Forwarding Agent

What does a forwarding agent do?

A forwarding agent is tasked with organising transports. As a forwarding agent, you can work with both domestic and international transports and freight, but you do need quite a bit of knowledge to do so. In this article we suggest training, educational routes and qualities needed to work as a forwarding agent.

The work tasks of a forwarding agent

When working as a forwarding agent, you are responsible for planning routes that are as efficient as they possibly can be. Thus, you need deep knowledge about transport and shipping solutions, laws and agreements, to make accurate calculations.

When a customer contacts the forwarding agent, they generally start by collecting data about the size of goods, availability and value. When all necessary data has been gathered, a place for transport is booked, and we recommend always using automatic tracking of packages in cases where this service is available.

Next, documents related to import, export and customs declarations are issued. This means that the forwarding agent is in contact with the customs agency of the receiving country, for customs declaration and warehouse management.

Different types of forwarding companies

A forwarding agent can be anything from a large international freight company with thousands of employees, to a small, domestic company with only a handful of employees. Some forwarding agents specialise in domestic transports, while others deliver globally. PostNord can offer both.

Examples of three large, European forwarding agents are DHL, Schenker and Panalpina. All three deliver a complete package and offer transportation of goods globally.

Education and salary

There are a few ways to go for someone who wants to become a forwarding agent. First and foremost, you need a college education to prepare for further studies, and once you have achieved this you can choose between the following programs:

  • Finance program
  • Trade & administration
  • Vehicle & transport program

Are you curious about how much a forwarding agent makes? According to information from Unionen, a forwarding agent earns between 30.000 and 37.000 SEK per month. In general, you can influence your pay grade by taking on more demanding tasks, showing great performance, improving results and obtaining more knowledge and experience.

Common workplaces

As a forwarding agent, you can choose between working at shipping companies, airlines, at a transport company or forwarding agent. The role often requires working evenings and weekends. It’s also a major plus if you have good knowledge about or interest in information technology (IKT) and various information and communication systems.

More on logistics

Learn more about logistics in our gallery of articles on logistics.

Frequently asked questions about forwarding agents

Is there a difference between a forwarding agent and a transporter?

A transporter carries out the actual transport, while a forwarding agent organises and books it.

Is a forwarding agent serious if they offer various add-on services?

It’s not uncommon that a forwarding agent offers services like administration and warehouse solutions. Many choose to view this as an extra service.

What mode of transport is most common in Sweden?

At the time of writing, the majority of transports of goods in Sweden are by truck, but rail also makes up a large part of all transports.