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Wyoming Business Tips for July 26-August 1

July 10, 2015

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By John Privette, Wyoming Entrepreneur SBDC regional director

“My company is developing an export market for our products. How do I ship products to foreign buyers?” Milton, Cheyenne

Export logistics, the shipment of product from exporter to foreign buyer, may seem overwhelming.

The freight forwarder is your export team member who can reduce the logistics anxiety. As an agent for the exporter, the freight forwarder can move cargo from point A to point B. A freight forwarder brings together all the loose ends that must be coordinated to ship your company’s product to foreign buyers.

The freight forwarder performs several significant services such as:

-- Advising on exporting costs including freight costs, port charges and fees, documentation fees, insurance costs and freight handling fees for transport via air/sea/ground.

-- Advising on the most effective mode of cargo transport including booking and packing of freight.

-- Preparing and filing the required export documentation such as bill of lading and routing appropriate documents to the buyer, seller or a paying bank.

-- Making arrangements with overseas customs brokers to ensure that the goods and documents comply with the destination country’s customs regulations.

For many of these services, the forwarder will complete documents on your behalf so a limited power of attorney will be required to appoint the freight forwarder as your agent in matters dealing with the movement of freight.

Freight forwarders earn their profits through a combination of commissions on the freight they book on behalf of clients and service fees charged to clients. They are regulated and certified by the Federal Maritime Commission, which issues licenses to the freight forwarders and audits their activities. The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America is a reference to locate member freight forwarders.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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