customs international shipping

International Shipping: A Complex, Balancing Act (Part 3: Customs Brokers)

Sending goods across international borders is challenging. If you’ve ever seen performers on unicycles holding long sticks in each hand with dinner plates spinning on top of the sticks… well, you get the picture. In this 3-part series you’ll learn about critical components that keep the plates from raining down.

PART 3: Customs Brokers

The first two parts of this post covered trade compliance and freight forwarding. Read on as the final installment covers Customs brokers…

Customs brokers are licensed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and provide expertise in all Federal entry requirements and valuation of cargo. They also deal with duties, fees and other transactions required for import and export. Customs brokers are an excellent source for information regarding rules and regulations relating to international commerce.

C-TPAT is an acronym for the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, a supply chain security certification program started in 2001 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Shipper benefits of using a C-TPAT certified transportation provider include expedited paperwork and fewer inspections. Similar to LEAN manufacturing, the rigorous examination of processes C-TPAT applicants go through also helps them identify inefficiencies or workflow problems and take corrective action.

It’s important to have a trusted and experienced partner handling the higher level of complexity in international shipping. The best solutions are provided by 3PL partners using the Co-Managed approach. This model brings valued expertise to the specific service levels you need, supported by actionable data and reporting. Look for a robust, customizable Transportation Management System that provides real-time analytics such as forecasting and trending. The resulting business insight will drive informed business decisions that avoid costly problems.

For further information on these or other agencies and regulations please get in touch with Transportation Insight.

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