If your business is anticipating shipping a large number of goods from one point to another, you need to think about how your shipping line will work. The logistics of your shipping service is an essential asset in your business.
Two key entities in your supply line are freight forwarders and clearing agents. In the simplest terms, a freight forwarder manages the motion of your cargo from point A to point B, whereas a customs agent clears the way for the shipments.
In very few instances, freight forwarding and clearing agent positions are held by a single person. In most cases, however, these two positions are separate and for a good reason. They have unique responsibilities and, if you’re someone who needs to move large shipments of goods overseas or across borders, you need to know the differences between them.
A freight forwarding agent is integral in the international shipping trade. This agent manages your shipment’s journey from the manufacturer to the warehouse or fulfillment center. This process involves a lot of working parts.
A freight forwarder:
- has experience in all forms of cargo transport – air, ocean, road, and rail
- can provide cost-appropriate transportation of your goods
- books the cargoes
- negotiates freight rates with shipping lines
- provides storage for the cargoes
- delivers the shipments according to the client’s specifications
- provides a bill of lading to the client promptly
A clearing agent ensures legal and comfortable passage through border agencies, negotiating with local customs authorities and managing customs inspections. Sometimes a freight forwarder will take charge of the customs clearance aspect of a shipping line, but most of the time, these two positions separate.
A clearing agent:
- is an accredited company in their country of origin
- organizes the appropriate documentation for crossing borders and entering and leaving countries with cargoes
- understands duty and VAT charges when importing goods into a country
- comprehends duty drawback
- does not issue bills of lading
- does not negotiate pricing with shipping companies,
- can be designated by the freight forwarder or by the importer or exporter
In the import/export business, timely arrivals of the correct quantity of goods are paramount to your company’s success. Two entities who can make or break the equilibrium of your shipping lines are a freight forwarder and a clearing agent.
At Asiana USA, we manage your freight supply line and shipping process, from shipping to customs to storage. Asiana USA’s highly professional staff of shipping experts can handle the logistics of your supply line. Contact Asiana today at Asiana.com or call us at 855-500-1808 to request a quote.