We see more direct control of freight moving back to the country of origin this year. With that, we believe the number of importers filing their own brokerage or at least wanting greater visibility and reduced rates for the shipment process.

Carriers are attempting to make it easier for shippers to work directly with them, and they will continue to improve this process over time. The forwarders and brokers who will prosper are those who learn to work with their customers and provide innovative and flexible solutions to the new challenges that these changes will bring forth.

Providing customers with a strong platform for Importer Security Filing, and support for upcoming changes to ISF will be critical. Utilizing technology, such as smartphone applications, to provide status updates on shipments and event alerts, will allow forwarders and brokers to maintain their role as a critical part of the logistics puzzle.

The ability to provide an assured supply chain will start to become more important as compliance programs such as the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism are extended further back into the supply chain. The importance of these programs will increase as Customs enables quicker clearance for these cargoes and slows down the rest.

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