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resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Forwarding CompanyConfusing Forwarding Services


I am very very new in using Forwarder service. Most of my stuff are sent through courier services.

Recently I need to ship in a 200kg furniture from Germany for my design office and I got a lot of TROUBLES from the appointed forwarder (let's call it [P]) who totally jeopardized the forwarding companies image. Maybe it is normal to go through this kind of ISSUES or TROUBLES but I will list them down and hope people who are new in forwarding can be either aware of it or... forwarding company that are offering services can give a better explanation to their customers.

# ISSUE 1 : Signing Forwarder Appointment Agreement before releasing Quotation

The sale representative from [P] ask me to sign an agreement: FORWARDER APPOINTMENT AGREEMENT before she could issue me a QUOTATION.

When I question her about why do i need to sign an agreement moreover i am just asking for quotation and the delivery time.

Reason from the sales rep. : "This is Normal Procedure."

Since my supplier had sent out items from Germany through this forwarder and he advice us to go with them, we decided to sign the agreement and get the quotation.

# ISSUE 2 : Confusing Information in Quotation

The quotation from [P] comes in 4 Pages
Page 1: Cover Letter - Wrong Address and Wrong Company Name

Page 2: OCEANFREIGHT IMPORT and LOCAL HANDLING TARIFF with 12 items, which are:
1. custom documentation (1 set declaration) $XX,
Per each set $XX
2. Handling Fees Minimum Charges $XX
Per CMB/Ton $XX
3. Forwarding Fee $XX
4. Attendance to Custom Formalities $XX
5. EFT (if applicable) $XX
6. K1A Form (if applicable) $XX
7. EDI/SMK Charges $XX
8. THC/ LOLO (LCL on per cmb/ ton basis) $XX
9. Agency Fee (Per DO or IDD) $XX
10. DO Fee $XX
11. Delivery Charges:
1 tonner : $ XX
3 tonner : $ XX
8 tonner : $ XX
40 footer : $ XX
12. Import Manifest Fee (if applicable) per D/O : $ XX

* items 1, 2, 3, 4 subject to 5% service charge *


Cost : $ XX

1. Pickup $ XX
2. B/L Charges : $XX
3. Zapp-Fee, per document : $XX
4. ISPS-Fee : $XX
5. LCL-Charges : $XX

for someone who has the first time experience using a forwarder... is confusing.
I totally have no ideas are all these items and I called up the [P] sales who said before, " ... It was a great pleasure talking to you..." which i think she might be helpful.

and she told me: "This is Normal Procedure."

I told her I dun understand 90% of the quotation and would you please explain to me per item and roughly how much am I looking at for the total services.

Sadly, she couldn't give me an answer except telling me this is the NORMAL CUSTOM PROCEDURE. After a few rounds of PRESSING and BEGGING for some roughly how much I will be billed for using your services... she said... roughly about $XXXX...

then.. base on the [P] estimated cost which i still have no idea what was the quotation about just knowing there will be a rough lump sums of $XXXX i agreed upon their services.

Why do I still use them?
Because they told me I already appointed them as the forwarder.


since i already appointed them.. and i cannot go with other forwarder... i have no choice and i go with them... it sounds a bit weird and stupid for myself.. but.. anyhow... i don't think a international forwarding company would wanna cheat my money and wasn't SUCH a BIGGGGG figure... so what the heck...

good news is... i sit back after agreeing with their service and waiting for my items to arrive 4 -6 weeks as they promised.

on the 6th week, another issue OCCURRED


We were notified that, our letterhead address and our company registration address are not the same one... and we have to change it to the same one.

It wasn't the same because we did not use the headquarters address.

and they told us... they couldn't perform our custom clearance due to this issue and the agreement is not VALID.

but.. but.. but...

I thought we couldn't choose another forwarder because we already sign an agreement and now.. the agreement is not VALID...

we are expecting the shipment to arrive and they told us now our agreement is not VALID, so immediately we sent in a new agreement to them.

Another person from the [P] Company under their Oceanfreight Department called up and said their Sales Rep. told them we decided not to use their services. We got the shocked of our lives... after 6 weeks.. they told us... We decided to use another forwarder.

Reason is because... they did not receive our ORIGINAL COPIED of the agreement which already been sent out. But they didn't received. (they claimed the LOCAL POST are not reliable) We immediately sign another SAME AGREEMENT and COURIER to them.

Finally... they said everything is GOOD.




now and today we are entering the 9th week, the shipment is 3 weeks late and they cannot let us know the delivery date...



A few days ago.. they send us a 7 pages custom duties invoice in TIFF format.

GREAT.. TIFF FORMAT ... how am i going to open this?

luckily my colleagues export it into PDF and we could view it.

It had a duties of 10% of sales tax which includes:
1. FOB $ XX

and again.. we called up and ask... why does duties include the freight and insurance...

well.. guess what the answer is... "This is Normal Custom Procedure."

anyway... i just want my shipment to be in.. is already 3 weeks late...


what should we do facing these kind of issues with FORWARDERS...

Is it normal .. are all these confusion normal?
or is there really no other explanation than... this is just NORMAL CUSTOM PROCEDURE?!


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