About the Blog
About the Author
The MBA Suppliers freight forwarding and logistics blog was created as a way to provide advice and information related to the logistics, forwarding, and shipping industries.
Amanda is a logistics and freight forwarding professional who has over 5 years of experience in the international shipping industry.
It is currently being maintained by one person (see above) and is based solely on her expertise. Therefore, you may find information you may not agree with, or think is accurate. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that this is just a general blog meant for beginners, or those who are new to the world of freight, and should be used for educational purposes only (not a replacement for professional advice).
Customs Broker Information
Benefits Of Customs Brokers
Getting something tied up in customs is a frustrating affair. Even if it’s something small like a new pair of socks you bought for yourself, to a big company shipment, you’ll be spending a lot of time waiting for it to be released. That’s where custom brokers come in, helping you solve those issues. Before going on and explaining their advantages, it’s important to begin explaining what a customs broker actually does.
What is a Customs Broker?
So you might be wondering what a customs broker is, and what they can do. In a nutshell, they’re your contact for border issues, taking care of the complications of importing or exporting goods through customs. They have experience in the field, so they’re familiar with any issues that might come along, and how to best deal with them. They’ll also be aware of all the regulations around the transfer of your product, as well as making sure that the goods go through customs on time.
They might bring additional assistance, but that depends mostly on the service you’ll be hiring. They might take care of customs bonds, warehousing, cargo insurance, or tracking for your product. No matter what they’ll be doing, it’s important that they communicate with you consistently over any issues.
With that out of the way, you might be wondering: why should I get one? Here are some of the advantages they bring.
Because you’ll be having an expert dealing with all the paperwork, you won’t have to stress a bit over the customs procedure. Not only that, odds are your shipments will arrive sooner, as the customs broker can take care of things in advance, and can help you with any details you might’ve not known. This means your goods will arrive on time, or even early!
It is not rare for there to be a customs policy change for a country, and by having a customs broker you don’t need to worry about keeping up to date on those details. A custom’s broker is supposed to know about any changes in the law, and by hiring one you won’t have to worry about that.
Taking aside the stress of shipping, there are also a lot of details you need to take care of, and they start taking a toll on your valuable time. You won’t have to worry about procedures or paperwork, as the broker will handle all of the details. Not only are they going to take care of the details for you, but they’ll also do them a lot quicker, as they have more experience with it.
Customs brokers are experienced in most things relating to customs, so they might be able to help you out with other details and give you helpful advice. Apart from the help in taxes, tariffs and regulations, they can also update you so you can plan your shipments without issues. They’ll also inform you if your shipment meets regulations, and in case they don’t, they can help you get things ready so that they’re ready to ship.
International Shipping Information
How To Ship Your Products Internationally With Freight Forwarders
So you’ve finally found a new international client, and are trying to find out how to ship the product to them, or maybe you found a great product you want to sell locally, but you need to find out how to bring it to your country. Thing is, you have to deal with different regulations for both countries (and maybe more if your shipment has to go to another country!), so what are you going to do?
Who Are Freight Forwarders?
Freight forwarders (like the team at Packair.com) are agents that make sure all goods reach the intended destination in time and safely. They’ll handle all of the shipping details, like cleaning customs, handling cargo insurance, negotiating freight charges, taking care of documents, preparing the shipment, etc. In a nutshell: they’re very handy to have around.
Hiring The Right Freight Forwarder
Because they’re going to be dealing with your cargo, and could make the difference between running a successful operation or not, you always want to get the best available Freight Forwarder. So now, how do you choose the right one?
One of the most reliable solutions is one of the easiest to do. If you’re working with another supplier or a company of decent size, odds are they already have a reliable freight forwarder you can contact. Ask them for a list of recommendations to make your job easier.
You can also check how legitimate they are by looking for what trade organizations are they part of, as well as checking if they have additional qualifications. Obviously, these will vary depending on the involved countries, but these should work as an example.
For those companies located in the US, there are two kinds of freights you should look after, ocean and air freight. If they’re handling ocean freight, they’ll be certified by the Federal Maritime Commission, and if they’re handling air freight, they’ll be licensed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Checking if they’re members of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA) is also a relatively safe way of going forward.
Many companies may call themselves international, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be covering every country. Whenever you’re looking for a freight forwarder, look for the information about the destinations they work with, so you’ll be sure your goods are going to the right place. You should also check if they work door to door (meaning they have a full delivery service), or if they only work port to port.
Taking Care Of Your Package
To have a good relationship with your freight forwarding company, you need to have a good line of communication with them. Look for a company that will give you the number of an actual person that can work directly, instead of just using an automated service to deal with you.
It’s also important to ask what tracking software they have. It’s not always going to be a good idea to call, so having some way to check what’s happening online is going to be handy. Professional tracking systems will provide detailed reports, giving purchase order management and exception notification, as well as digital copies of all paperwork.