Friday, November 6, 2009

Ask the Wizard: When & Where Brokers Work

Each Friday, the Wizard joins us to share an answer to one of the questions asked during the week. This week, we had an excellent question about when and where brokers work.

Where can I find a job working for a broker and what kind of hours can I expect to work?

Customs brokers generally work in offices located in large cities that have CBP offices and at border crossing areas. There are 327 official ports of entry in the United States and 15 Preclearance offices in Canada and the Caribbean. When possible, brokers tend to locate their operations close to CBP offices and/or airport facilities to expedite the clearance process. Click
HERE to review a list of CBP ports by state.

Depending on the location and type of job, most brokers work standard daytime hours; however, brokers may be on call 24 hours a day in some areas where CBP operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For example, the express couriers such as FedEx, UPS and DHL operate 24 hours a day and have CBP employees on site at designated hours. Many of those CBP officers work at night to clear packages so they can be delivered the next day; therefore, the broker must work at night. Volunteering for the night shift can be a great opportunity to gain experience. Determine the type of schedule you’d like to have and the location where you’d like to live. Then check out the brokers, forwarders, importers and other companies that may hire licensed brokers. Do research by checking out these sites. Key in various combinations of job titles and locations to provide more options.

Industry organizations such as the International Compliance Professional Association (ICPA) and the National Customs Broker and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) are good sources for general information, job opportunities and networking.

Do you have a question for the Wizard? Submit your question by clicking on the link in the space for “Ask the Wizard.” See you next Friday!

No comments: