AIR FREIGHT SERVICES
IATA Licensed Since 1984 -
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Approved. We offer airfreight consolidation services (import & export) with a variety of airlines to world destinations with consolidated rates.
OCEAN FREIGHT SERVICES
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) licensed Since 1988 & Non-Vessel Operational Common Carrier (NVOCC) bonded. We offer import/export consolidation services & dedicated container
loads with a variety of steam lines to world destinations with consolidated rates.
HOUSEHOLD MOVING SINCE 1984
We handle personal effects and automobiles via air & sea. Packing & loading is done by our professional crew on-site or in the warehouse. Free surveys are available upon request.
Professional liability, E & O, Bailees, Cargo insurance.
CUSTOMHOUSE BROKERAGE SERVICES
In-house customhouse broker licensed for USA or overseas customs clearances.
WAREHOUSING / PACKING / STORAGE / DISTRIBUTION / TRUCKING
Value added services for jobs, large or small, short or long term.
ETC’s TERMS & CONDITIONS
Terms of service.
Bill of lading terms and conditions.
A personal story:
ETC International Freight System a true story from our founder
Part # 1 The beginning
Although I incorporated in 1984, my involvement in the international freight forwarding started when I immigrated to the USA from France in 1981. I was employed by Marshall Brownfield, a freight forwarder that handled wearing apparel, based near Los Angeles International Airport. I was then 24 years old.
With my broken English, Marshall had me in the warehouse where I took it upon myself to re-organize the incoming shipments of clothing in the categories of receiving, manifesting, warehousing, inventory -- in a nutshell, the ins & outs of the whole warehouse business. Luckily, my family background was in textile manufacturing & I had grown up in that environment, working on & off for my father. This position did not last long as Marshall & his
French agent, namely TTA, thought I would better be used in a sales capacity.
I was sent for training to New York for several weeks to work with the TTA office & came back with my new international freight forwarding skills. Working with the French importers in Los Angeles, obviously, was easy for me, though I must say I did struggle with the all American
customers importing from France. I can encapsulate the feeling with one customer’s remark: “Call me back when you speak English". I thought the sarcasm was well deserved, not that I felt at the time like laughing, but because, from that point on-ward, I was committed to becoming articulate in English. Of course, over the years, there were other times, when I was
corrected or made fun of mostly by my kids, but never was the sting as vivid as that first time.
Several months after my employment, I was fired. We know the French have certain arrogance about them; you can add a good dose of spontaneity from my personality fueled by comments directed at Marshall (the owner). I acted as if I was Captain America when Marshall exploded with anger at his employees, which I felt was shockingly inappropriate, and above and beyond his company status. In his defense, I must admit that my poor timing was an error; had I waited for a more inconspicuous place and time and been more deferential, I would surely have avoided what ensued. Marshall was a good man who gave me a job, shelter, and even lent me his old 1950s Mercedes Benz (gear shift next to the steering
wheel). I repaid him with an un-timely remark and blew a piston on his Mercedes Benz, not knowing how to get to his 4th gear. I got my driver’s license with that car, even parallel parking on a hillside (being a Parisian-trained driver), impressing the placid inspector. I am grateful to Mr. Marshall Brownfield & would apologize for the behavior should he be still standing. I had a few repeats of a similar nature that pursued me many times over in the
years that followed.
Two years of struggle followed. I was out of a job, and Marshall Brownfield threatened to call the INS. I was doing menial jobs to earn a living, while learning the language and the many cultural differences, seeking to assimilate. I will spare you the details, but perhaps I may amuse you by sharing a couple of them. Looking for employment when you are so obviously foreign and perhaps a bit strange for mainstream Americans forces you to get out of your comfort zone. At one point I was a basic construction worker sent to retrieve various tools – and coming back with the wrong ones (lost in translation). For a punishment – or maybe for their amusement -- I was ordered to work underneath the bottom of homes in Palos Verdes, scrambling through crawl-spaces, seeking among dead rats, spiders, dirt, and pipes the area to work on, and discovering in the process what claustrophobia is like. A massive panic attack would surge, nearly uncontrollable, leaving me to think I had been sent there to be buried
alive, everyone’s worst nightmare. I had had enough of that!
To make ends meet, I lived temporarily in houses in Beverley Hills waiting to be sold or torn down. I knew the listing agent, and she was very caring and generous. I was a home decorator for a short while, but this did not pan out. I was not exactly climbing the social ladder & so I left Los Angeles for some fresh air, living in Aspen in Colorado for a few months
working as a busboy and a waiter, as well as being part of the work force on the slopes before the World Ski Cup started. This time in Aspen ended abruptly when it was gently suggested by a friendly judge that it would be best if I left town. Yes, you guessed it; I had another Captain America episode. Here is the story: After being insulted up & down for returning a food platter from an dissatisfied patron & joining a waitress in enjoying a morsel off the returning platter (mea culpa!), the chef, whom I recall was Middle Eastern, yelled insults at me, and then got me fired for telling him how poor his choice of words were. The injustice felt overwhelming and after I received my small severance check from an apologetic
boss that hardly could argue my value against the value of a chef. My decision was made that there are lessons best learned by inflicting moderate pain despite the potential consequences. Going back to the kitchen, I pretended to the chef that the boss decided to keep me after all & got the chef away from his kitchen and his knives. Then, I proceeded to ever-so-gently knock the wind out of him. Unfortunately, he landed on a table filled with clean dishes. Everyone in the entire restaurant came running in to the fracas to see what had happened. I
received a $ 70 fine for disturbing the peace & it was “suggested” I might consider leaving town. I noticed as I left the courthouse, I had a small following; at first this worried me, but as it turned out they took me out and bought me a beer, wanting to know the inside details of our little tussle. At some point, I did leave the town, the ski slopes … and a ravishing young lady. Assimilation was rough, but well underway.
Back in Los Angeles, living with friends, I hit a wall going nowhere and running out of cash. Anxieties running high, and afraid to fail, I spoke with my older brother, who gave me a piece of his wisdom: “Since you want to stay & do not want to follow the family footsteps in the textile industry, and since you have several months of experience in the freight
business, why not look into it again?”
This gave me the direction I needed. I sold my motorcycle, bought myself a plane ticket back to France & interviewed with 32 French freight-forwarders, two of which were interested in opening an office in Los Angeles. The first one was Galax' Air International, and they agreed to have me represent them independently. The second was SCAC, a French conglomerate that was strong in Africa. SCAC had a relationship with another agent, Radix International, & asked me to work for them inside Radix International in Los Angeles. I chose SCAC, being poor and not quite qualified to open my own freight forwarding company. This was 1982-3. Beyond sales, I was trained in the complexities of office administration, which turned out to be extremely beneficial when I later founded ETC International Freight System.
This was a very successful position for me. I hired an assistant and we moved into a suite on Century Blvd., a luxury single-office space with a front desk reception area. My parents visited me & were quite impressed with the outfit. I was a happy man & soon married my American wife, who gave me instant stability and a razor-sharp focus. At last, I was no longer
working for myself lone, but for the two of us and our children to be. But life keeps throwing twists here and there. SCAC was happy with the success of this satellite office and wanted more. They sent a big company name to re-structure a bigger office & I found myself suddenly confounded in sales with a new boss from Switzerland who spoke in a context that reminded me of the old nobility addressing the serfs. By then, I had learned enough of the American way, coupled with a strong independent nature. I left SCAC & in a hurry,
opening my own company right next door. I had a few dedicated customers including the owner of Galax’ Air, Mr. Francois Dusseque with whom I had kept in close contact. Francois Dusseque trusted me & gave me advance commission for the traffic to come, which helped me establish myself in my first few months in business. In addition, my relationship with my bank was great & since SCAC before opening their larger office was using an account under my name (the good old days once upon a time in the West…). I had credit, and let us remember that in 1984 under the Reagan era, the import business was booming with a strong dollar over the Franc currency in the days before the Euro. And so my little firm had
the incredible advantage of receiving customers’ payments here and repaying the European agents so fast that they were experiencing something no other freight forwarders (agents) ever offered: fast return (15 days or less repayment) on their invoices. It was the inception of P Malinbaum Company DBA Euro Transport Connections & later on DBA ETC International Freight System. What happened next is to me fantastic.
You can read this international freight story at www.etcinternational.com seek the heading about us and go to toward the bottom of the Page.