Freight Forwarders role in international trade still crucial

The President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Mr. Eddy Akrong has stated that it’s almost indispensable, the role of freight forwarders in today’s international trade despite the increasing use of technology.

According to him, the freight forwarder has evolved from the customs house agency work to a critical logistics manager within the complex supply chain in international business.

Speaking to Kennedy Mornah on the award-winning Eye on Port program, Mr. Akrong said this trust that has been earned came from a lot of dedication to continuous learning and training to be on the top of supply chain issues.

He said this group of professionals has had to master risk management and serve as trustees that ensure the best possible cost reduction for clients.

Freight forwarders, he noted, now source goods for traders, keep inventory, arrange transport, deal with regulatory bodies, conduct doorstep deliveries, and in some cases provide storage facilities for clients.

“This means that the freight forwarder has had to keep abreast with everyday changes in international trade and stay savvy to maneuver supply chain inconsistencies and shocks,” he said.

According to the President of GIFF, freight forwarders in Ghana today have become “more of consultants for importers and exporters” for almost every procedure in the trading process.

“If you look at what is happening from our French land-locked neighbors and all the political instabilities, trade is still going on. We should ask how these goods get there. Goods land in Ghana and overnight there’s a coup here and borders are closed here and there. How do you reroute these cargoes because they’d have to get to their destinations? It all takes risk management,” he asserted.

He continued “We just heard of an earthquake close to Marrakech, we know the vessels may want to veer off. How do you reroute goods in that area?”

He said freight forwarders have become master logisticians so much that, they play essential roles for the e-commerce business, providing inventory management and deliveries for traders.

According to Mr. Eddy Akrong, despite the increasing use of technology, which they are happy about, the freight forwarder cannot be overlooked so far as the prosperity of international trade is concerned.

Source: Ghana Web