Freight Forwarding Customs Clearance and How Does it Work?

To understand customs clearance in freight forwarding, it is important to understand freight forwarding first. Most importers and exporters use freight forwarding to arrange and manage freight shipments. The people who conduct freight forwarding are known as freight forwarders or freight-forwarding agents; they are well-versed in the workings of the shipping process and can get it done for you. They almost function as a travel agency does, but for freight instead of people.

There are different types of freight forwarders. Some are big, some are small. Some offer more local shipping options, others specialize in international shipping. Large freight forwarders function globally, while smaller ones tend to operate in a few selected countries where services are popular and where they have local logistics helping out the process. Here is everything a freight forwarder provides as a service:

  • Makes all the bookings, ensures that all paperwork is put together and complete, takes care of payments for each step of the shipping process.
  • Co-operate and coordinate with others who are involved in the shipping process, such as air cargo carriers, truck delivery companies, or any logistics provider.
  • Provide support with all issues related to the shipment, if any happen to crop up.

Customs clearance is an important part of the freight forwarding process. Any goods shipped internationally have to pass through customs check before being allowed into or out of a country. Once customs clearance and checks are completed, the freight forwarder pays the customs duties and receives a document that functions as a receipt for the transaction. Usually, the customs clearance procedure is managed by the freight forwarder, but a customs broker can be hired if you want to.

The preparation of a shipment is crucial, as customs holds the authority to confiscate or hold your goods until further notice if a shipment is prepared poorly. To ensure a smooth passage through customs, a few pre-requisites must be met. First is the preparation of a shipping container. If a container is loaded poorly or incorrectly, the customs agent overlooking the process will red-flag it immediately. Utilize all the space available and make sure all cargo is stowed away correctly, otherwise, customs will deny your container the necessary clearance.

The next thing to look out for is paperwork. Customs agents are extremely cautious when it comes to inspecting and verifying your paperwork. Your paperwork and documentation should be error- free with all necessary details mentioned, such as the content of the shipment and your business details. Here’s a list of the basic documents you should keep with you to ensure a hassle-free shipment:

  • Shipping quote
  • Origin certificate
  • Material safety data sheet
  • Commercial invoice
  • Booking confirmation
  • Shipper’s letter of instruction
  • Booking confirmation
  • Bill of loading
  • Packing list
  • Letter of credit

Freight Forwarding Warehousing and How Does it Work?

Warehouses are an essential component in the chain of distribution logistics. A warehouse is any building where products, materials, or raw items are stored. Goods need to be stored and treated in a proper manner, which is where a warehouse comes in. The term “warehousing” refers to receiving and storing finished goods until they are shipped or sold to their final destination. It plays a crucial role in organizational logistics, as storage is a cornerstone of supply chain management.

Once a product or good is manufactured, it needs to be stored; product cannot be left in the open exposed to the elements, nor can it be shipped out immediately. Transportation and warehousing are the backbone of a supply chain, making sure the acquisition, movement, and distribution of goods are conducted in a seamless manner.

Importance of a Warehouse

Due to the fact that the process of production and consumption are not instantaneous. Warehousing buys time between the two processes, and stores goods to ensure the time period between the two does not harm any goods. Warehousing is crucial to a supply chain for a multitude of reasons:

  • Allows the storage of all fashion of goods; raw, semi-finished, finished, seasonal goods, etc.
  • Reduces the risk of a product or good being damaged during storage.
  • Runs inventory management (processing an inventory from entry to exit)
  • Makes the distribution network more efficient. -Allows the branding and grading of goods.
  • Allows the storage of ordinarily perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, and meat.
  • Protect goods from poor environmental conditions; during disasters, for instance.

Warehousing Operations

The main function of a warehouse is to store large quantities of goods, condense them into smaller quantities, and dispense them to the end customer. The chain of operations of a warehouse is receiving, putting away, storage, order preparation, and packing and shipping of goods.

  • Receiving: This starts with the warehouse being notified about the arrival of goods. This helps it plan the unloading and ensure the warehouse team can manage other processes in the warehouse accordingly.
  • Putting Away: Goods must be stored, but before that one has to decide a proper location for them. This process involves storage management of a secondary inventory where the product will eventually go.
  • Storage: This is the basic function of a warehouse. Warehousing creates time and bridges the gap between the production and consumption of goods by an end user.
  • Order Preparation: Also known as order picking, it is the procedure of collecting and preparing items before shipment to a consumer. During order preparation, it is essential for a warehouse to provide the necessary documentation and records pertaining to the shipment.
  • Packing and Shipping: Every customer order must be managed individually; due to this, packing is a labor-intensive process. On top of this, each order must be accurate and complete with regards to the needs of the customer. Shipping is a key aspect in warehousing, and is the final step of the process. Packing and shipping involves weighing of goods, maintaining shipment information, and labelling the final destination address.

Types of Warehouses

  • Private Warehouses: Warehouses which are used by producers, traders, or manufacturers to store their own stock exclusively are known as private warehouses. These are typically located near a manufacturing facility and are maintained by individuals from the same facility. An example is a farmer building a warehouse near his field.
  • Public Warehouses: Warehouses which provide warehousing services and are available to rent by the public are known as public warehouses. These are usually used for the storage of smaller shipments, and are used when dealing with seasonal goods or when entering a new market.
  • Contract Warehouses: Warehouses which provide warehousing services on a contractual basis are known as contract warehouses. These contracts are generally long term between the two parties (leaser and contractor) and are mostly used when a business is newly established, or when a business is expanding and entering a new market. Such warehouses minimize liability and personal risk, as well as saving a pretty penny.

Freight Forwarding: India and Thailand

In the last few years, international trade channels between India and Thailand have displayed massive growth. With a stunning exchange of billions of dollars per year between the two countries, the blooming relationship has turned out to be fruitful for both the governments and private parties involved. Let us get an overview of the trade relations between the two countries in recent years.

India-Thailand Economic & Commercial Relations


  1. Thailand is the second-largest economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). It is an upper-middle- income country with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$ 504.9 billion in 2018.
  2. India’s economic and commercial relations with Thailand are rooted in history, age- old socio-cultural interactions, and extensive people-to-people contacts. India and Thailand celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations in 2017. India’s ‘Look East’ policy (since 1993) and Thailand’s ‘Look West’ policy (since 1996) which has now metamorphosed into India’s ‘Act East’ and Thailand’s ‘Act West” are strongly contributing to consolidating bilateral relations including economic & commercial linkages.
  3. Two-way trade in 2018 totaled US $ 12.46 billion, with about US $7.60 billion in Thai exports to India and the US $ 4.86 billion in Indian exports to Thailand. In the ASEAN region, Thailand ranks as India’s 5th largest trading partner after Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The growing ties between the two countries have come at a time when the AEC is expected to bring greater integration among member countries be it in the form of physical connectivity, economic links, or cultural and educational ties.
  4. The fast-growing Indian market remains attractive for Thai investors, given the vast opportunities available in the infrastructure sector, tourism, and retail industries. India continues to remain an interesting market for the export of goods from Thailand. Currently, Thai goods have benefited from tax reduction under ASEAN-India FTA in Goods, which came into effect on 01 January 2010 and resulted in the flow of more goods into the Indian market. An Early Harvest Scheme (EHS), covering 82 products (now 83 products) under the proposed India-Thailand FTA, in place since September 2004, has already resulted in phenomenal growth in our bilateral trade.

Bilateral Trade

Thailand views India as the gateway to South Asia and beyond. As a result of the reduced tariff rates and new initiatives adopted by both countries, trade between the two countries has increased manifold in recent years. Bilateral Trade has multiplied eight times since 2000 to reach US $12.46 billion in 2018. Trade figures between the two countries for the last five years are as under:

(Amount in Billion USD) 
Total trade 
Thai Export to 
Thai Import 
from India 

Major Thai Exports: Motor cars, parts & accessories, Automatic data processing machines and parts thereof, precious stones and jewelry, rubber products, polymers of ethylene, propylene, etc in primary forms, electronic integrated circuits, machinery and parts thereof, chemical products, refined fuels, rubber, iron and steel and their products, rice, air conditioning machine and parts thereof, spark-ignition reciprocating internal combustion piston, plastic products, etc.

Major Thai Imports: Crude Oil, machinery & parts, electrical machinery & parts, chemicals, jewelry including silver bars & gold, Iron, steel and products, parts & accessories of vehicles, Electronic integrated circuits, Other metal ores, metal waste scrap and products, computers, parts and accessories, electrical house-hold appliances, vegetables and vegetable products, airplanes, gliders, instruments, and parts, finished oils, Plastic products, etc.

DBB Worldwide believes in providing a single-stop solution to all its clients despite their location of origin, nature of goods they deal in, the volume of goods, or any special requirements by the clients. Providing a customized solution for every supply-chain- related service required by a client, be it transportation to the storage facilities, warehousing of different types of products, international import/export of those products, international custom clearances, documentation, etc.


Approved Indian investment in Thailand during the last few years is as under: 
(million USD) 
Investment from Thailand in India has increased in recent years. Thai investments are 
mainly in infrastructure, real estate, food processing sectors, chemicals, hotels, and the 
hospitality sector. The break-up of yearly FDI from Thailand to India in the previous years 
is as follows: 
FDI inflow (in 
million USD) 
2018 (Jan-Dec) 


Major Indian Companies in Thailand include Tata group – Tata Motors (Thailand), Tata Steel Thailand and Tata Consultancy Services, The Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra Satyam, Ranbaxy, Dabur, Lupin, NIIT, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, Punj Lloyd Group, Polyplex (Thailand) Public Co. Ltd, Precious Shipping PCL, and Usha Siam Steel Industries PCL. It is known that companies like Jindal group [steel], Ashok Leylands [automobiles], Mahindras [automobiles], Escorts, D.R. Hotels (Nellore) Pvt. Ltd., and D.R. Utthama (Thailand) Co. Ltd., are also keen to expand their operations into Thailand.Major Indian Companies in Thailand include Tata group – Tata Motors (Thailand), Tata Steel Thailand and Tata Consultancy Services, The Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra Satyam, Ranbaxy, Dabur, Lupin, NIIT, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, Punj Lloyd Group, Polyplex (Thailand) Public Co. Ltd, Precious Shipping PCL, and Usha Siam Steel Industries PCL. It is known that companies like Jindal group [steel], Ashok Leylands [automobiles], Mahindras [automobiles], Escorts, D.R. Hotels (Nellore) Pvt. Ltd., and D.R. Utthama (Thailand) Co. Ltd., are also keen to expand their operations into Thailand.
Leading Thai companies in the fields of Agro-processing, construction, automotive, 
engineering, and banking have an active and growing business presence in India. 
Major Thai companies in India are – 
Sl. No. 
Sl. No. 
Krung Thai 
Bank Pcl. 
Superware PCL 
Stanley Electric 
India Pvt. Ltd. 
Thai Summit 
Thai Airways 
The Thai Union 
Products PCL 
Limited and 
Shipping (PSL) 
of Thailand 
(Thailand) PCL 
Allied Metals 
(Thailand) Co., 
Pruksa Real 
Estate PCL 
(Real Estate 
Tong Garden 
Marketing (I) 
Pvt. Ltd 
Dutch Mill 
Thai Air Asia 
Vee Rubber 
Builder Smart 
Plc (BSM) 
Siam Cement 
Group (SCG) 
Public Co., Ltd 
There is an active India-Thai Joint Commission (headed by respective Foreign Ministers), a well-established India-Thai Chamber of Commerce and an active India-Thai Business Association. A Joint Business Council has been set up since May 2013 with the involvement of the private sector to stimulate the expansion of bilateral trade and investments and facilitate business partnerships.
Air connectivity between India and Thailand is growing with 330 flights per week 
reflecting a rapidly growing traffic of tourists and business people between the two 
countries. All major airlines of India & Thailand operate between the two countries: Air 
India, Jet Airways, Spicejet, Thai Airways, Thai Smile Airway, Bangkok Airways, Thai Air 
Asia, Go Air, Nok Scoot, Thai Lion Air, and IndiGo.

Major Seaports in India

  • Nhava Sheva Port
  • Port of Mundra
  • Chennai Port
  • Kolkata Port
  • Mumbai Port

Major Seaports in Thailand

  • Port of Bangkok (Khlong Toei Port)
  • Laem Chabang Port
  • Port of Songkhla

Major Airports in India

  • Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai
  • Chennai International Airport, Chennai
  • Cochin International Airport, Kochi
  • Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore
  • Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad
  • Goa International Airport, Goa

Major Airports in Thailand

  • Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok and Samut Prakan
  • Don Mueang International Airport, Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Prakan
  • Chiang Mai International Airport, Chiang Mai and Lamphun
  • Phuket International Airport, Phuket
  • Hat Yai International Airport, Hat Yai and Songkhla
  • Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport, Chiang Rai

DBB Worldwide offers connectivity to all the major sea and airports in India and Thailand. This makes all the clients engage and expand operation in import and export of goods at a mass level via their choice of transportation, place of origin, and destination. Hence, if you are looking to expand your business in Thailand, you will not regret connecting with us.

With such booming industries and opportunities on both sides of borders, this is a good time to expand your business to the Thai market. The best part is, with so many freight forwarding experts in the market, you do not have to worry about how you will export or import goods to/from Thailand. Everything is available at the tap of a finger.