The Difference between a Customs Clearance Broker and Freight Forwarder

If you own and manage a retail business of any size, you’re likely to have been involved in the process of importing stock from overseas to sell to your customers. You might have a regular shipment of sea freight from China to Australia come in, but how much do you really know about the entire export / import process? For example, do you know the function of international air freight forwarders and how their role differs from that of a customs clearance broker? Let’s look at each of them in greater detail and explore how they’re so instrumental in you receiving your merchandise.

What is a freight forwarder?

While in many areas of logistics there can be some degrees of overlap between specific jobs, there are enough points of difference between these two that they should be noted. A freight forwarder acts as the middle man between international sea and air freight companies and facilitates the importing and exporting of cargo from one country to another. For example if there was an order to move sea freight from China to Australia, they would be the ones responsible for organising the required amount of space on a ship and even on a train or truck once the stock hits land. They also advise the exporter and importer on the necessary fees, costs and charges that are accrued at every step and will also ensure all ts are crossed and is dotted on the documentation to avoid complications and potential legal issues.

What is a customs clearance broker?

The role of the customs clearance broker, on the other hand, is to ensure everything is in order for the cargo to successfully pass through international customs checkpoints. Their role is very technical and highly regulated and the broker themselves can be a person or a company. It should be noted that some companies will not only offer customs clearance broker services but also act as international air freight forwarders as well.

All World Logistics offers both services from our base in Melbourne. Call us on +61 (03) 9326 8899 when you need the expertise of one of Australia’s premier international sea and air freight companies.