionally, their global network of partners allows them to handle shipments seamlessly across various destinations, making them a one-stop shop for all your international logistics needs.



How to Choose a Freight Forwarding Service for Your Business?


1. Self-Assessment and Cargo Characterisation


Before embarking on your search, conducting a thorough self-assessment and characterising your cargo before searching for freight forwarding services is crucial. This entails defining your goods’ specific type and volume, whether general merchandise, perishable items, hazardous materials, or oversized equipment. Determine your preferred shipping route, carefully considering the speed, cost-efficiency, and cargo limitations of air freight, ocean freight, or multimodal options.


2. Building a Qualified Shortlist


Once you have a clear understanding of your requirements, it is time to initiate research on potential freight forwarding services. Begin by gathering recommendations from trusted sources, such as colleagues in your industry, relevant associations, or online platforms with credible business reviews. Based on this initial research, develop a shortlist of promising candidates.


3. Evaluation and Due Diligence


With your shortlist in hand, it is time to conduct due diligence on each potential partner. Request quotations from each shortlisted freight forwarder, ensuring they provide detailed and transparent cost breakdowns and service inclusions. Evaluate their experience and demonstrable expertise, focusing on their ability to handle your specific cargo type and preferred shipping route.


4. Open Communication and Clarification


Once you have narrowed down your options, schedule meetings or calls with the remaining freight forwarders on your list. These interactions allow you to discuss your specific needs and requirements in detail and better understand their proposed solutions, pricing structure, and protocols.


5. Informed Decision-Making and Building a Strategic Partnership


With all the information gathered, it is time to carefully compare the quotes and proposals you received. Remember, while price is a vital factor, it should not be the sole deciding element. Consider each potential partner’s quality of service, reliability, and responsiveness when making your final decision.


Choose the freight forwarding service that best aligns with your unique needs, budget, and risk tolerance.





As the import-export business is brimming with opportunities, choosing the right freight forwarding service is crucial to ensure efficient, cost-effective, and stress-free cargo movement. As we’ve discussed above, several leading providers offer diverse services and expertise, each catering to specific needs and regions. But remember to conduct thorough research, compare various providers, and understand your needs.


For businesses operating solely within India wanting to sell to the world, NimbusPost is a strong contender offering reliable, cost-effective, and user-friendly freight forwarding.


Sign up for NimbusPost today and experience the ease and efficiency of their services:


  • Extensive Network: Seamless coverage across 29,000 pin codes in India and 196 countries.
  • Competitive Rates: Transparent pricing for all your freight forwarding and international shipping needs.
  • User-Friendly Platform: Effortless booking, tracking, and shipment management from a single Dashboard.
  • Dedicated Customer Support: Prompt and responsive assistance for your peace of mind.


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