Freight Forwarding

The freight forwarder acts as an intermediary between a shipper and a transportation services. If you are looking to built a career in freight forwarding, then you must check these interview questions to help you in your journey.

Q.1 How do you define liner service?
Liner Service operates within the parameters of a sailing schedule, with a fixed port rotation and published dates of calls at advertised ports.
Q.2 What will happen if a liner service operator that might decide to cancel the call of a vessel at a certain port or certain region?
There could be various reasons, due to which a liner service operator might decide to cancel the call of a vessel at a certain port or certain region, or the entire leg. Therefore when that happens, that particular port/region/entire route will have a “blank sailing” that simply indicates that for that week or fortnight or month (depending on the frequency of the liner service) that area will not have a vessel to discharge or load cargo.
Q.3 How do you define a Ship Charterer?
Ship Charterer helps to plan the details of the voyage, which includes calculation of cargo handling costs up to the ship and depending on the terms of shipments agreed with the shipowner (such as FLT, FIO etc) arrange shore-based cargo handling equipment where required etc. Primarily, everything which is required to ensure not just the safe loading and discharging of the goods, but also the safety of the ship and its crew by following the best practices in cargo operations.
Q.4 Explain the different types of charters?
The main types of charters are Time Charter - Time Charter is a contract in which the shipowner hires out the ship to the charterer for a stipulated period of time for a remuneration known as hire, generally a monthly rate per ton deadweight or a daily rate. Voyage Charter - The charterer hires the vessel for a single voyage, but the shipowner provides the master, crew, bunkers and supplies.. Bareboat Charter - The charterer takes responsibility for the crewing and maintenance of the ship during the time of the charter.
Q.5 What is the effect of Demurrage and Detention?
There are some port charges that may be unavoidable, such that demurrage and detention charges on the other hand are totally avoidable charges, but there are a lot of cases due to mishandling, misunderstandings and not following the proper protocols, these charges occur. Such that when they do occur these charges may create quite a financial impact on the whole business and at times these costs could be so prohibitive that some customers abandon their cargoes at destination due to these costs.
Q.6 What do you understand by line free days?
“Line free days” refer to the number of days that are allowed by the shipping line for the customer to pick up the full container for unpacking, then take it to their warehouse, unpack and return the empty to the container depot nominated by the shipping line.
Q.7 What does freight planning consist of?
Freight planning involves logistics planning, which includes a generalized approach to corporate strategic planning is outlined, and this is linked to a specific logistics design strategy. It involves product characteristics, the product life cycle, packaging and unit loads.
Q.8 What are the Seven Rights of Fulfillment?
1. The Right Product 2. To the Right Customer 3. At the Right Time 4. At the Right Place 5. In the Right Condition 6. In the Right Quantity 7. At the Right Cost
Q.9 What are the two primary functions of logistics?
Logistics provide a link between two primarily functions in a manufacturing organization: Marketing and Operations
Q.10 What are the 5P's that helps in deciding on the fundamentals for a sustainable efficiency in the system?
1. Product 2. Price 3. Promotion 4. People 5. Place
Q.11 Define a Product?
A product is a physical product or service offered to the consumer. In the case of physical products, it also refers to any services or conveniences that are part of the offering. Product decisions include aspects such as function, appearance, packaging, service, warranty, etc.
Q.12 What are the factors or triggers for change and logistics planning?
1. Increasing customer service requirements 2. A shortening of product life cycles, particularly for high-technology and fashion products 3. The need for improved financial performance at a time when companies and economies are under severe pressure 4. The development of new players with new roles in channels of distribution 5. The never-ending pressures to reduce inventories and their associated costs 6. The need to adopt a wider supply chain perspective when planning and redesigning logistics operations.
Q.13 Why the physical characteristics of the product and package are seen to be of great significance?
This is because, in distribution and logistics, we are directly concerned with physical flow movement and storage. The physical characteristics of a product, any specific packaging requirements and the type of unit load are all-important factors in the trade-off with other elements of distribution when seeking least-cost systems at given service levels.
Q.14 What does low Volume to weight ratio means?
A low ratio of volume to weight in a product generally means an efficient utilization of the main components of distribution. Thus, a low-volume/high-weight product will fully utilize the weight-constrained capacity of a road transport vehicle.
Q.15 What does high Volume to weight ratio means?
A high volume to weight ratio, tends to be less efficient for distribution. Typical products include paper tissues, crisps, disposable nappies, etc. These products use up a lot of space, and are costly for both transportation and storage.
Q.16 What does high Value to weight ratio means?
High-value products are more able to absorb the associated distribution costs.
Q.17 What does low Value to weight ratio means?
Low value to weight ratio products (eg ore, sand, etc) incur relatively high transport unit costs compared with high value to weight products.
Q.18 What are High-risk products?
The characteristics of some products present a degree of risk associated with their distribution. The need to minimize this risk means that a special distribution system design must be used.
Q.19 What are the ways of reducing costs and packaging optimization?
1. Reduction in administrative costs by reducing the number of suppliers and vendors utilized in the shipping process. 2. Reduction in handling costs by designing packaging. 3. More efficiently protecting the product by considering environmental and product factors. 4. Utilizing returnable packaging when possible.
Q.20 List some factors to be considered when designing packaging for logistics purposes?
In addition to product protection, packages should be easy to handle, convenient to store, readily identifiable, secure and of a shape that makes best use of space – usually cubic rather than cylindrical.
Q.21 What does the use of Unit load concept enables?
The use of a unit load enables goods and packages to be grouped together and then handled and moved more effectively using mechanical equipment.
Q.22 State the Principle of Unit Load?
Principle of Unit Load states that, “it is quicker and economical to move a lot of items at a time rather to move each one of them individually”.
Q.23 What are the Characteristics of a Unit Load?
1. There should be minimum number of handlings. 2. Manual handling should be eliminated. 3. Materials are assembled into a unit load for economy of handling and storage. 4. Redesign packages, containers etc. for better assembly into unit loads and retain them to prevent product damage. 5. Unit load should be as large as possible within the constraints of building, equipment etc.
Q.24 List the Commonly used methods of securing the unit loads?
1. Wire. 2. Steel trap. 3. Cloth or paper tape. 4. Adhesive. 5. Chip board or paper sheet. 6. Containers. 7. Clamps. 8. Interlocking.
Q.25 What factors should be considered for designing?
1. Material and its characteristics. 2. Quantity to be handled and duration. 3. Starting point and destination. 4. Loading and unloading techniques. 5. Objective of space utilisation. 6. Environment, storage requirements in route.
Q.26 What is the Criteria for unit load design?
1. Mechanical strength. 2. Low cost. 3. Disposable. 4. Optimum size. 5. Universal in application. 6. Stackable. 7. Easy to store. 8. Versatility. 9. Ease of unitising or de-unitising. 10. Low maintenance
Q.27 What are the basic considerations influencing transportation?
1. Customer Communications 2. Market Coverage 3. Sourcing Decisions 4. Manufacturing Operations 5. Pricing Decision 6. Customer Service Decisions
Q.28 The means of road transport may be divided into three types. What are they?
1. Man driven 2. Animal driven 3. Motor driven
Q.29 What are the Advantages of Road transport?
1. It is a relatively cheaper mode of transport as compared to other modes. 2. Perishable goods can be transported at a faster speed by road carriers over a short distance. 3. It is a flexible mode of transport as loading and unloading is possible at any destination. It provides door-to-door service. 4. It helps people to travel and carry goods from one place to another, in places which are not connected by other means of transport like hilly areas.
Q.30 What are the Limitations of Road transport?
1. Due to limited carrying capacity road transport is not economical for long distance transportation of goods. 2. Transportation of heavy goods or goods in bulk by road involves high cost. 3. It is affected by adverse weather conditions. Floods, rain, landslide, etc., sometimes create obstructions to road transport.
Q.31 List the Advantages of Rail transport?
1. It is a convenient mode of transport for traveling long distances. 2. It is relatively faster than road transport. 3. It is suitable for carrying heavy goods in large quantities over long distances. 4. Its operation is less affected by adverse weathers conditions like rain, floods, fog, etc.
Q.32 List the Limitations of Railway transport?
1. It is relatively expensive for carrying goods and passengers over short distances. 2. It is not available in remote parts of the country. 3. It provides service according to fixed time schedule and is not flexible for loading or unloading of goods at any place. 4. It involves heavy losses of life as well as goods in case of accident.
Q.33 What is a Liner?
A liner is a passenger or cargo vessel, which belongs to a regular shipping company. These ships ply over a fixed route according to a prescribed schedule or timetable.
Q.34 What are Tramps?
A tramp is a cargo ship, which does not make regular trips but plies whenever cargo is offered to it. It does not follow a fixed route or a prescribed timetable like that of liners.
Q.35 What are the Advantages of water transport?
1. It is a relatively economical mode of transport for bulky and heavy goods. 2. It is a safe mode of transport with respect to occurrence of accidents. 3. The cost of maintaining and constructing routes is very low as most of them are naturally made. 4. It promotes international trade.
Q.36 What are the Limitations of water transport?
1. The depth and navigability of rivers and canals vary and thus, affect operations of different transport vessels. 2. It is a slow moving mode of transport and therefore not suitable for transport of perishable goods. 3. It is adversely affected by weather conditions. 4. Sea transport requires large investment on ships and their maintenance.
Q.37 List the Advantages of Air transport?
1. It is the fastest mode of transport 2. It is very useful in transporting goods and passengers to the area, which are not accessible by any other means 3. It is the most convenient mode of transport during natural calamities 4. It provides vital support to the national security and defense
Q.38 What are the Limitations of air transport?
1. It is relatively more expensive mode of transport 2. It is not suitable for transporting heavy and bulky goods 3. It is affected by adverse weather conditions 4. It is not suitable for short distance travel 5. In case of accidents, it results in heavy losses of goods, property and life
Q.39 What are the activities carried out by Transportation management?
1. Maintaining and tracking of transportation rates of various modes 2. Selecting the best mode. 3. Choice of specific carriers or intermodal combinations 4. Decision making and planning of routing and scheduling of trips.
Q.40 What is the principle objective of a transport management system?
Optimising the transit system is the principle objective of a transport management system. Planning of the freight transit system is mainly critical on factors as cost, speed and reliability. The product should reach the right destination on time at the lowest possible cost.
Q.41 What are the factors responsible for Optimising the transit system?
1. Types of Product 2. Quantity to be transported 3. Destination of the goods 4. Alternative routes available 5. Modes of transport available 6. Available inter-nodal options 7. Urgency of delivery
Q.42 What is Bar-coding?
In bar-coding, an item like a carton or a shipping container can be marked with a bar-code which can be optically scanned. The scanner data can be directly fed to a computer, providing fast and accurate identification of the item.
Q.43 What is the use of EDI?
In EDI, data is passed electronically in digital format from one computer to another in such a manner that the receiving computer can process it directly.
Q.44 List some ways to reduce the adverse effect of transport on environment?
1. Make vehicles more efficient to reduce use of energy 2. Electric vehicles to be developed-electric motors are most efficient primary movers. 3. Generate clean energy through fuel cells which are significantly efficient than heat engines. 4. Streamlining the design surface vehicles which spend upto 75% of their energy on air-resistance. 5. Recycle the energy normally lost in braking.
Q.45 What is the Carriers Act 1865?
The Carriers Act 1865 lays down the rights and liabilities of the Common Carrier. The objective of the act was not only to limit the liability of the carrier for loss or damage to goods delivered to them for carriage but also to declare the liability of the carriers for loss or damage to such goods due to negligence or criminal act by themselves or their employees or agents.
Q.46 What are the two types or aspects of a costing system?
1. The recording of actual costs and performance in order to monitor and control the transport operation 2. The measuring of costs to identify the amount to allow to cover costs and to budget for a job.
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