One of the greatest headaches in shipping is the complexity of the documentation that is required. This alone justifies the use of a freight forwarder. The documents that they can take care of include:
Shippers’ export declaration
Bill of Lading (often a House Bill of Lading issued by the forwarder)
Letters of Credit (i.e. if the recipient is paying by this method, the bank’s requirements of the documentation can be very onerous)
In some countries, clearing customs can be a demanding task and freight forwarders will appoint local customs brokers whose job it is to circumvent local red tape and overcome bureaucratic hurdles.