Freight Management

Synonym: shipping management


What is freight management?


In the transport and logistics sectors, the term freight management covers the different human and material means used for the shipment of goods. These are put in place by the diverse market players with a view to optimize the different stages of transportation of goods. The term applies for activities starting with the initial loading of goods at the clients’ warehouse to their reception by the freight forwarder. Sub-contractors and other intermediaries are generally required for improving the efficiency of the transit process.


integrates the constraints inherent to the traceability, distribution and of goods. To add, formalities relative to international trade also fall under the umbrella of . The activity requires rigorous and thorough organization for the smooth execution of the many stages involved. The success of missions involves constant monitoring of transits and excellent communication between the different actors concerned.

More and more service providers integrate criteria into their transit planning. Complementary to the proven financial savings gained, this aspect can add certain restrictive measures on operations by the competent administrations. For example, the access ban to certain urban areas can sometimes prevent efficient distribution of goods.


The specificities of freight management


covers many aspects of logistics within the transport sector.

Anticipation and elaboration of the following points helps create rigorous and efficient organization:

  • Flexibility in relation to the nature of goods to be transported: dangerous substances, thermo-sensitive products, live animals, high-value goods;
  • Compliance with regulations pertaining to the security of goods, health risks and authorization for transit in a given territory;
  • Proposal of a global offer regarding all aspects of freight: order preparation, organization of expeditions, verification and implementation of transit, invoicing…;
  • Provide feedback based on performance reports made throughout the different transit procedures.


Examples and practical applications


The different actors involved in freight management

According to the type of transport involved, implies the involvement of different partners. Certain functions are specific to a particular sector, whilst others are common to all sectors.

It is the case for freight forwarders and brokers:

  • In the maritime sector: shipowners, tugboat owners, traders, maritime agencies, shipping agencies…
  • For rail and road transport: carriers, truckers, agents, rental agents…
  • Air transport includes: sales agencies, handling agencies, shippers and air freight specialists.


Methods employed for optimal freight management

The partners and structures called upon have different technical capabilities and functions in the performance of necessary operations in :

  • Traceability systems of goods and transport identification system for permanent tracking;
  • Mechanical handling equipment destined for loading, unloading and movement of goods;
  • Management software tools to improve internal operational flow aimed to cover all aspects of logistics and transport;
  • Management solutions for fleet and transport equipment, maintenance, compliance with legal requirements, availability of fleet…


Freight management in figures


  • In 2018, the goods transport sector and represented an estimated 270 billion dollars in sales figures worldwide.
  • In 2016, maritime shipping was involved in nearly 80% of international exchanges.


Regulatory basis


Social legislation for road transport

CIM (international convention of merchandise) and the COTIF (convention for international fluvial transport)

(merchandise shipping by road convention)