After the finished product, good, raw material or raw material has been prepared (packed, packed) from the plant or point of origin for export, the physical international distribution (DFI) begins; This process is constituted by a series of links and activities without which it would not be possible to dispatch the cargo abroad and which, in addition, are decisive to meet objectives in terms of time, product quality and costs-profitability.
Those responsible for carrying out the activities of the DFI are foreign trade operators, which are companies that maintain daily relations with Customs and intervene in carrying out customs procedures. In a basic classification, the foreign trade operators are: the international freight forwarder, the shipping agents or airlines, the local carrier, customs warehouses, customs agency.
Each operator represents a link in the foreign trade logistics chain whose purpose as a whole is that the cargo leaves the country of origin and reaches the country of destination.
Who are these operators and what functions do they have?
The first link is the international freight forwarder, also known as freight forwarders. They are legal entities that offer an integral management of the load mobilization.
Since the provision of services in most operations is usually carried out through an outsourced structure, the freight forwarder is the coordinator and responsible for the correct execution of the operation and the client’s only point of contact (producer and / or exporter) and Customs.
Its functions are related to the commercialization of the spaces of the international transport unit, be it shipping or air line; they will mediate on behalf of the clients before these carriers in order to obtain spaces in which the cargo is moved, to convenient freight and itineraries. They even take care of the organization of the distribution and delivery of the merchandise in final destination. In addition, freight forwarders also carry out documentary procedures before Customs.
The first responsibility of the cargo agent is to obtain the spaces in the air or sea transport unit (international transport).
The international carrier (airlines and shipping companies) is the operator that handles the physical transfer of products between different countries.They can be air, sea, land, cargo consolidators, cargo agencies or multimodal operators. In addition, these companies issue transport documents, which are requirements for the completion of procedures before Customs.
The next step of the freight forwarder, after having obtained the space in the international transport unit, is to coordinate a local carrier, operator whose responsibility is to take the merchandise from the workshop or the exporter’s plant to enter the storage or temporary storage where It must be submitted for review for its corresponding clearance by customs.
Customs warehouses (within which is the temporary storage) are enclosures or storage spaces of private or public property that have an authorization of Customs to operate as such and that are under the control of the same, which regulates the income or exit of the goods that are in said enclosures. They are considered another foreign trade operator.
Having arrived at this last stage of the physical distribution, and about to embark the merchandise towards its final destination on the other side of the sea or the national border, the customs agency intervenes to complete the last requirements for the shipment; this operator, intermediating by the state (represented by the customs), obtains the corresponding permit so that the cargo can leave the country of origin without problems.
Also called official dispatchers, they are responsible for guiding the most convenient customs regime to be used according to the specific international commercial operation agreed between importer and exporter.