What’s the Difference Between a Freight Forwarder and a Customs Broker?


Understanding the nitty-gritty of the supply chain process, including the difference between a freight forwarder and customs broker, is extremely crucial to succeed in the international trading industry.

Regardless of how big your business is, knowing the entities that will bring your shipment to its intended destination efficiently is imperative to maintain efficient supply chain operations and meet the time requirements of your clients and the market.

For many import and export businesses, there are basically two entities involved in moving your shipment from Point A to Point B, which are freight forwarders and customs brokers.

While seemingly fulfilling the same role, both satisfy different requirements of trade businesses, and each delivers advantages which their clients would not be able to achieve in other ways.

Freight forwarders are an extremely popular choice for companies that don’t have the necessary human and technological resources to manage their shipping operations.

Their main function is to help the business or the shipper of the goods to find a reliable carrier that ship their cargos under the terms negotiated by the forwarder as well. Aside from that, they can also assemble and consolidate smaller shipments from different shippers to make one bulk shipment, and vice versa.


Some freight forwarders also offer storage facilities and trucking services in order to offer complete freight services to import and export companies.

A Customs broker, on the other hand, deals with the government and port authorities with jurisdiction over cargo importation.

They are extremely vital if the business don’t want to invest too much time and money meddling with the legalities of their import products themselves.

If you are just starting in the international trading industry and the terms freight forwarder and customers broker still confuses, we’re here to help you out.

Check out this infographic provided by Excelsior, as they discuss in detail the differences between a freight forwarder and a customer broker, and the benefits that each can provide your business.

Freight forwarder and customs broker article and permission to publish here provided by Victor at excelsior.ph. Originally published on Supply Chain Game Changer on May 16, 2019.

2 thoughts on “What’s the Difference Between a Freight Forwarder and a Customs Broker?”

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