Headford USA

Operations Agent-Import Coordinator/Customs Writer (Air/Ocean) – Chicago – USA

Job Overview

  • Salary offer ▵ $65,000 p/a

Company Profile:

Our client is a multinational, dynamic freight logistics company with approximately 400 US employees and growing, has international offices, as well as offices in key US cities. They have grown to more than 30 U.S. offices and 250 network locations in over 120 countries around the world.


Job Summary:

The OPERATIONS AGENT – OCEAN AND AIR IMPORT TRAFFIC/CUSTOMS ENTRY WRITER will perform a high volume of Customs clearance processes working directly with customers, overseas offices, and U.S. Customs to file entries on imported freight, ensure timely coordination of cargo, and perform accurate reporting and billing. This position acts as a trusted advisor to the customers, educating them as needed on U.S. Customs and Partner Government Agency (PGA) requirements. This position requires a strong individual with Customs entry processing skills, knowledge of proper classification (FDA, PGA, HTS and Ace) and government agencies. The position will ensure current processes and recommend to management adjustments and improvements as needed to ensure Operations is aligned with corporate goals, quality of service and branch level KPIs are achieved. Responsibilities include all aspects of transportation, including thorough communication with office/agent, Customs and the client, and quality follow-up of import shipments, both internally and externally.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Support and maintain the Quality System (ISO) by working closely with management, sales and/or operations to ensure goals and objectives are met with regard to the function(s) of this position.
  • Prepare customer and agent quotes utilizing their quote module.
  • Coordinate and arrange shipping freight with Overseas and US agents and partners.
  • Serve as single point of coordination between customers (internal and external), internal departments (Gateway, Warehouse and Trucking) as well as external partners (Airlines, FDA and Customs), U.S. Customs and Border protection and other government agencies to ensure service commitments are achieved and maintained in accordance with client and company objectives.
  • Handle all documents related to shipping freight, including: set up files for pre-alerts received, maintain customer updates, preparation of documents for Customs clearance, select and dispatch trucker, arrange delivery to customer, process payables and billing in our accounting system, check status on shipments, check PODs and charges, tracking cargo from origin to final destination, follow up shipments for final ETA date.
  • Generate, file, and maintain up-to-date customer records, reports, documentation, databases, etc.
  • Review entry details and verify for compliance data related to calculation of duties, duty policy, Participating Government Agencies, trade agreements, prior notice or any specific requests by Customs for the proper filing for release.
  • Prepare documentation for data entry and transmission to Customs, including 7501, 3461 and ensure that all entries are filed on time and freight delivered in a timely manner in accordance with company and Customs expectations.
  • Monitor the release and follow up on all ABI/AMS messages including rejects, holds and exam messages, working with government personnel to ensure timely release of cargo.
  • Self-audit for accuracy assigned brokerage files, commercial documents, applying harmonized tariff schedule code for accurate duty assessment and to ensure all federal requirements are met- including payments to Customs.
  • Follow-up with carriers, manage pre-alerts daily, and maintain record of all communications in files; inform supervisor of problems and irregularities.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Knowledge of freight forwarding with focus on import traffic and Customs entries.
  • Basic knowledge of INCO terms, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, Customs regulations and other government agency requirements.
  • Computer literate with strong knowledge of MS Office Suite and proficiency in Excel and Word.
  • Enthusiastic, positive and internally driven with a sense of urgency and “whatever-it-takes” attitude.
  • Commitment to excellent customer service, in support of both external and internal customers, utilizing effective and professional oral and written communication and follow-up skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in a cross-functional team environment at all levels of the organization, or work independently with little or no supervision, to achieve results.
  • Ability to work under pressure under time constraints using time management and organization skills, adjusting priorities based on workload or direction from customer or management.
  • Effective interpersonal skills that result in loyal, long-term customer relationships.
  • Practical problem solving and decision-making, and analytical skills.


  • 3+ year’s Customs entry writing experience with a Customs Broker/Freight Forwarder.
  • 3+ year’s customer service experience with final mile freight arrangements/import traffic with a Customs Broker/Freight Forwarder.
  • Minimum high school diploma or GED.
  • Candidates must be legally eligible to work in the US.

Benefits Information:

  • Medical-including Health Savings Account and Health Reimbursement Accounts
  • Dental plan
  • Life & AD &D
  • Long Term Disability
  • Company matching 401(k) and Roth K Plans
  • Two weeks’ vacation, sick and personal time, floating holidays
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

More Information

Apply for this job
Share this job

Headford USA

Leading Executive Search firm for the freight forwarding industry.