Old black-and-white movies about faraway places often included some shady character who loosely described his employment with the single word “freight,” or a more exotic title like “customs broker.” In spite of the seedy reputation of those characters, the freight broker or freight forwarder is federally licensed professional whose continued income depends not only upon staying within the letter of the law, but on providing the level of service that shippers demand. Ways to get a Freight Broker: Go to the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America website. This national industry organization, founded in 1897, not only sets industry standards but works with Customs and the network of other government agencies involved in moving freight, both domestically and internationally. Click on the tab labeled, “Find Members.” Click on “Membership Directory” in the column on the left side of the page. Enter the name of the city and state where the goods to be moved are located. Click on the “Contact Name” link for each company you wish to contact. The company name, address and website for the company, as well as the name and direct telephone number for the contact person, will be provided. Contact at least three brokers and request a quote, giving them the specifics of the shipment, including the the type of goods, the size of the total shipment in cubic meters, the pickup location, the destination and the planned date of shipment. Choose one, and keep in mind that a more expensive service may include a greater level of customer care.
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