For buyers who are exporters or have businesses overseas, a freight forwarder can be a real asset when it comes to getting your B-Stock inventory shipped internationally. Whether it’s negotiating freight charges, getting insurance, preparing documentation or one of the other items (in the long list of details) that go into international shipping, a freight forwarder can save you time, money and potential headaches.

What is a Freight Forwarder?

Well, according to the official (and wordy) definition, a freight forwarder is a firm specializing in arranging storage and shipping of merchandise on behalf of its shippers. It usually provides a full range of services including tracking inland transportation, preparation of shipping and export documents, warehousing, booking cargo space, negotiating freight charges, freight consolidation, cargo insurance, and filing of insurance claims. Freight forwarders usually ship under their own bills of lading or air waybills (called house bill of lading or house air waybill) and their agents or associates at the destination (overseas freight forwarders) provide document delivery, deconsolidation, and freight collection services. Also called a forwarder.

Since that’s quite the mouthful, let’s break it down like this instead:

A freight forwarder is a company that arranges your importing and exporting of goods.

Understand that a freight forwarder does not actually move the freight itself. Instead, a freight forwarder uses their relationships with carriers (air freighters, trucking companies, rail freighters, and ocean liners), to negotiate the best possible price to move the client’s goods along the most economical route.

With that said, if you’re doing business internationally…

Is it Worth it to Use a Freight Forwarder?

While it is certainly not required to use a freight forwarder, if you want to be an international shipper without getting caught up in the logistics of logistics, freight forwarders can take on this task. Without knowing the process, paperwork, and international trade regulations, doing all of this yourself can be a daunting undertaking. Freight forwarders will advise and assist you on how to move goods most efficiently from one destination to another.

Buying Internationally on B-Stock

If you’re looking to ship inventory that you buy on B-Stock internationally, there are a couple of things to know. First, not all of our private marketplaces (such as Target, Amazon, Best Buy, Frigidaire, GE, Select Mobile, Woot, and Lowe’s, to name a few) allow buyers that do business outside of the U.S. to purchase their inventory. In fact, the inventory purchased from these marketplaces must be resold in the United States. It is important to read the individual auction details as well as the FAQ and Terms of Purchase.

Second, there are many private marketplaces that (in order to ship internationally) will require you to register with a U.S.-based address and provide proof of using a freight forwarding service.

The required proof usually comes in the form of a freight forwarding document like this:

And finally, some of our marketplaces will allow internationally registered buyers to purchase on their auction site with few restrictions. This list shows which marketplaces will accept international buyers either with or without a freight forwarder. Many of the private retail marketplaces on this list are buyer arranges shipping. For a refresher on how that works, please be sure to read our blog Buying Basics: Auction Lot Shipping Methods.

As always, be sure to do your homework and double check individual auction details along with the FAQ and Terms of Purchase for international shipping restrictions. To learn more about B-Stock’s trusted freight forwarding partner, visit MyUS.com.