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International freight shipping is a complex process that requires sellers and buyers to pay close attention to changing policies. The destination country may have complex tariffs and quota policies, especially in competitive industries.

A freight forwarder helps customs procedures go more smoothly by helping senders with appropriate paperwork. Freight forwarders can also minimize other delays by working closely with carriers to ensure a smooth journey at a reasonable price.

Customs Clearance Process

Both exporting and importing have their own customs clearance procedures. Exporting tends to be less complex than importing, as an exporting country’s authorities are primarily looking at export declarations and other documents to make sure shipments are safe and legal.

Once a shipment arrives in its importing country, customs officials there check carefully to make sure shipments are free of hazardous materials or contaminants. Although paperwork requirements vary depending on the country of origin and import type, it must all be thoroughly completed. U.S. customs officials screen shipments very carefully and will delay any shipment that does not meet strict requirements.

A freight forwarder with extensive customs brokerage knowledge can help with both parts of the customs clearance process. Since some types of imports require extensive advance paperwork, freight forwarders must keep careful track of deadlines for notifying importing countries’ agencies of shipment contents.

Freight Forwarder Responsibilities

Other responsibilities of a freight forwarding company include coordinating with carriers to deal with various delays along the route, including closures related to COVID-19. At times, shipments may need to be rerouted through other ports or modes of transportation to ensure timely delivery.

Freight forwarding responsibilities may be customizable, depending on the seller and buyer’s own shipping capabilities. For example, export haulage to the freight forwarder’s origin warehouse may be provided by the seller, or the buyer may provide haulage to the final destination.

Incoterms DDP vs. DDU

Quotas, Customs Brokers, and More

Certain imports are subject to quotas and may be delayed if they arrive in a country after the quota for the year has already been met. In worst-case scenarios, perishable goods may be destroyed instead of stored for the duration. Freight forwarders can help senders double-check applicable import quotas and ensure that a shipment will have no problems clearing customs.

Although customs brokers can be a helpful part of customs clearance, they may charge high fees, especially if their services are requested at the last minute. Storage fees, administrative fees, and other charges add up if a customs broker has to facilitate the payment of duties or complete missing paperwork. A reputable freight forwarder can minimize customs broker fees or avoid them entirely by using Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) Incoterms.

World-Class Freight Forwarding

Your supply chain is a critical part of your business, and any delays or disruptions will almost certainly affect profits. Shipping delays may force you to source your materials or products from a more expensive manufacturer or could jeopardize contracts with clients.

Protect your business by working with a freight forwarder who can get the job done right. Asiana USA has a proven track record of success in dealing with trade between Asia and the U.S. We have offices in China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh in addition to our U.S. offices.

Our extensive knowledge of shipping and global logistics helps us avoid delays and minimize disruptions due to weather and other factors. Contact us today at (855)-500-1808 for more information about our services and how we can help your business.

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