custom broker VS frieght forwarding

Custom Broker versus Freight Forwarder – Is There a Difference?

For many international companies, shipping goods across country and state lines is a common part of doing business. There are a variety of requirements from each country, in terms of paperwork and declarations, as well as fees that must be addressed before shipments can be released. With one wrong move or missing paperwork, there could be costly delays that negatively impact your ability to do business.

To avoid any of those potential issues, you might be considering using experienced outside help. However, before you make a decision, it is important to know what type of help will best fit your needs. Let’s start by defining the differences between a customs broker and a freight forwarder.

What is a Freight Forwarder?

A freight forwarder is typically someone who has a number of professional connections, thus creating a network that can help it focus on logistics and the actual transport of any goods or products. As a freight forwarder, they will serve as a direct contact with anyone coming in contact with your goods. That could include all the different manners of transport, such as trucks, planes, boats, or a combination of these.

The result is that they can see the shipment from its origin right to its destination, handling all the paperwork in between. As a business, a freight forwarder can be a cost-effective option, because they charge one fee for the entire process.

What is a Customs Broker?

The customs broker, on the other hand, is licensed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that supports importers and exports. They will make sure that all information and payments are made promptly to the CBP. They have expert knowledge in procedures, policies, classifications, valuations, rates of duty, as well as taxes and fees, all related to your shipments. They become the middleman between you as the importer and the custom department of the country where you are importing the goods into.

The Difference Between the Two

While a freight forwarder has a variety of responsibilities, the customs broker has a specific job. Many freight forwarders choose to become customs brokers as well, thus allow them to offer these services as a combination, or separately as the situation requires.

There are a variety of benefits that come with working with these individuals. They can make the shipping of your goods less complicated and help you to keep things moving on the right timeframe for your business.

Exporters may choose to use a specific freight forwarder that also has ties with a customs broker, thus giving them the benefits of both. Regardless of how you choose to handle your exporting and importing needs, it is important that you make sure to access expert services. After all, the normal business owner is not going to have the time or expertise to keep up with the constantly changing rules and regulations related to the world of importing and exporting.

If you are looking for a trusted customs broker with freight forwarding experience, then contact us today to learn how we assist you through the shipping process and minimize your delays.

Atlanta Customs Brokers is one of the oldest and most trusted customs brokerage and shipping firms in Atlanta. Established in 1985, our company has been a fixture in and around the Atlanta airport and Savannah port for more than 31 years. We enjoy working with our international partners and enjoy what we do. If you are a first-time importer or exporter or a large corporation, we can handle your needs.