I understand I should have a customs agent and bond, but wondering if there are any services to assist with this whole deal. This is assuming that I'm going to ship to my office first before inbound shipping to Amazon FBA.
It would also be good to see if after everything is said and done if it is still cheaper than air.
Frank View the reply Frank The Tank selected as correct
They do it all. You don't need a customs agent or anyone else. They are the Freight Forwarder, Customs Agent, etc. They take care of it all.
They do Air as well as sea. We use primarily DHL at the present time.
Trailrep / Robert
That being said, "how long do sea shipments generally take" depends on several interrelated factors. And then some that are not interrelated. In other words, the whole process can be (but not always) quite complex.
Generally speaking (and assuming "from China somewhere"), you need to allow between 45 and 60 days from factory to your warehouse. I've seen it done in around 30 days and also around 90 days. It depends on your supplier, their freight forwarder, customs clearance, etc. Always allow more time than you think it will take.
You need a customs broker to handle all of this for you. If you are new to direct import, check with the couriers first. They are reputable and have the expertise in international to do it all. (DHL, UPS, FedEx)
trailrep / Robert