1 – Understanding your requirements

You need to know exactly what you need before you even begin to look for a forwarder.

Decide on what mode of transport and what specific services you will need. In general, the type of transport you will need depends on a number of factors:

  • The products you sell (e.g. perishables or non-perishables)
  • Supplier production lead times
  • Product availability
  • Customer lead times
  • Source of supply (e.g. UK or abroad)
  • Customs and Excise rules (e.g. duty or quarantine)
  • Volume


Airfreighting is commonly used by businesses for the delivery of goods from distant suppliers. This mode of transport is useful to deliver products with short lead times, fragile goods and products that are not bulky. Products in high demand and in short supply may also be airfreighted in order to meet customer demands. The bulk/value ratio will be a determining factor.



  • Fast delivery, usually between 24 and 48 hours
  • Customer is not kept waiting for order fulfilment
  • Reduced lead time on supplier
  • Improved service levels


  • Flight delays and/or cancellations
  • Customs and Excise restrictions
  • Cost