Customs brokers: what do they do for your freight?

By Diana Kepler (customs broker) and Amber Cox (certified customs specialist)

Defining what customs brokers do each day can be compared to a general contractor. When a contractor is hired to oversee a project, whether commercial or residential, that professional is responsible for the overall management, vendor partners, communication, information and final delivery. It’s a great comparison to customs brokers and the benefits to a customer.

  • Convenience: Hiring a customs broker takes the hassle of completing forms for filing your customs clearances.
  • Assist & Guide: A quality customs broker can inform the importer of the requirements of their shipments/entries and guide the importer through the import process from start to finish.
  • Experience: The right customs broker will have experience with working directly with Customs Border Protection and the 47 other government agencies which could be involved with your shipment.
  • Established Relationships: An experienced customs broker has developed a rapport with carriers, truckers, US Customs, & government agencies such as FDA, EPA, NTHSA, etc.; and can help improve the routing of your freight or in some cases be your one stop shop!
  • Familiar with the rules and regulations and the nearly 200 forms required for import and exports!
  • Timeliness & ease of mind: In the hands of the right customs broker, the importer’s entries will be filed timely via the Automative Commercial Environment (ACE) and the broker will help streamline the import process.

Our Cargo Services team has three certified customs specialists and a licensed U.S. Customs Broker. The certifications are earned through the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America. The designations mean our professionals are experts in ever-changing and complex import regulations. Read more about the team by clicking here.