🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now

For this customs broker, the Section 301 China tariffs are still top of mind

Aug 23, 2023
The tariffs placed on over $360 billion of Chinese goods is still a chief concern for Gretchen Blough of Erie, Pennsylvania.
"People are looking for more supply chain solutions," says customs broker Gretchen Blough. Above, shipping containers at the Port of Los Angeles.
Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Some U.S. manufacturers are still benefiting from Trump-era tariffs

Jun 16, 2023
The Biden administration hasn’t removed Trump’s tariffs on steel or aluminum — to the benefit of some U.S. manufacturers.
"Everyone kind of expected when President Biden came into office that that the China tariffs would go away," said customs broker Gretchen Blough. "But everything's still in place."
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The film industry needs customs brokers too

Sep 30, 2022
Olivia Van Dyke, CEO of Film Logic Customs Brokers, talks about the unique challenges of shipping the things that make movie magic happen.
"We ship camera equipment, we ship props, wardrobe, sound equipment," said Olivia Van Dyke of Film Logic Customs Brokers.
Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP via Getty Images

In the customs business, delays are becoming less common

Sep 12, 2022
As congestion eases at some ports, "we know the fixed date of when freight is arriving now," said customs broker Gretchen Blough.
 "Customs kind of takes a special kind of person.," says customs broker Gretchen Blough. “We’re kind of the Ally Sheedy of 'The Breakfast Club.'”
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Customs brokers are caught in the middle of China tariffs debate

Jul 8, 2022
As the White House decides the fate of the Trump-era taxes, customs broker Gretchen Blough is dealing with more uncertainty.
A truck drives by stacks of shipping containers at the Port of Oakland on May 20.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The customs business has become all about handling the unexpected

Apr 13, 2022
"Everything is just a constant pivot," says Gretchen Blough, a customs broker in Erie, Pennsylvania.
"There hasn't been a lot of warning to some of the issues that have happened, and we've just had to make do," Gretchen Blough says of the customs business.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is rippling through the customs business

Mar 1, 2022
Gretchen Blough, a customs broker in Erie, Pennsylvania, explains how the geopolitical turmoil is affecting her company.
The EU and Canada have banned Russian planes from their airspace, and that's being felt throughout the supply chain. "There's all kinds of commercial flights that have been interrupted because of this," customs broker Gretchen Blough says.
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

The container price surge is weighing on the customs business

Sep 15, 2021
Tariffs used to be the main concern for customs broker Gretchen Blough's clients. Now, it's all about the shipping containers.
Trucks with shipping containers sit on a dock at the Port of Oakland on Sept. 9. Container prices have soared during the pandemic.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Trade is still a mess, and that's keeping this customs broker busy

Jul 30, 2021
Gretchen Blough, a customs broker at Logistics Plus in Erie, Pennsylvania, said that the ships, trucks, tariffs and supply shortages are peppering the shipping industry.
Containers stacked in the Port of Los Angeles on April 19, 2021.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The customs industry navigates port delays, tariffs and uncertainty

Mar 8, 2021
A Pennsylvania customs broker describes how business has changed due to the pandemic and is changing again under a new president
In 2020, there was “no congestion at the port. Everything was coming in early,” says Gretchen Blough. "Now it's kind of the opposite. Everything's a week to two late."
Mario Tama/Getty Images