Started as a mother and son operation in 1948, Coppersmith Global Logistics built our reputation on quality, customer service and family values. Today, four generations later with ten U.S. offices, Coppersmith continues to set the standard for reliability and professional integrity. Remaining true to the values which have helped us grow for over six decades, we have invested heavily in both people and systems to remain at the forefront of the international logistics industry. Coppersmith is well versed in all phases of cargo transportation from Supply Chain maximization and security to governmental regulations and product compliance.
Since our humble beginnings in Los Angeles lead by one of the first women brokers in the country, our company has continued to be an international trade industry leader. Following the untimely death of his mother, Lew Coppersmith incorporated the company in 1961 with a small base of customs brokerage and freight forwarding customers. He was actively involved in building the West Coast business associations which have become the backbone of our current trade community. He served in executive and board positions for the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, Foreign Trade Association, and Propeller Club among others, earning him the Stanley T. Olafson award for industry leadership in 1975. Since then, many of Coppersmith’s management have continued to be actively involved with the associations which guide our industry, including presidents of Los Angeles and San Francisco brokers and forwarders associations, presidents of the Pacific Coast Council and advisors to the Trade Support Network and ACE development group. Today, our company president Jeff Coppersmith holds the position as President of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), which includes over 500 companies from around the United States. This position enables him to participate in discussions with federal regulators and industry professionals who are developing compliance and security regulations for our industry. In this way, we can help explain to our regulators how these procedures will affect the way we do business. International trade is a highly regulated and ever changing business which requires constant monitoring and adjusting to remain in compliance. We take pride in our ability to remain at the forefront of these decisions and share this knowledge with our customers.
As the needs of our customers grow, so too does the need for our company to expand into other areas of our industry and the country. Soon after our incorporation and the development of small L.A. airport and harbor offices, we opened a second major West Coast office in San Francisco and added Air Freight Forwarding and Consolidation services into our business profile. With the opening of our Houston, Texas office in 1976 and a sales office in Fresno to better serve our niche customers, Coppersmith became the largest export forwarder of raw cotton west of the Mississippi. The addition of Dallas in 1992 and the advent of the centralized computer system, gave our company a truly regional appeal. We were again leading the industry as one of the first Customs Brokers to be approved to participate in Customs’ Automated Broker Interface (ABI) which is still in use today. Our ability to expedite customer’s shipments into the country by filing paperless entries revolutionized the industry. Today over 90% of all entries filed in the United States are filed electronically via ABI. All Coppersmith entries are electronic.
These electronic capabilities encouraged the consolidation of Los Angeles area offices into one facility at LAX while also enabling us to expand into other ports where local brokers were becoming less competitive. Since 1994, Coppersmith has been able to expand our national presence by acquiring over 25 small or regional service companies into our family organization. With Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Seattle and Portland as wholly owned regional offices Coppersmith was able to obtain a National Customs Permit enabling us to remotely file entries throughout the country. The integration of these acquired businesses not only helped us create a national footprint of ten gateway offices across the country, but also provided us personnel with expertise in new areas of our industry where we had not previously been involved. Today, our customer service products are still primarily import customs brokerage and export freight forwarding as always, but also include certified IATA airfreight forwarding, ocean NVOCC, domestic freight brokerage, cargo insurance, and worldwide door to door logistics services.
Of course providing a full range of transportation services requires licenses and certifications from both industry and governmental regulators. As a federally licensed provider of services we must maintain our systems and constantly train our personnel to be in compliance with the laws surrounding our industry. Coppersmith boasts more than twenty licensed customs brokers on staff and at least ten certified ocean forwarders. Almost half our staff has been security screened by TSA and all of our offices have been certified under the Customs and Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT). Many of these certifications can be found on our website.
Today our industry is focused on security and efficiency. As the governments of the world develop security requirements, Coppersmith is the first to implement them. ISF, AES, ACE and others are programs where we have once again been asked to participate in testing, but also to advise how best to implement these systems among the industry. Our ability to electronically file information throughout the country and share information from our international agents, gives our customers the timeliest processing of shipments available. No matter what type of product you may be shipping, our industry professionals know how to handle it, and our network of carriers and agents makes finding an answer easy.
Over the decades, Coppersmith has built on the niche business that every company uses to grow. As mentioned, offices in the South and Central California helped us to become a leader in forwarding cotton worldwide. As this business changed, so did we, into what is now a perishable market which continues to produce product for shipping around the globe. From fruit and nuts in Los Angeles, to fresh-cut flowers and pharmaceuticals in Chicago to fresh and frozen seafood in Houston, Coppersmith has become a perishable expert. Electronic imports soon led into automobile parts, then accessories, then tires and specialty items. Food and Drug Administration regulates thousands of products, which we both understand and welcome. As we grow, so does our knowledge and expertise of new products and services.
Our breadth of services does not stop at our own country’s borders. As a member of the World Cargo Alliance and through many years of business relationships, Coppersmith has developed a global network of agents who are both knowledgeable and reliable. Through these relationships, we can obtain competitive rates for air or ocean services from supplier door to customer door, whether they are in the USA or not. One contact, one invoice, one company. All the services you need in one local contact.
We take pride in what we have accomplished over the past 62 years, yet we are not stopping our development, but rather striving to learn more about our customers and industry so we can continue to lead the way for many years to come.