University of California

We provide Freight Forwarding and Customs Brokerage services to the University of California system.

ACS holds a contract with the UC system (Strategic Sourcing Agreement number 085/OP/050), which means that we can assist researchers, procurement departments, project managers, and other University staff with all of their logistics needs.

We have customs power-of-attorney for the University, making us your go-to company for customs clearance for US import shipments.

We also arrange Importer Security Filing for your ocean import shipments – Contact us before anything ships to you by ocean to avoid possible fines and penalties.


We have extensive experience shipping research equipment around the world, including Dangerous Goods such as:

  • Lithium Battery Powered Equipment
  • Chemicals
  • Biologicals
  • Dry Ice

We can arrange import, export, and domestic shipments of all kinds (except household moves).

We can invoice your campus directly – all you need to do is provide us with the proper paperwork.

 Helpful document to assist for when to call ACS

Procurement Departments

We can arrange inbound transportation for domestic and international purchases, helping you control your costs and provide the most appropriate transportation method for your needs.

Planning an international purchase? Contact us for air and sea freight transportation quotes! We can also provide estimated duty charges, to help you avoid surprises. If we know your shipment is coming, we can proactively obtain the information we need to ensure a smooth customs process.

Project Managers

We have extensive experience with oversized shipments, and with projects requiring a coordinated series of shipments. Planning a project, or just a single large shipment? Contact us for assistance!

University of California FAQs

  • Who is American Cargoservice?

    American Cargoservice is a full service international and domestic freight forwarder, focused on supply chain and project logistics for energy, industrial, and education customers in the U. S. and worldwide.

    We have a contract with University of California (Strategic Sourcing Agreement Number 085/OP/050) to provide freight forwarding and customs brokerage services for all University of California campuses and facilities.

  • What is a freight forwarder?

    Freight forwarding is a service used by companies that deal in domestic, international or multi-national import and export.

    • While the freight forwarder doesn’t actually move the freight itself, it acts as an intermediary between the client and various transportation services.
    • Sending products from one international destination to another can involve a multitude of carriers, requirements and legalities.
    • A freight forwarding service handles the considerable logistics of this task for the client, relieving what would otherwise be a formidable burden.
  • Where does American Cargoservice ship to/from?

    American Cargoservice ships freight via air, ocean and truck to and from anywhere in the world.

  • Why do I need American Cargoservice to customs clear my shipment?

    American Cargoservice holds a customs power-of-attorney for the entire University of California system, meaning we are authorized to arrange customs clearance for import shipments where the University is the importer of record.

    • If a shipment arrives in the U.S. with a carrier who does not hold a power-of-attorney, the importer can instruct the carrier to have American Cargoservice clear the shipment. The carrier or importer must provide the necessary documents so that we can arrange clearance.
    • If we have not been notified in advance, delays and additional costs can result.
  • When should I notify American Cargoservice that something is shipping?

    Please notify American Cargoservice as soon as you place an order for something to be sent to you.

    If you are sending a shipment to someone, please notify us as soon as possible so we can make arrangements for your shipment to arrive when it is needed.

  • What documents do I need to send American Cargoservice for my shipment?

    Please send a commercial invoice and purchase order or shipping memo from the university depending on your campus’ shipping procedures.

    If you are unsure how to obtain these documents, please contact American Cargoservice and we can help.

  • Why do I need a commercial invoice for my shipment?

    Customs requires a commercial invoice for shipments leaving and entering the U.S. which details the items being exported or imported and the commercial value of each item.

  • Why do I need to show a value for the goods when they have no value?

    Customs requires a value for all items leaving or entering the U.S.

    Even if your shipment does not have a commercial value, you will still need to provide a value for customs purposes.

  • How long does customs clearance take?

    Unfortunately we cannot predict how long customs clearance will take. How quickly a shipment clears customs depends on the nature of the shipment and customs processes.

    By contacting us in advance of shipment, you can help expedite the process by providing the information we need for customs clearance.

  • When can I use a Carnet or Temporary Import?

    A carnet is a document which must be obtained by the shipper (sending party) prior to shipment. This document allows the shipper (carnet holder) to import a shipment into the destination country without payment of duties or tax. The carnet holder must supply a bond promising to pay duties and taxes if the shipment is not properly exported before the carnet expires. A carnet is generally good for six months to one year depending on the country you are shipping to from the date of issuance. If someone is sending you a shipment for demonstration purposes, it is a good idea to ask them to ship with a carnet. This will make the sender financially responsible if the shipment is not properly re-exported.

    “TIB”, or temporary import bond, is an arrangement between US Customs and the importer of record, whereby the importer agrees to pay double the usual duty if the shipment is not properly re-exported within one year. If you import a demo shipment under a TIB and the shipper fails to properly re-export it, UCSD, not the shipper, will be held responsible by U.S. Customs.

    Please contact American Cargoservice if you would like to obtain a carnet for your shipment.

  • Who is responsible for getting a permit/license for my shipment?

    You are responsible for ensuring your shipment has the correct permits and licenses for import or export.

    If you have questions about obtaining a permit or license, please contact American Cargoservice and we can help you.