Many importers and exporters, especially beginners, assume that freight forwarders and customs brokers are two names for the same thing. I'm afraid that's not true.
Freight forwarders and customs brokers provide specific types of services, and each play an important role in international trade and international shipping. Many international transactions use the services of both forwarders and brokers, and sometimes a single company will do both.
Here's what you need to know about forwarders and brokers, how they fit in the international shipping process and specific examples of how they may be used.