[ˈfɔrən treɪd zoʊn]

Major gateways: DB Schenker has set up warehouses as Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) in key cities like New York – seen here is the Port of New York and New Jersey – and Los Angeles, thus facilitating international shipments for customers

Photo: Johannes Kroemer

Foreign Trade Zone

When seeking a simpler and more cost-effective method for handling international consignments, the instrument of choice for many US-based shippers are Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ). These are designated areas used for storage, further processing or for the transshipment of goods situated in or adjacent to a major port of entry. They are under the supervision of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is why they are subject to special security measures but are generally considered to be outside CBP territory. As a result, merchandise is exempt from customs duties and excise tax, among other things, so long as it is held in a Foreign Trade Zone.


This FTZ service can prove advantageous, for example, in the case of companies that re-export assembled or finished goods or for those who have inventory that turns slowly. DB Schenker has anticipated and prepared for these specific needs – with measures that benefit customers in sectors ranging from the fashion to the semiconductor industry. As a result, the service provider has activated logistics centers operating as FTZs in major gateways like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago – whereby the latter two are brand new. Furthermore, the company will provide customers with comprehensive advice and support when applying for or implementing an FTZ program.


Would you like more information on Schenker USA’s FTZ services? Then click here!