Start Your Own Freight Forwarding Business
hi everyone it's alan again here from abts training services london england um some time ago i did a youtube subject which was what does a
freightforwarder do now for for some reason which i'm delighted about for some reason it generated a heck of a lot of interest and i
startgetting calls and emails etc wow that was good how do i become a
freightforwarder so i thought right okay i'm going to do just a small presentation on how you become a
freightforwarder and i'm sure anybody that's watching this appreciates uh i'm not going to go into it chapter and verse because you will be all falling asleep after about five minutes so i'm hitting the sweet spots so to speak please bear in mind if you're watching this that i'm in the uk so i talk from a uk perspective which is obvious which i'm sure you'll appreciate so no matter where you are in the world and you are watching me now um please bear in mind about 90 of what i say is pertinent to you there will be a few instances uh which i will highlight that are just pertinent to the uk okay so here we go on this very very cold spring day in london uh rubbing my hands here out of screen to keep warm okay here we go very very first thing you have to decide
businessyou're are you going to become self-employed alan bracken trading as fast
freightfor instance or are you going to become a limited company fast
freightlimited now it's not the remit of this chat to tell you...
what to do so the answer to that obviously is you consult an accountant and they will tell you the best
businessplan for you okay so we get that out of the way the legal aspect of it now the tools of
yourtrade to give it a a name the basic the the the uh tools that you can't don't even get out of bed in the morning to become a
freightforwarder if you don't have these tools of the trade because it's pointless now what i mean by the tools of the trade of the trade is where are you getting
yourknowledge from on a day-to-day basis let me give you an example i contact you and i say could you please give me um a sea
freightquote for a 20-foot container from um i can't think of it it's amazing isn't it okay all the ports in the world and i can't think of a board absolutely amazing um from mombasa in kenya to felixstowe in the uk now that's the phone call and i am a
freightforwarder now i can't just fumble and mumble about it i've got to know where do i find this information from what's my source so in the uk um we go to what i call the shipper's bible um and i go to a book published every monday on subscription called lloyd's loading list i think it's been around since 18 something and i
startto use it as a
freightforwarder back in the 80s what does it do okay it tells you on a weekly subscription on an a to z format it tells you every port in the world that is serviced from ports in my case in england so i look up...
felix doe and i go across and i find the port of discharge mombasa whatever it was and i contact them so
yourfirst basic tool of the trade if you're in england is subscribing to lloyd's loading list now for those of you outside the uk there's lots of similar publications but you would go on to the internet and you would tap in vessel sailing from felixstowe to mombasa on ambassador to felix though and wham bam they come up so let's say the tools of
yourtrade is lloyd's loading list or the internet okay it's up to you if you're talking about the uk somebody rings you up and they say to you uh i want to ship some goods to uh from the uk to turkey by truck what documents do i need now you can't just turn around say i don't know you were
freightforwarder you've got to be able to say yep you need the following documents and you've got to give a accurate answer how do you know how do you know in the uk what documents is needed by customs in izmir in turkey i remember report izmir in turkey what documents do you need for a consignment to benghazi in libya what documents you know we come in here all day i'll just do one more what documents do you need to send goods to saint petersburg russia okay you don't know i know a book that does know in our case we have another aid and it's called kroner's reference book for exporters kroner's reference book for exporters and it tells you every country in the world what...
documents that country needs when you were shipping goods to that country brilliant absolutely brilliant by the way i don't get a commission from lloyds and certainly not from kroners so um although i'd bang on about them in the uk uh they are just good they're just good okay so now you're not in the uk and somebody rings you up and asks you for the documentation there's so many websites you can go to nowadays it's it's it's it's magic but you have to be in a position to know where to get this information you can't say to somebody who wants a 24 quote to izmir and turkey a 20-foot container quote from israel from the uk to izmir and turkey you can't say yeah hang on i'll be back to you in an hour's time you lose the
businessinstant information is the key in
forwardingif you mumble and bumble and say well i'll be back in an hour sometimes you have to wait an hour but you have to explain to
yourcustomer why he has to wait for an hour to get that information so the basic tools of
yourtrade lloyds and kronas in the uk outside the uk the internet but there again you've got to know what to look for okay so
yourbasic tools and as i say this is a just a fundamental the fundamentals of
forwardinghow to become one so you have to have the basic tools okay now you have to have a clear understanding of documentation of documentation and procedures what happens if you have a call which i used to have many...
many many times um alan i i uh i've just got a letter of credit in here from my customer in libya and uh having a clue he's he's looking for bills of lading certificates of origin um i can give him an invoice and a packing list but to be honest with you i don't know anything about letters of credit as a
freightforwarder you've got to be able to say no problem i can handle that letter of credit for you so you've got to know about letters of credit among other lots of other things you have to know about lens of credit all right you can say having a clue put down the phone and you lose the the
businessso i'm just giving you a rough idea of the knowledge you need you need intimate knowledge of documentation it's okay in my case looking down cronus and it says um for saudi arabia you need a arab richest certificate of origin legalized and certified and i relayed that to my customer and he says wow you're a brainy guy alan what what does it mean and if i go i i don't know i'm only reading it in cronus it's the kiss of death i've lost the
businessso you have to know not only um about documentation but how it works bills of lading you've got to know them inside out upside down how to create a bill of lading how to hand out bill of lading instructions so um i don't want to discourage anybody out there and i certainly don't want you clicking off at this stage and saying this is too much like hard work yeah i've been...
factual please take it or leave it so you have to have a clear understanding of documentation and the nitty gritty you've got to understand how inca terms 2020 works i mean these are just the basics just the basics if you're not doing this forget about it um you've got to know everything about making out airway bills house airway bills master airway bills and now we come to the big thing you've got to know
freightrates now think about it you are us the middleman between the exporter and the carrier be it an airline a shipping line or a trucking company so a typical scenario would be you contact a the relevant shipping line you ask for exports to wherever it is let's let's do mombasa exports to ambassador kenya they answer the phone we're doing a buy phone the steam driven way right now and the answer phone and they say is it fcl or lcl lcl okay so they will give you the uh their price for deficit and they say a
freightforwarder yeah i'm a
freightforwarder okay and we give you
freightforwarders discount of so much uh you must say okay i need a quote for an lcl and they say it's 59 weight measure that's it 59 weight measure now you've got to know the knowledge to convert that rather small formula of 59 weight measure into an actual rate you can't say to the shipping line can you work that out for me please and they will say oh go take a hike you're a
freightforwarder for goodness sake that's one of...
the skills of
yourtrade that's part of
yourknowledge bag go away don't bother me now you might get somebody who might say yeah i'll do it once for you but never again okay so you've got to know the intimacy of shipping right so when you've got through that and and you've looked at you've registered
yourcompany you've got the tools of
yourtrade via the publications i mentioned are the internet then as i say you need a clear understanding of documentation
freightraces it shows you on the screen there and now we go on to third party providers when i
started off my
started off literally in a very very small chicken coop office that's all i could afford to rent i certainly hadn't got warehousing i certainly hadn't got transport and i certainly had the had not got the computer wherewithal to make customs entries three basics of a
freightforwarders box of tricks so as to speak okay working from a very very very small office in london england i had the knowledge but i hadn't got those add-ons so what did i do i enlisted the aid of third parties uh third-party providers now i've seen this so many times over the years where people
businessand they rent warehousing they rent a truck i think it's a vanity thing they like to see their name over the warehouse they like to see the truck going around with joe blogs
forwardingon the side of it we deliver anything to...
anywhere you know um and a customer nominal leg for this vanity i've never gone down that road i've gone to third party providers i go to trucking companies i went to trucking companies and i went into a contract with that trucking company that they were to do all my trucking or my haulage for me i went to warehouse owners and i rented from there in those days was footage square footage square meter on a monthly basis now in my case because i had a lot of
businessfor the trucking company they actually converted one of their panel trucks with my company name on it which very nice bit of free publicity there okay so i had a trucking company i had a warehouse company that i pay as you go so i never had a big financial commitment so i would advise you strongly setting up a
businessuse third parties now no matter where you live a customs entry has to be made for exports you've got to tell
yourcustoms hey i'm exporting this um and this is what i'm exporting so they use it for the balance of payments uh this country exported so much but they import it so much and that is the balance of payments okay so you got to tell them and in the uk that is done on a computerized system called chief at the moment um which is very very very very expensive to bring in house for me to make entries on chief very expensive i never used chief i asked the shipping line on the airline to make my entry for me and they will charge me so much so third...
party providers you use them on an ad hoc basis and you do not have a large financial commitment i found that very very effective uh when i was in the
businessokay you need skills you need presentation skills you need negotiating skills you've got to negotiate not only with
yourcustomer but with the shipping lines and the airlines and the trucking companies so you have to hone
yournegotiating skills you've got to have presentation skills when you go into a company and they've asked you yeah come in helen pay us a visit and tell us what you do you've got to have presentation skills you can't sit there and we do containers and then no you have to give a professional presentation so these are skills you require you hone you learn most most important in any aspect of
businessbut as we're talking about
forwardingvery important when you're in the
businessokay so i haven't really gone into a massive detail of how to become a
freightforwarder but all i can say to you is this if if you're still interested if you haven't fallen asleep listening to me if you're still interested we can offer you a consultancy we can talk you through so you don't make mistakes bear in
yourmind are being as we say in the uk i've been around the block several times and i always say and i'm very honest i've made all the mistakes you can make so i bring to my life now in my old age i bring a little bit of wisdom and...
um i can i can tell you how not to work as a
freightforwarder okay we can also offer you two courses one is our import export course online and the other one is our letter of credit course now you might throw
yourhands up to heaven and say oh yeah all he's leading up to is doing his courses yeah to a certain extent i am but i'm very honest and i say to you do not attempt to become a
freightforwarder without the basic knowledge we just discussed abts training services are not the only training company in england or in the world i acknowledge that i am not saying you must join up my course i'd love to have you i'd love to help you in
yourcareer but what i do say believe it or not is no matter who you use for goodness sake make sure that training company has old guys and girls like me who know what they're talking about who will give you bona fide information based on years of experience go to them if you think they're good so it's not just a sales spiel here for you to come on to abts logistics i would welcome you i'd love to see you i'd love to help you
yourfree phone company but for goodness sake get training and the basic training you need is just like our import export course and letters of credit of course we cover everything we cover everything on that most things not everything most things so we're here for a consultancy if you need it we can offer you online courses with backup where you can contact me personally chat...
to me and i can tell you where you're going right or where you're going wrong up to you um just a matter of interest if you look um at the link at the bottom of this short video you will see uh the transcription link below you can you can click on to a copy of uh lloyd's loading list okay i'm going to say goodbye to you and i i i hope to see you again soon um that was quick gallop around