I think both would be ideal. This was my first experience with UPS-OMD. I had always dealt with UPS-SCS so I had NO idea that OMD was so bad. Then, after discussing my experience on this site, I discovered that many others have had a bad experience as well.
I had a situation with a customer who was using a horrible in-land customs broker. That broker only did containers from China and our 3 loads per week road shipments. We called and called the broker to get them moving and it used to take 5 hours to complete. One time they didn't do the clearance until the next day.
I advised the customer that detention fees applied and from this point on, waiting at the border will start immediately when the driver arrived at the border until he was cleared payable in 15 min increments. The customer had a discussion with his customs broker who assured him they wouldn't hold up the clearances any further.
The first week we had a little over $400.00 in waiting time, the following week they had over $700. That's when it hit the fan and we now use a better broker.
The point - get your customer involved. Tell them that you have done everything you can to try to work with the broker to speed things up and it is fruitless. The only option is to bill for the unproductive time of the assets. Don't let the customer say that its the carriers responsibility because it isn't. The customer, either the shipper or the receiver, pays the customs broker - not the carrier. The more the customers complain to their brokers, the better all brokers will get.
Exactly! The carrier deals with most of the border headaches and it's probably very rare that the customer even knows that an issue exists. However, when things start to go really screwy on a Friday evening or over the weekend, some customers aren't even open until Monday. Those times are the most fun!
Just like other industries - there are companies that are understaffed and over promised. Are most of the issues evening/Friday/weekend clearances? When they need to be a t maximum capacity but are on skeleton staff?
When there are repeat issues with a customs broker, we just help educate the client - we send them a list of 'good and fast' ones they can reach out to.
Just avoid the ones that are run by 1 or 2 people. With all due respect, I dealt with some that only operate 4 hours a day and in evenings they disappear. Help your customers and deal with the good ones my peers.
I heard recently that Affiliated had been bought out by Livingston int'l. Can anyone confirm?
As far as UPS OMD they are horrible. And when you call they always tell you that they are working on it...
Another broker that is pretty horrible is CH Robinson for entry to the US. They do mostly boat, container and trains. Three days to do one load and they actually got impatient with me when I kept calling. I've also been told by our border service provider, that CH has refused to collaborate with them in order for them to be included on the list of brokers in Borderconnect's system.
So, it's been a year and a half since I wrote this, and wow, has my opinion of Livingston changed !!!
It seems Livingston top brass has finally listened to what their customers and carriers have been saying all along ... that their service sucks ... their service is now top notch. Were a customer to ask me who to use, Livingston would definitely be in my top 3 ... PCB, Deringer, and Livingston. Can't go wrong with any of these brokers.
I Would so disagree with you Michael, and believe me I have taken all the steps you suggested once and then some, was even adding on a Customer Service Representatives email and it was still hit and miss. Our biggest problem is Fridays, It doesn't matter what time you say you will be there they still have not got the load set up and often not even started. I am happy to hear you are having such good luck.
I can say this is the first time ever I have to disagree with you, but it's ok, had to happen eventually. Issues have mostly been with the weekend service provided by Livingston. I've had paperwork sent a full 24 hours in advance, and still drivers sit at the border for 12 hours. I research the hell out of these ones too, confirm that the carrier sent paperwork on such and such day at such and such time, confirm that the client is in good financial standing with Livingston (sometimes that can be a reason for a delay), but still it takes a day to 36 hours from receipt to actually set up the clearance? Not acceptable.
I hope that the team service waiting time we charge the customer and pay the carrier is recouped from the customs broker, but then again I'm sure they have terms and conditions that make them 'untouchable', even for delays caused by under staffing. For the record, the client with the team WT charges - they've changed to Buckland Customs. Not a single issue since, freight is set up long before the carrier gets to the border, the way it should be.
You're right ... it's not acceptable. I penned a rather long oratory in another thread about this very thing ... if you are sending Livingston paperwork on the weekend, your paperwork will go to the "pool" of after-hours service agents, and they don't give a damn whether your load clears or not. My own personal opinion is that these are the people that were causing Livingston all the poor service grief in the first place, but they just can't get rid of them for one reason or another, so they shoved them all into the after-hours pool hoping they will all quit. I have it from reliable sources that the pool agents will toss your paperwork in the garbage, run it thru the paper shredder, and/or delete the emails if you send them that way.
To top it off, the driver call center is very poorly run. Those CSRs have the same poor attitude as the after-hours pool.
You're golden though if you can communicate directly with a team, have their direct phone numbers and extensions, and their email addresses.
Livingston is not perfect, but they are light years ahead of where they were 18 months ago.
Seems to me that Livingston and many other broker are slipping in service again. Turn around time to do a entry is upwards of 5 and 6 hours with endless hounding. Sent paperwork today to Livingston at 2:51 pm and now 7hrs later still not done. Have called 2 times to be told that mine would be expedited within and done within 45 minutes both times. Just unbelievable they can get away with this kind of service. I guess we pass the delay charges to the customer.
About 10 days ago, I sent some paperwork to Livingston (inbound to Canada). A little while later I got a call saying that there was a bol missing. She gave me an e-mail address to send the missing paperwork. I had sent it while driver was in transit and we had plenty of time. When I prepared the ACI the next day, I was surprised that it showed that there was no paperwork match. I went on their site and found no match for our pars #. I called back and was told the same thing, no match. Apparently, for no valid reason, the person had flushed the whole thing from the system. I will give them credit though. They asked me who I spoke to and I was able to give them the e-mail address I had sent it to. They did take care of it right away but still.