Thursday, July 15, 2010

US Customs Broker and US Freight Forwarder

US Customs Broker and US Freight Forwarder
Part 2

After I reviewed Bill 1, I went down to my local community bank and filled out the paperwork to wire the funds to my new Service Provider so he would release my garments to me. I chalked it up as a lesson in experience. Rule 4. Always ask about the money.

I was surprised the following day with another invoice. This was for $145.56 and the service was described as Destination CFS charges “Warehouse In and Out Charge”. Give me a BREAK. And again there was the “wire money into my bank before we release your garments.”

I asked about this charge and my supplier explained that it was for using a warehouse in Greensboro, NC which is the closest port to Winston Salem – about 25 miles away. And, I stated that I would not wire the $145.56 because there is a 22.00 wire fee and I just paid to wire you yesterday. I could mail a check or deposit to their bank account. My new service provider was OK with a check. Look, $145.56 for a warehouse In and Out charge in Greensboro was absurd and I know because I’ve used warehouses in Greensboro and Norfolk Va. It looked obvious to me that my new service provider was tacking a stiff profit onto the local warehouse fee.

So, I wrote the check and added it to my original learning experience tab.

Imagine my Surprise when 2 weeks later I received MY 3rd Bill. This was for $125.00 and the description was for Drayage. This is the transportation cost to move the goods 25 miles from Greensboro to Winston Salem. I’m disputing this charge because from day one – the terms were delivered Winston Salem.

In the end, it’s actually cheaper to air ship by a courier service and deliver directly to my door verses this landed cost. It’s sad that businesses take advantage of small companies and even sadder that I passed up “due diligence” and assumed I’d be treated fairly.

There are also sites on line that sell a software that allows you to make entry without a broker. Maybe I’ll try it one day. Here’s a quote from a blog that lists 10 reasons to file your own – number 8 is what I’ve been writing in part 1 :

“#8 – Because you´re probably already doing most of the work

In many cases we´ve found that the majority of US importers are already providing the essential entry data (such as tariff classification, value and origin) to their appointed broker. If that´s the case, the remaining data elements on the CBP entry document are elementary in nature (such as vessel name and import date).

All for now!


The Underwear Maven


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