Freight Forwarder Miami
What do Freight Forwarders do exactly?
Why do I need one?
What are some of the things I need to know when evaluating Freight Forwarders?
What is the difference between a freight forwarder and a customs broker?
Why can’t I just ship my cargo with a shipping company directly?
On this page I will attempt to answer these and other important questions.
As your freight forwarder in Miami, or forwarding agent of choice GV USA Logistics has always played an important role in the global supply chain and international carriage of goods. Traditionally we have been the link between the owner of the goods and the carrier, and we provide forwarding or clearing services to ensure your goods arrive in a timely and cost-effective manner. We act as the agent for you, the cargo owner, and in some cases at the same time for the carrier. We are happy to work with your customs broker – if you have one. If not, we have long-established relationships with customs brokers in other countries, to whom we direct instructions for the receipt of the cargo at the destination and for customs clearance.
Since the advent of containerization we provide services for Full Container Load (FCL) and Less than full Container Load (LCL) and therefore we have undertaken activities such as packaging, labeling, cargo consolidation, and of course documentation. Additionally, we can assist in making arrangements with other multimodal transport providers to get your goods from the manufacturer to our warehouse, to the departure port and then from the destination port to your location (door-to-door service). In the role of a principal, we are known by many names, i.e. Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC), Multimodal Transport Operator (MTO), Logistics Service Provider (LSP), etc.
In a broad sense the activities we provide as a freight forwarder Miami, we serve as a key component in the global supply chain, however today a distinction has to be made between the three different roles we as a forwarder can fulfill. We can act as a simple agent on behalf of our client or the carrier, as the contracting carrier assuming carrier liability without performing the carriage ourselves (NVOCC) or as the performing carrier. Our liability depends on the particular role we serve and the governing legal regimes within which we must operate.
Depending on the origin and final destination and the nature of the cargo shipped, there may be many transportation companies involved in the movement of the goods from the manufacturer to the customer’s destination across Central and South America. GV USA Logistics often has to deal with many export and import issues that are involved in the movement of the goods.
We are typically hired to deliver the goods to our client by a specific date and in original condition. We provide our client’s with insurance services to make sure that if the items do arrive damaged; they will be reimbursed and not liable for the damages.
GV USA Logistics, as your freight forwarder Miami, we provide our clients with packaging services to ensure their goods are properly packed to ensure safe transport to their target destination. Often goods packed by the manufacturer are sufficient for transcontinental transport, but not necessarily for international shipping. There are times when the items may be either loaded in a container or loaded and unloaded several times along the route. Your goods may be allowed to be stored in environments where extreme temperatures or weather may be experienced. If an item is be shipped via air then we may suggest packaging that is lighter than normal to keep shipping costs to a minimum.
GV USA Logistics will assist our customers in providing the correct labeling required for your items. Correct labeling of packages is imperative as they are required to show the precise items in the shipping container, any hazardous items (including additional permits and documentation), country of origin, correct weight in pounds and kilograms, port of entry details, and any other details that are required in the language of the destination country.
Proper and accurate documentation of cargo is an area that should be left to professionals such as GV USA Logistics as any mistakes or discrepancies can be very costly. We have to properly and accurately prepare a number of documents that must all be 100% accurate. They include but are not limited to:
Bill of Lading (BOL) – This document is a contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier. There are two types of BOL; firstly a straight bill of lading which is non-negotiable and secondly, a negotiable or shipper’s order bill of lading. The negotiable BOL can be bought, sold, or traded while the goods are in transit. The customer will usually need an original as proof of ownership to take possession of the goods at the destination port.
Commercial Invoice – This is the bill for the goods from the seller to the buyer. It can be used to determine the true value of goods when assessing the amount of customs duty.
Certificate of Origin (COO) – This document is a signed statement which identifies the origin of the export item.
Inspection Certificate – This document may be required by the customer to certify the goods have been inspected or tested and the quality of the goods is acceptable.
Export License – This is an official government document that authorizes the export of goods in specific quantities to a specific destination.
Shippers Export Declaration (SED) – The SED is used for export statistics. It is prepared via the US Postal Service (USPS) when the shipment is greater than $500.
Export Packing List – This document is a detailed packing list that itemizes each item in the shipment, what type of packaging container was used, gross weight, and package measurements.
All of these documents MUST contain accurate and precise information or goods could be liable for fines, penalties, quarantine, or even confiscation. Customs agents have seen it all, yet some companies continue to try to “game” the system – risking significant delays, hijacking, shrinkage, customs fines, or even confiscation. Here at GV USA Logistics we will only input complete and accurate information on behalf of our clients. This is why we have a 99.5% satisfaction rating from our clients over the past 30+ years we’ve been doing this. We only know one way to ship freight to Central and South America – It’s Called – The Right Way.
Did you know that if there is any discrepancy between your bill of lading, the packing list, and the actual goods in your shipment, you can be fined 10% of the value of your shipment? And do you know what type of goods require that import taxes be paid before the goods are shipped? This mistake alone could cost you more in fines than the cost of your entire shipping?
Companies planning to export cargo from countries around the world to anywhere in Central or South America should look to GV USA Logistics to not only save time and effort, but to ensure safe and timely delivery to your destination in the same condition as when they left, all without incident, customs hassles, fines, or confiscation.