Shippers are companies who have goods that need to be moved from one place - usually production plants/manufacturing facilities to an point like a retailer.
Shippers can be defined as the consignor, exporter or seller and in some cases these can all be different parties to a transaction.
A shipper will be responsible for the freight costs and is usually responsible for initiating the request.
Typically a shipper has a few methods of covering shipments:
- Direct to a carrier
- This method is most popular for shippers who like to maintain their own staff to seek and validate a carrier to haul goods for their company. Depending on frequency these types of shippers may set up carriers on a contracted time frame or may seek carriers to cover their freight as needed.
- Through a broker
- This is popular for shippers who do not want to take on finding their own carriers, but want someone else to bid out on covering their freight for them and takes on the responsibility of finding and vetting carriers for them to cover freight. This can be popular with shipping companies who don't have the bandwidth or want the responsibility of finding and vetting carriers.
- Through a freight forwarder
- This option is the shipper who might need to make room in their warehouse and ensure the loads are covered. Freight forwarders will bid on taking possession of the freight, storing in their warehouse and then having carriers picking up from them instead of the shipper direct. Freight forwarders take on more liability because they take possession of the freight, but typically don't offer to break down shipments and repack them for distribution. Freight forwarders will usually just store the freight and book carriers to come haul it off.