Difference Between a Freight Broker, Forwarder, and Carrier

Freight shipping jargon can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to the process.

However, do you understand the distinctions between a freight broker, forwarder, and carrier? Here’s a quick guide to help you tell them apart.

Freight Broker

Freight brokers act as go-betweens for the shipper and the carrier. These brokers operate as third-party entities, typically collaborating with shippers such as freight forwarders and carriers.

Brokers, unlike freight forwarders and freight carriers, do not have any equipment or trucks to transport parcels.

They also do not have the products to ship or the paperwork for the clients. Freight broker services include handling the arrangements and ensuring that the cargo is transported via the proper route.

Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarders, like brokers, play a different role in shipping.

These services arrange your shipment and contact a third-party freight carrier to transport it to its destination.

Freight forwarders, unlike freight brokers, do not own any equipment or trucks to transport the goods. However, unlike brokers, they actively participate in the cargo’s preparation and shipment.

Some of the services provided by freight forwarding companies include warehousing, customs documentation preparation, shipment consolidation, and packaging.

Freight Carrier

Freight carriers, as opposed to freight brokers, transport your goods from point A to point B.

A freight carrier, as the name implies, acts as the ‘vehicle’ to ship your products via air, sea, and land couriers. When transporting goods, this type of freight service follows a strict protocol.

Individual and commercial freight carriers frequently offer online freight services for your convenience. This type of freight service could operate both globally and domestically.

However, freight carriers provide both types of shipping destinations. Most freight carriers use sea, air, and land transportation depending on the destination of your parcels.

Keedwell Scotland, along with our partner company Keedwell European Freight, provide end-to-end solutions for our customers looking to transport goods to and from Europe. Covering both land and sea logistics, we have the right partners in place on our network. Get in touch today to find out more.