Job Title: Ocean Import/Export Expeditor
Type of Company: Large freight forwarding company (company moves freight via air and ocean all over the world).
Education: BA, French, University of Connecticut
Previous Experience: I was in the wine importing business and steel importing businesses formerly.
Job Tasks: I prepare shipment files for the ocean freight broker in the ocean import department of our company, then answer any emails that have come in over night for either import or export shipments. Files have to be passed to the broker in the department for the customs clearance that is done 4-5 days before arrival of the vessel. I also send delivery orders to shipping lines and truckers so containers and less than container loads can be delivered.
I gather export documents that I have received from export customers and send the information to our booking department. When shipments have been booked, I send the shipping and container loading information to the customer. I call warehouses to check on availability of freight and contact truckers to have them pick the freight up. I also contact customers with delivery date information, prepare billing sheets for invoicing and do the data entry for invoicing and send out invoices.
I go through folders for a key account and make sure billing is done or the folder is passed on to the broker for clearance. If the folder isn't ready, I have to gather the documents and let the origin offices know if the paperwork is not in order. I pass trucker's invoices in to the accounts payable department, I check with shipping lines for releases of freight so that truckers can go in to pick them up, I prepare FedEx envelopes with checks to shipping lines, truck lines, warehouses, etc. And I make sure files are filled out and ready for filing away.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best part of the job is when a customer expresses satisfaction for a job that I have done well. It gives me satisfaction to do a quote and get a customer to try our services for export.
The worst part of the job is having to tell a customer that an urgent shipment will not make it to their company on time. Also there are time crunches that make fitting in all duties difficult, especially at the end of the month.
Job Tips: There is no real schooling for this job. If it interests you, get a job at a freight forwarder at an entry level. This will entail a lot of clerical work, so be prepared.
It would help to have good telephone skills as you have to speak with customers, brokers, truckers and shipping lines on a daily basis.
You need to like working with people as the atmosphere can get tense and to have a lot of patience in dealing with different personalities.
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