How Do I Choose a Customs Broker?

Choosing a Customs broker is a significant decision. You want to find a broker who understands industry regulations, but also your company’s goals and unique needs.

Choosing a broker

Here are a few guiding questions as you choose a broker to handle your shipments:

Is this Customs broker CTPAT certified?

The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) is an optional program, but has quickly become an industry norm for logistics companies. Your Customs broker should be able to prove their commitment to supply chain security through a CTPAT membership. Take this time to also look over their other certifications and associations.

Is this Customs broker responsive?

You will want to work with a Customs broker who communicates with your team consistently and within a reasonable time frame.

Does this Customs broker offer other helpful services?

Instead of dividing Customs brokerage and freight forwarding services between multiple companies, consider the benefits of partnering with a single, trusted logistics company who can handle your shipments from start to finish.

Does this Customs broker understand my company’s goals?

Shipping solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all. Your Customs broker should understand:

  • your products and their shipping requirements
  • your supply chain goals and what factors matter the most to you
  • your team and what details you need to make informed decisions

How do I find a Customs broker?

Here are two lists you can work from when searching for a Customs broker:

Find a Broker by Port | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

CBP maintains a list of licensed Customs brokers on their website, and you can search by port or state to find a Customs broker near you.

NCBFAA Find a Broker/Forwarder

The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America maintains a list of Brokers and Forwarders who are members of this leading industry association.

As mentioned on their website, 97% of import entries are handled by NCBFAA members.

At C J, we take the time to get to know your business, your product, and your team. You place a lot of trust in your Customs broker, and we believe having a personal relationship and investing in a long-term partnership is important to earning that trust.

Our blog posts are for informational purposes only. While we use reasonable efforts to furnish accurate information, C J is not liable or responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any information contained herein.


Monthly Supply Chain Newsletter: The CrossDock