Shipping takes longer but it’s cheaper. Many importers only use air freight for emergency situations or very small, lightweight cargo.
Forwarding or Clearing Agent
At this stage, you will need a freight forwarder or clearing and forwarding agent. This person’s role is to ensure that your cargo is transported across international boundaries in the most efficient and economical way. Agents also handle customs clearance, including related documentation needs and exchange control requirements, and any other permits required by law.
Getting a good agent is crucial to the success of your import business. Most agents have an international network of branch offices or associates, and beginner importers very often use agents suggested to them by their supplier.
While your goods are in transit, you will need to take out marine insurance for them, depending on what terms of delivery you have agreed with your supplier – i.e. if they are responsible for the goods only up until they are shipped. Marine insurance covers all types of transport insurance, whether your goods cross an ocean or not.