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Ship4wd Changes Freight Industry Standards for SMBs with New $10,000 Instant Credit Line, Ability to Pay for Shipments 90 Days After Arrival, Secure Online Checkouts

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Ship4wd Changes Freight Industry Standards for SMBs with New $10,000 Instant Credit Line, Ability to Pay for Shipments 90 Days After Arrival, Secure Online Checkouts

Small and medium-sized enterprises receive unprecedented access to instant $10,000 credit lines* and in-platform secure online payment options offering credit card and online bank transfers (ACH Debit) with the ability to pay up to 90 days from the cargo delivery date

Ship4wd, a leading global digital freight forwarding solution platform, today announced an industry first-of-its-kind financial services offering with the debut of three new financing and payment features, addressing one of the most prominent issues small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) importers and exporters are facing today—cash flow management, a challenge often considered the glass ceiling for growth to many SMBs. As economic headwinds continue to surge, SMBs continue to battle significant financial friction that poses a roadblock to their growth and long-term sustainability. With its new financing solutions, Ship4wd is the first and only digital freight forwarder to create a comprehensive online financial solution specifically designed to combat decades of disparities in the sector. 

With this announcement, Ship4wd becomes the first and only freight forwarder that will grant SMB importers and exporters an instant $10,000 USD credit line*. Furthermore, the company has launched a ‘buy now, pay later’ offer that enables SMBs to pay for shipments up to 90 days after delivery. Combined, these financial offerings provide unprecedented and much-needed cash flow relief for SMBs that are typically required to prepay for global shipments, tying up much-needed finances for extended periods of time. Additionally, to make payments easy, Ship4wd new offering will enable online digital checkouts that provide business owners the ability to pay with a credit card or direct debit (ACH debit) similar to any other online purchase—a significant shift for an industry otherwise heavily reliant on a paper trail of documentation. 

Ship4wd ensures its customers—no matter their size—receive a timely, cost-accurate, and properly documented journey for all general cargo categories. The new services are in partnership with 40Seas, a best-in-class financial services platform built to bring B2B payments and cross-border trade financing into the digital era, and include a series of new offerings, such as:

  • Financing for Small and Mid-sized Businesses—Instant $10,000 USD Credit Lines*: Ship4wd is enabling small and mid-sized businesses- which typically face being underbanked or unbanked- greater opportunity to compete and thrive amidst today’s economic climate as the first freight forwarder offering instant $10,000 credit lines* – subject to meeting eligibility conditions- for those who register on the global shipping platform. Ship4wd recognizes access to credit is often a lifeline for business owners to grow—allowing them to order more inventory, invest in marketing, enhance customer service, or allocate funds to other aspects of their operations—which is why the company has introduced this credit line* financing service in hopes of revolutionizing and sparking a movement across the industry. Ship4wd is changing industry standards not only by granting instant access to a credit line* upon registration but also with no pre-payments, no collateral, and no guarantee required from the business. Business owners will also be able to request additional credit. 


  • ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’—Flexibility of Paying Up to 90 days From Delivery Date: Ship4wd has launched a freight forwarding financial solution called ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ that allows companies the flexibility of paying up to 90 days from the delivery date, turning the tide on an antiquated prepayment model. Among the most prominent problems small and mid-sized businesses face when importing or exporting goods is managing cash flow—an issue that intensifies due to commonly held international shipping standards that require SMBs to pay before their cargo even sets sail. SMBs who take advantage of Ship4wd’s ‘Buy Now, Pay Later,’ feature will be rewarded with a competitive edge against those who continue to prescribe to outdated practices or a “this is how I’ve always done things” mentality.


  • Secure Online Payments and Checkout—Simple Credit Card Payments and Online Bank Transfers (e.g. ACH Debit) for All Shipments: Customers can now access the majority of banks across the U.S. and Canada or leverage all major credit cards to complete their transactions through Ship4wd’s platform. This digitization marks a significant shift in the shipping and logistics industry that has traditionally required business owners to utilize paper checks and outside banking vendors. Through Ship4wd’s secure online payments and checkout, business owners can pay with credit card, direct debit (ACH debit), or online bank transfers for each of their shipments. 

A part of ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE: ZIM), Ship4wd provides enhanced solutions through a full-service dashboard so business owners can make more informed decisions; time savings with quicker turnaround of guaranteed price quotes, comparisons, and bookings; and 24/7 one-click access to live expert support and industry insiders throughout the entire process. 

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freight broker

Customs Broker vs. Freight Forwarder: What’s the Difference?

The terms ‘customs broker’ and ‘freight forwarder’ can both seem confusing. Not to mention the fact that, just by their names, the two jobs seem to overlap! However, there are important nuances here, and both jobs are unique. To learn exactly why and how keep reading our guide on customs broker vs. freight forwarder: what’s the difference?

 The job of a freight forwarder

Organizing the details of your logistics

The first task of freight forwarders is to help you manage the details of your logistics. To a somewhat surprising extent, at that. They can help their clients organize bulk shipments by consolidating smaller ones and help alleviate warehousing and fulfillment stress. They go over insurance costs for your freight and even manage other freight expenses on your behalf. In other words, all the annoying minutiae which typically require dedicated employee teams to handle your hired freight forwarder can step in! That makes them ideal for new and small businesses that cannot afford to have a dedicated team for this yet. That is the first difference between a customs broker vs. freight forwarder since the former does not offer such in-depth services.

 Arranging transportation of goods

The second task that a freight forwarder would tackle would be arranging the best mode of transportation for your goods. The process goes like this: first, you provide the freight forwarder with your requirements. Such as how large your shipments need to be, how quickly they need to arrive at their destination, how much you are willing to spend on transportation, etc. With that data, the freight forwarder then looks at all the options available, including land, ocean, and air transport, and picks the ideal choice for you. That frees you of annoying considerations such as ocean freight vs. air freight shipping for your business. Naturally, the freight forwarder also arranges the details with the carrier, so you don’t need to worry about that!

 Dealing with the paperwork trail

The final thing that a freight forwarder helps with is paperwork! And this is likely to be the most significant selling point for many businesses. Paperwork takes a lot of time and knowledge to handle, and any mistakes can be costly. Well, a freight forwarder will handle all the documentation needed to get your cargo where it needs to be. The latter also handles customs documents in a slight overlap of customs broker vs. freight forwarder. However, they also handle port, airport, and booking documents. That gives them a much broader scope of services than a customs broker.

 The job of a customs broker

Legal representation and advice

The first task of a customs broker is to represent you and offer you legal advice. In other words, they can handle all the work required for your shipments to fully conform to the rules of the governments you are involved with. That is invaluable since even if you become an expert in logistics, laws frequently differ between countries, and keeping track of them all. At the same time, you do international import and export can be complicated. Notably, your customs broker also keeps track of the latest changes in regulations that are pertinent to you and both assists you with complying and informs you of them.

 Handling customs costs

Interestingly, a customs broker frees you from worrying about duties upfront. They are cleared to pay them on your behalf and then bill you later. Of course, if you set up a clearinghouse account and authorize them, they can also pay directly from it and circumvent any complications. Your customs broker does charge you for an annual user fee and a status report, but their handling of duty costs more than makes this worth it! A customs broker will also refund you if you have overpaid duties, meaning that it frequently pays off to have them on retainer in a literal sense!

 Supervisions of goods and paperwork

As mentioned previously, there is a slight overlap in what a customs broker vs. freight forwarder does. And this is seen in that both are in charge of the paperwork related to their work. A customs broker will manage all documents required to legalize your goods’ import and export. They also store and keep those transaction documents for up to five years on your behalf. However, customs brokers are also frequently in charge of supervising the customs process. By this, we mean they’ll monitor the goods through customs and check that all regulations are correctly adhered to. They are also there to offer consultation on any problems that can pop up during the clearance process.

Deciding on a customs broker vs. freight forwarder

Now that you’ve gone over your guide on ‘customs broker vs. freight forwarder: what’s the difference?’, it should be clear to you that they are, in essence, two very different jobs. A freight forwarder is there to help you with pretty much every aspect of your logistics. Hiring a freight forwarder will be invaluable for anyone struggling to handle all the work associated with them. On the other hand, a customs broker is invaluable for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the problems and legalities of international shipping. They are highly specialized, but they can efficiently perform their job to exact specifications. Ultimately, it is not fair to say you should pick either a freight forwarder or a customs broker. If you need their services and can handle the associated costs, it is frequently intelligent to hire both!

 Author Bio

Felipe Felson is an experienced freight forwarder, warehouse manager, and logistics specialist who works closely with Next Stop Movers experts. His experience in the field and extensive legal education allow him to handle any task that comes his way. And he likes to share advice on topics he’s specialized in through his excellent guest blog posts!



Established in 1980 to meet the needs of a newly deregulated domestic transportation market, Armstrong & Associates provides unparalleled third-party logistics market research. With offices smack dab in Middle America (Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, to be precise) and a newsletter that is emailed to more than 88,000 subscribers globally, A&A, as the hep cats call it, churns out market estimates found in media accounts, trade publications (like you-know-who) and securities filings by publicly traded 3PLs,

One thing consumers of A&A’s research gobble up every year is the Top 25 Global Freight Forwarders List. The 2021 version (see accompanying chart) includes rankings based on 2020 gross revenue and freight forwarding volume.

Once again, DHL, Kuehne + Nagel, DB Schenker, DSV Panalpina, Sinotrans, Expeditors and Nippon Express take the power positions, but there are also new entrants: Apex Logistics International and CTS International Logistics.

Wherever your company falls (or does not fall) on the list, it is important to consider that we are (fingers crossed) coming out of unprecedented times in the ocean freight shipping game. A shipping container shortage led to a massive spike in freight rates. Of course, during the height of the pandemic, production and trade halted, leaving ocean carriers in limbo—and many are still trying to regain their sea legs. 

Yes, the busiest trade routes are humming again. The Long Beach/Los Angeles port complex experienced a 23% spike in volume in December 2020 compared to the previous year and, despite the pandemic, the second busiest December in their history. On the opposite coast, the ports of Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, also dealt with massive influxes in traffic.

Ports that did not share in that success can at least take solace in knowing congestion has created fresh headaches for the industry leaders. Maersk and MSC have pulled certain carriers from their regular rotations in the short term. Timing shipments, so products can navigate through offshore parking lots and reach store shelves in time for the holidays, has become the sweet science. 

Meanwhile, many shippers say they’re operating at losses to meet their global customers’ demands. Keep in mind this is at a time when investing much more into that magic bullet known as digitization is all the rage. The aforementioned Maersk is using technology to streamline freight booking, particularly spot booking. CMA CGM, Yang Ming Marine and Hapag-Lloyd also introduced freight booking tools. And artificial intelligence (AI) is growing as a major force in global shipping.

Here comes another headache: The reliance on tech increases the risks of cyberattacks. Since 2017, nearly half of the top 10 freight carriers worldwide were victims of digital security breaches, including a $300 million loss from Maersk due to a ransomware cyberattack.

While noble, sustainability efforts create another money-sucker for ports and logistics companies. The freight shipping industry represents approximately 2.2% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, which expected to rise by 50% by 2050 if action isn’t taken. Carriers are doing their part by switching to more environmentally friendly fuels, such as liquified natural gas (LNG). Around 13% of new vessels ordered this year are LNG fueled, because a clean planet = priceless.


2021 Rank*

Service Provider

Gross Revenue 
(US$ Millions)**


2020 Rank

1 DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding 28,453 2,862,000 1
1 Kuehne + Nagel 25,787 4,529,000 1
2 DB Schenker 20,761 2,052,000 2
2 DSV Panalpina 18,269 2,204,902 3
3 Sinotrans 12,174 3,750,000 4
4 Expeditors 10,116 1,091,380 5
5 Nippon Express 19,347 660,152 6
6 CEVA Logistics*** 7,416 1,081,100*** 7
7 C.H. Robinson 15,490 1,200,000 9
8 Kerry Logistics 6,867 1,019,924 10
8 UPS Supply Chain Solutions 11,048 620,000 8
9 GEODIS 9,135 866,631 12
10 Bolloré Logistics 5,265 761,000 11
11 Hellman Worldwide Logistics 2,972 905,100 12
12 Kintetsu World Express 5,750 640,063 13
13 Agility 4,018 771,000 14
14 Yusen Logistics 4,248 764,000 14
15 CTS International Logistics 2,160 1,021,007 Not listed
16 Hitachi Transport System 6,346 662,000 16
17 DACHSER*** 6,591 492,440 15
18 Toll Group 7,260 523,300 18
19 Maersk Logistics (DAMCO) 6,369 401,369 17
20 Apex Logistics International 2,274 190,000 Not Listed
21 Logwin 1,292 698,000 19
22 Mainfreight 2,467 347,638 21


* Ranking also factors in a forwarder’s air cargo shipments by metric tons.

** Revenues and volumes are company reported or Armstrong & Associates, Inc. estimates. Revenues have been converted to US$ using the average annual exchange rate in order to make non-currency related growth comparisons. Freight forwarders are ranked using a combined overall average based on their individual rankings for gross revenue, ocean TEUs and air metric tons.

*** Includes LCL shipments.


NTG Slides Between Old Guard and Freight-Forwarding Disruptors

If there is one common theme among newish freight-forwarding disruptors, it is that they seek to replace an old guard that relies on paper, clipboards, and telephones with a brave new world that relies on cloud software, analytics platforms, and smartphones.

The stakes are high: tracking and handling freight is a $1 trillion industry. And so, the business media falls all over itself to profile the likes of Qwyk, Flexport and Zencargo. It’s a small wonder that established players have moved into the freight forwarding “startup” space, as evidenced by Twill, a so-called “Maersk innovation.” Amazon is also breaking into the freight-forwarding market, as is another well-known disruptor, Uber, which launched Uber Freight in 2017 and expanded into Europe last year.

Falling somewhere between the newbies and the established players is Nolan Transportation Group (NTG), a multimodal freight brokerage firm that was founded in Atlanta in 2005. Featuring parcel, truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal transportation services for more than 7,000 customers across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico—as well as a carrier base with over 30,000 independent transportation/trucking companies that aid in facilitating the movement of clients’ products—NTG has mostly been in the news lately due to industry consolidation.

After Gryphon Investors injected capital into third party logistics company Transportation Insight in September, the private equity firm and the 3PL together acquired NTG three months later. Then, in January, NTG announced it had acquired Eagle Transportation LLC, a Mississippi-based freight brokerage specializing in temperature-controlled shipping. Out of the deal, NTG added Eagle’s expertise in cold-chain logistics and brokerage of refrigerated equipment, and Eagle received access to NTG’s vast pool of carrier representatives.

But NTG Freight is now seeking to turn industry heads with its new portal for carriers and shipping customers that went live for the public on Jan. 18, after months of beta testing. Those who log in 24/7 get real-time access “to every available shipment we have as a company,” says Garrett McDaniel, NTG’s vice president of Software Project Management. “Carriers like it because available loads are not on public boards where you have to beat out the competition to find lanes you are interested in running. The second a shipment is created, it shows up on our system as available.”

Previously, NTG communicated with its more than 8,000 companies and 100,000 trucking companies via fax, email, and phone. The portal makes that process communications and booking loads faster and easier, with bidding and rate confirmation handled automatically—and via a smartphone.

“We have created a few access levels for our preferred carriers, who not only see the loads available but the offer rate for that load as well,” McDaniel explains. “It’s created a bidding system that is pretty different than the eBay-style bidding that our competitors are doing.” With the latter, a bid amount is entered and after other bids are made, a “winning bid” is selected. But with the NTG portal, a carrier submits a couple of different amounts and is automatically chosen without having to debate.

Asked whether the new portal came about based on what customers were seeking or what NTG saw needed refinement, McDaniel answered, “A little bit of both. The platform was originally created based on some specific needs of carriers.”

You might assume here that NTG’s answer to those needs came in June 2019, when the 3PL deployed Descartes Systems Group’s MacroPoint, a cloud-based freight visibility solution. After all, Perry Falk, senior vice president of NTG’s Carrier Operations, said at the time: “Our customers can opt to get real-time visibility on every shipment we move. The drivers for our carriers can provide location updates with minimal interactions while in-transit, leaving us with happier carriers who can focus on driving safely.”

However, McDaniel corrects that the new portal’s inception actually stretches back a couple of years before that, when carriers were telling NTG as far back as 2017 that they needed online access to their payment information. “One thing they wanted was access to payments in real-time. Paperwork was missing on some loads, and they wanted to see information on available loads. Over time, as we grew as a development team, along with the experience of the users, things were refined internally.

“One of the very first versions that rolled out showed the payment status. You’d log in to see when you were being paid if you were paid already what the check number was and when it was mailed. Really within the last year, we rolled out a lot more core functionality, including bidding on loads, rate confirmation, as well as some of the customer-focused functionality as well.”

McDaniel considers all of this to be part of NTG’s mission “to improve the carrier partnership.” Relationships with loyal carriers and customers were already in place during the NTG portal’s beta phase. “We’ve received a ton of positive feedback, especially among the smaller carriers that have one to five trucks,” McDaniel says. “It’s been a great tool for them to be able to keep their trucks completely filled with loads purely by using the system.” Carriers “with thousands of trucks” also participated in the beta phase, he adds. “They were able to get in, play around with it and give us their feedback. We’ve taken a lot of the feedback and been able to implement changes.”

The live version features a redesigned front end, more user-friendliness and a more modern-feeling than the beta tester, according to McDaniel, who credits Gryphon Investors with steadfastly supporting his company’s high-tech vision. “They have been a really incredible partner in developing this application,” he says.

However, while new freight forwarding disruptors scramble to build new customer bases, McDaniel is also quick to applaud the NTG network with continuing to push his company to refine with the digital times.

“We have been around for 15 years,” he notes. “In that amount of time, we’ve grown a deep network of carriers and shipper partners. These were not acquired overnight as a tech startup disruptor.”

Which, McDaniel believes, gives NTG a competitive edge over the upstarts. “We have a pretty dedicated group of users. This is something we view as an enhancement for our carrier partners. You don’t ever want to replace human relationships. Rather, this is something that quite frankly helps strengthen that relationship with us.”

airfeight freight

Airfreight vs. Sea Freight – Which Works Better?

Airfreight vs. sea freight has become a burning dilemma for all those in need of this type of services. While both solutions come with a set of advantages and disadvantages, the final choice one makes will depend on a variety of factors. We are willing to share our knowledge and findings with you so that you can make the best possible decision regarding your shipment in the given circumstances. 

Airfreight vs sea freight – the costs can be a decisive factor

Undeniably, the amount of financial means necessary to afford airfreight services is considerably higher than that of sea freight. Moreover, the appearance of the largest cargo aircraft in the world announces great changes and improvements in this field. The Antonov An-225 could cause a further rise of the airfreight costs, but it will also guarantee higher quality. On the other hand, sea freight is much more affordable and, consequently, the number one choice of a vast majority of clients. Opting for sea freight provides clients with acceptable service but at a significantly lower price.

Time matters greatly!

Most often, clients want their shipment delivered as soon as possible, which can cause problems for those offering sea freight services. Not seldom do customs issues or hold-ups at ports cause serious delays. However, we must admit that a giant step forward is evident in this field. Firstly, high-quality, modern ships are much faster now than it was the case in the past. Secondly, there are some canal upgrades that can eliminate tedious and tiring delays on some routes. Finally, sea freight forwarders can guarantee delivery times, which is vital for business owners when it comes to organization.

The type of cargo affects the final choice on airfreight vs. sea freight dilemma

The type of cargo is one of the most important factors influencing the choice in the airfreight vs. sea fright dilemma. In this case, we must admit that sea fright seems like a much better solution since it has no limitations you have to be aware of. One of the crucial pros of the maritime shipping is that you can ship even the bulkiest and extremely heavy goods. Conversely, airfreight is limited in this discipline. Before you opt for this type of goods transportation, it is advisable to make sure that the type of your cargo is acceptable. In addition, there is a very long list of the items which are prohibited and those listed as hazardous materials. Depending on your final destination, the rules and laws may differ. Yet, getting sufficient information on the subject must still be the first step in the process.

Safety of your cargo is the top priority

Understandably, the safety of cargo is always the top priority. It is important to emphasize that air cargo has to be dealt with the utmost attention and in accordance with the regulations which are very strict and clear. All the crucial elements, including handling and securing your cargo as well as the proper storage, are defined by airport regulations. This is a great benefit and a guarantee that the safety of your goods will be at the maximal level. On the other hand, we cannot say that sea freight is a bad alternative either. In this case, the goods are transported in containers, but the human factor is crucial. Proper packing strategies are essential in order to decrease any chances of potential damage during transport. If this is not conducted appropriately, the chances are some of your goods might get seriously damaged or even cause further problems on the ship.

Do not forget about the accessibility of your goods

If we analyze the accessibility of your goods as one of the criteria, airfreight is a more favorable option by all means. The procedures are clear, cargo is in smaller volumes and there are no unnecessary waitings to receive your goods. Using sea freight for your cargo often results in additional costs due to heavy congestions in seaports. If your goods are not delivered at the arranged time, you are required to pay for detention and demurrage costs, which may be a heavy burden on your budget. However, we must not forget to mention an advantage sea freight offers comparing to airfreight. The accessibility to markets is much higher in case of sea freight. The reason is very simple. When unloaded from ships, containers can move further inland by using the services of intermodal shippers

Eco-friendly practices 

Finally, let us not forget about the environment when choosing between airfreight vs sea freight. Applying eco-friendly practices is becoming increasingly important, so it does not surprise this is one of the factors shippers base their decision on. According to this particular criterion, sea freight is a more reasonable option since it has a significantly better carbon footprint. Quite the opposite, airplanes are serious polluters and require special attention and measures to reduce their carbon footprint to minimal values.

Final words on airfreight vs sea freight dilemma

The decisions and choices you make concerning airfreight vs sea freight dilemma will depend on miscellaneous factors. It is of key importance to weigh the pros and cons of each of these options and then make your decision final.  A serious effort is required to negotiate the best shipping terms and only then can you expect to ship your goods completely fuss-free.


Susan Daniels is a passionate copywriter who loves exploring home improvement ideas and real estate market. Lately, she has gained considerable knowledge in the types of moving services and the qualities of respectable moving companies such as DA Moving NYC, for example. She enjoys giving advice on the best places to live and exciting places to visit. Traveling makes her happy as well as reading good books.

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Team Worldwide

Winnsboro, Texas-based Team Worldwide, which bills itself as “a global yet locally-minded freight forwarder and 3PL company,” in January proudly celebrated is its 40th anniversary in the biz.
Father and son Joe and Bobby Brunson established Team Worldwide in 1979 as a small, regional freight forwarder in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The company’s mission was “to develop a long-term relationship with each customer by providing a logistics network that offers a variety of innovative and reliable services now and for the future.” Under the third generation of family leadership, the company remains committed to the same principles.
Of course, from humble beginnings Team Worldwide built itself up to the point where its corporate headquarters in Winnsboro boasts of more than 100,000 square feet of office and warehouse space, on grounds that accommodate a state-of-the-art data and technology center that supports 40-plus locally owned branches in North America and a global customer base.
 “We appreciate this opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ as we celebrate 40 years of service,” says Team Worldwide. “We proudly remain large enough to serve you but small enough to know you!”