Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between a Freight Forwarder and a Clearing Agent

Freight Forwarder vs Clearing Agent

The sea is a very wonderful place to spend your vacation and escape the summer heat of the sun. The sea is not only a haven for relaxation, but it is also a haven for business entrepreneurs. Doing business with the sea will actually bring you a lot of money if you know how to get things done. If you have the determination to venture onto the sea as your business path, you should buckle yourself up as the sea is not a very friendly place to start your business with.

Many have become interested in the shipping business because it offers a very promising profit. However, without the help of each employee, your business will not rise to the top or gain any profit. We all know that the world is a cruel place. The strongest survives and the weak are eaten. Without hard work and perseverance, you will not be able to achieve your goals.

A lone person cannot manage his business alone. There is always a need for extra workers so that the work can be completed. For every task, there should be someone responsible. As the owner of your shipping business, you should outline each worker’s job responsibilities. In that way, they can be guided on what they need to do. In the shipping business, a freight forwarder and a clearing agent play very important roles. What is the difference between a freight forwarder and clearing agent?

Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder has the responsibility to ensure the security of the business of several exporters and importers. His job is to gather all of the cargoes of his clients and carefully carry and store them to his client’s designated warehouses. The cargoes of every client must be placed in the right warehouse to avoid misplacing the items.

A freight forwarder has also the job responsibility to follow every instruction of his client regarding the distribution or forwarding of his cargoes. He may take a regular or a varied route in order to forward the cargoes.

Negotiating freight rates is also one of the tasks of a freight forwarder. He will negotiate the rates with the shipping line being mindful of the interest rates of his client. After negotiating the rates, he will then book the cargoes according to the requests of the client. He also has the responsibility to prepare the bills of lading and negotiating documentation. He may or may not file for customs clearance.

Clearing Agent

The clearing agent, on the other hand, is responsible to take care of his client’s customs clearance. A clearing agent is an accredited company with regards to the border agencies, local customs authorities, and any other related matters.

A clearing agent is tasked with arranging and submitting the required documents at customs. Then he will also arrange for the required customs inspection. He is also in charge of the reviewing and processing of duty and VAT payments whenever applicable. He can also file for refunds. However, he cannot issue his own bills of lading if it’s not registered.


  1. A freight forwarder has the responsibility to ensure the security of the business of several exporters and importers. His line of job responsibility mainly involves the cargoes and how to store and forward the cargoes securely.

  2. The clearing agent, on the other hand, is responsible to take care of his client’s customs clearance. Primarily, the clearing agent is like the person who deals with all the legal documents. He checks and inspects whether all documents have been cleared.

  3. A freight forwarder and a clearing agent play important roles in the shipping business.

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  1. This is well explained and am enjoying the definition. Now I can differentiate the two. Thank you

  2. Thank you for giving such a nice explaination between forwarding and clearing agent

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