It has come to our attention that as companies are focusing on costs through their supply chain, there are things which seem to pass through without a challenge of questioning of their legitimacy, while other charges are scrutinized to the penny. Importers will pay for documentation fees, handover charges, Customs exam charges…all without asking question number one of their broker. And yet those same brokers feel their fees and other charges assailed and driven downwards when other people are making money, not illicitly, but improperly.
One sector where this has historically been a problem is with collect charges on air freight. Forwarders who charge 2% for collect air freight are not paying it and are using it as means to add to their profits.
When a freight forwarder using either a partner overseas or their own office in the case of a multi-national, the air freight between overseas and the United States is prepaid at a contracted rate. These partners rarely send the freight collect, which would be cause for the airline to collect that 2% fee. However, the air freight which is sent between the commercial shipper and the consignee, if on a collect basis, is usually charged that 2% that the forwarder is not paying themselves.
While we are not begrudging businesses who make money, it does bother us to see our clients and importers overcharged where a little legitimate pushback against this policy will usually make it immediately disappear.