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Why is My Shipment Stuck in Customs?

Your import supply chain has many moving parts, and in order for it to be as efficient as possible all those parts should move like clockwork. If your current supply chain is wrought with storage charges, delayed shipments, and a lack of direction or organization, you can take steps to improve it. The hallmarks of a good supply chain will be visibility, decreased costs, and an on-time performance.

The solution is to gain control of the import process by working with the business partners in your supply chain. ‘Customs delays’ are typically due to incorrect documentation, forwarders not knowing to whom they should turn over the documents, delayed payment of collect charges, a broker not having a POA, or a broker not knowing how to clear a specific shipment.

When a client calls to check on the status of a shipment, more often than not the response is “your shipment is stuck in customs.” This all too familiar phrase is essentially the logistics equivalent of “the check is in the mail.” Forwarders and brokers rely on the naiveté and inexperience of shippers and importers by deflecting their own underperformance onto the customs clearance process.

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