Clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents are experts when it comes to getting the goods cleared through customs formalities, coordinating with the carrier and taking care of all shipping and delivery related activities. The presence of a C&F agent allows the exporter to concentrate on their core business activities. By selecting the ideal C&F agent you ensure smooth conduct of business and timeliness of delivery without actually getting involved in the clearing and forwarding activities. Selecting a C&F agent is a crucial part of your export business. The efficiency of your C&F agent will eventually impact the timeliness, which in turn will matter a lot to your customers. It will also decide the need for your involvement in the C&F process itself. While finalizing a C&F agent, you have to consider the services that a C&F agent can provide, what are the areas of expertise of your selected C&F agent(s) and what are the services that you expect out of them.
Experience plays a major role in the efficiency of the clearing and forwarding agent, and it is not something that you can easily gauge. The problem-solving capacity of the C&F agent can increase only with experience, be it problems related to customs clearance, related to government policies and their interpretation, logistics problems involving the carrier or the exporter, and financial problems. If you manage to rope in an experienced player from the C&F industry, you will have a partner who can anticipate a problem before it happens, and also knows exactly how to tackle a particular problem, in the off chance that one crops up. The cost of hiring the best C&F agent in the market will come at a cost, so if you are working on a strict budget you will have to balance your choice with the cost involved.