Understanding the Operations of Freight Forwarders: Evidence from Serbia

32 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016 Last revised: 27 Apr 2018

See all articles by Alejandra Mendoza Alcantara

Alejandra Mendoza Alcantara

World Bank - Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice

Ana M. Fernandes

World Bank - International Trade Division; World Bank

Russell H. Hillberry

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: June 17, 2015

Abstract

Freight forwarders play a key role in moving goods across international borders. They arrange transport, oversee customs clearance on behalf of their clients, and more generally troubleshoot issues that arise while goods are in transit. This paper reports the results from a survey of 153 freight forwarding firms in Serbia. Respondents report on firm characteristics, operational choices, and conditions at the border posts and terminals where imported goods are cleared for release. One key purpose of the study is to investigate operational trade-offs between time and cost that arise when import shipments are in transit. In three of four hypotheticals, respondents suggest that money savings dominate time savings. Responses regarding real operational decisions such as route choices reinforce this finding. Respondents also reported penalty rates for late delivery of import shipments as well as the value of a typical import shipment. From these responses, it is estimated that the contracted value of one additional (unexpected) day of delivery time in Serbia appears to be approximately 1 percent of the value of the underlying shipment.

Keywords: Transport Services, International Trade and Trade Rules, Ports & Waterways, Multi Modal Transport, Trade Facilitation

Suggested Citation

Mendoza Alcantara, Alejandra and Fernandes, Ana Margarida and Hillberry, Russell H., Understanding the Operations of Freight Forwarders: Evidence from Serbia (June 17, 2015). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7311, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2620019

Alejandra Mendoza Alcantara (Contact Author)

World Bank - Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Ana Margarida Fernandes

World Bank - International Trade Division

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/afernandes

Russell H. Hillberry

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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