Ocean Import Specialist

Ocean Import Specialists are responsible for a wide range of duties. Handling and processing ocean freight imports from the start of their journey right through to the very end, they are organized, diligent, IT literate and people-oriented.

If you think you have what it takes to go far in this career, our US freight forwarding and logistics recruitment experts can help you find a role. Employers across the US trust us to match them up with talented candidates at a range of experience levels. Find out more about the role below.

Contact Us

What Is an Ocean Import Specialist?

Ocean Import Specialists manage ocean freight imports from start of journey to arrival in warehouse on behalf of foreign customers. Customer facing, administrative, and managerial all at once, the role demands a range of qualities and experience.

Excellent written and verbal skills enable these specialists to communicate with the rest of the team and coordinate the supply chain, as well as deal with customer queries promptly and effectively. They will also communicate and liaise with carriers, custom brokers and overseas agents regarding all aspects of shipment coordination and problem resolution.

Their proficient knowledge in US customs laws also means they can provide specific and accurate guidance to foreign shippers where necessary. They also perform physical checks on shipments and enforce compliance with these regulations.

Finally, ocean import specialists are detail-oriented, enabling them to handle the entering of arrival notices, invoices, delivery orders and a range of tracking reports into computer systems to ensure compliant documentation.


USA Ocean Import Specialist Job Description

Though the exact job description for this role will depend upon the employer and their previous experience, Ocean Import Specialists will usually need to carry out the following duties.

  • Manage and oversee all aspects of ocean imports from initial booking to final delivery.
  • Act as a point of contact and provide top levels of customer service.
  • Carry out administrative tasks such as entering shipment information into computer systems, creating documentation, arrival notices, invoices and delivery orders, and updating and forwarding customer tracking reports.
  • Liaise with custom brokers, overseas agents, carriers, and freight location managers.
  • Arrange trucking of shipment to final destination.
  • Resolve any issues that arise and cause delays in the supply chain.
  • Enforce US customs rules and regulations.

Ocean Import Specialist Education & Work Experience

The education and work experience necessary for US Ocean Import Specialist roles will show some variation. Typically, however, the following will be required.

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Around 3 years’ work experience in imports or a combination of education and experience.
  • Work experience in entry procedures and US customs compliance, rules and regulations.
  • Experience of working within a range of systems and processes e.g., Importer Security Filing, OGA Transactions, First Port of Arrival.
  • Proven FDA experience.
  • US citizenship.

Ocean Import Specialist Skillset

As well as official qualifications, there are a range of other skills employers will look for when recruiting that will set candidates apart.


Since this role involves coordinating a variety of ocean imports and overseeing their journey from start to finish, good organizational skills are a must.


Successful candidates will be able to communicate effectively with members of the supply chain to ensure imports are processed promptly. From international shippers to ship captains, businesses, lawyers, foreign manufacturers and US federal agencies, there are many people involved in the import of good. As a result, candidates will need to have good written and verbal skills to excel in the field.

Computer Literate

Processing ocean imports involves a range of administrative tasks, so computer literacy is highly sought-after in this role. A working knowledge of the full range of systems used in the freight forwarding and logistics industry will make a candidate highly desirable.


Coordinating imports for customers involves completing a range of different tasks within tight deadlines. That means someone who is able to keep calm under pressure and handle many tasks at once is likely to thrive.


Working independently and within a team is essential for an Ocean Import Specialist. They will have to liaise with a range of professionals in the field, and manage the processing of imports from start to finish. Once again, excellent communication skills are a must.

US Customs

An understanding of the intricacies of US customs laws, regulations and procedures is essential for this role. Successful candidates will need to perform checks on shipments and enforce rules if required.

Ocean Import Specialist Salary

An Ocean Import Specialist’s salary will vary depending on a range of factors such as their level of understanding and previous experience in the freight forwarding and logistics industry. On average, a base salary is around $35,000, whilst a more experienced, high level candidate might expect somewhere between $60,000-$80,000 or even higher in some cases.

Ocean Import Specialist Jobs & Careers USA

If you’re looking to find a career as an Ocean Import Specialist in the US freight forwarding and logistics industry, our passionate team can help you find your perfect fit. We have recruitment consultants working specifically in locations across the US, including Atlanta, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, New York, Boston, Chicago and Ohio. Whether you have years of experience in the industry or want to learn how to gain the right experience to fast-track your career, we can help show you the way.

Contact Us

Register Your Interest.