Being more dispersed geographically than other nations, with a rich history in shipping, border control, and bartering, the Maldives is not only well-versed in the trade of goods, but continues to develop and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of global trade. The facilitators working behind the scenes and coordinating international shipping, easing the burden on the average citizen at home, include custom brokers, clearance agents, and freight forwarders. With knowledge and know-how of the intricate system, navigating administrative red tape with ease, and forming charming human connections, these specialists bring our often necessary, and sometimes life-saving, products home. Read on to find out if you could become one of these indispensable facilitators.
Freight forwarders tackle logistics, ensuring that goods are transported from the source location to the destination in the most secure, efficient, and cost-effective manner. They work with importers and exporters to select the best route, taking into account any intermediate transit points during global or local transport of goods. Freight forwarding companies offer a range of services from picking orders, sorting, warehousing, packaging and assembly.
Freight forwarders have a keen sense of organisation, as they must choose routes and modes of transportation from air to the sea. They must aptly handle cultural and policy differences that come with different countries and learn to utilise the latest technology to track requests, payments and goods. Freight forwarders are also excellent communicators, as they are required to liaise between suppliers, intermediaries and customers to guarantee the best service to all parties involved.
The most appealing factor about this career path is that there is upward mobility without the requirement of a degree. While a degree in supply chain management, economics and logistics can be an added advantage, companies hire applicants without a degree. Companies also provide apprenticeship programmes and in-house training allowing you to develop skills that can make you an invaluable employee in multiple functions of a business. After gaining experience, freight forwarders may opt to pursue freelance freight forwarding, promote to managerial positions or even specialise in niche trading
Customs brokers and Clearance Agents
Customs brokers or Clearance Agents specialise in international trade. These experts advise customers about importing and exporting specific products as they deal with the entry and exit of goods to the country. They stay highly-informed on various aspects of international trade including entry procedures, valuation, classification, duties and taxes.
Customs brokers are vital in ensuring that shipments safely reach the desired destination by preparing the required paperwork to clear customs; keeping up to date on the latest taxes and duties and assisting in payments; and representing their customers in meetings with customs officials.
Customs brokers have the option to choose three career specialisations. They may choose to specialise as clearance agents working in the logistical aspects of the job which involves arranging labour and equipment for loading and offloading in the presence of customs officials at various ports. The other option is to specialise in paperwork only, which would involve just the customs work. Brokers are also licensed to do both functions.
If you are a highly motivated individual with excellent time management and tech-savvy problem-solving skills, this job is just for you. You can choose to join an established company or go independent. Each registered broker company at the Maldives Customs Service is eligible to get 5 permits free of charge with a small fee for additional licences.
If you would rather be independent, you can easily earn an MQA level 3 certificate in just four months by joining the “Customs Brokers Training Course” offered by the Maldives Customs Service for a small fee of MVR 6000.