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Category Archives: Freight Forwarder Experience

Freight Forwarding – Shipping to New York from the UK

If you have a shipment for New York, whether it is a full 40 foot container load, a 20 foot container load, a part load, or palletised goods, then give Mercator Cargo a ring today.  Mercator is a small, but experienced freight forwarding agent, our export team deals with shipping to New York on a regular basis.

If your goods are a full container load, or are particularly heavy, you may opt for a sea freight transit, which takes around 7-10 days from the UK (from Southampton or Felixstowe) to New York.  Air freight might be your preferred choice if the cargo is urgent, or particularly lightweight (air freight is calculated by weight and volume, whereas full containers via sea freight are priced on a per unit basis).

There are several carriers which we have worked with for a number of years that offer shipping to New York from the UK.  Using our long-standing relationship with these carriers we can do the hardwork of getting the best price for you, and arrange all aspects of your shipment for New York.

When your goods arrive in New York, they will need to be cleared through customs.  Using our partner agent in the USA, we can arrange this for you, as well as delivery to the door in New York (if it is required).

Give our export team a call today to discuss your shipping to New York and to obtain a quotation for air or sea freight – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – Shipping Container to South Africa from the UK

If you have goods to send to South Africa then get in touch with Mercator Cargo today.  We have been exporting goods to South Africa for many years and are well versed in the ins and outs of shipping to South Africa.  We generally deal with containers or pallets to South Africa rather than small parcels or packages.  But get in touch, as even if your shipment is small, we may be able to palletise it.

We have a partner agent based in South Africa, who handles all our customs clearance and deliveries locally.  Mercator Cargo is rather special for this reason.  We are a founding member of the international network of independent freight forwarders Marco Polo Line (MPL).  We have partner agents in almost every country in the world who handle our shipments once they’ve reached their destination country.  These agents are tried and tested (MPL do not just let anyone join without checking and monitoring) so you can rest assured your cargo is in safe hands.

Even if your shipment is smaller than a full container, it might be worth considering a 20 foot container to send to South Africa, or arrange a groupage shipment.  ‘Groupage’ is where lots of smaller shipments are loaded into a shared shipping container, this can reduce costs (rather than paying for a full container shipment).  If loading for a groupage shipment, we may advise for your cargo to be palletised, as generally palletised cargo is less likely to be damaged during handling.

It might be worth noting that for groupage shipments, cost is calculated on a volume and weight basis, whereas shipping a full container to South Africa is on a per unit basis.  Sea freight containers take around 23 days to sail to Cape Town, or 28 days to arrive in Durban.

Give one of our export team a call today to discuss shipping a container (or groupage shipment) to South Africa from the UK and obtain a quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – Shipping to Chile from the UK

The main calling points in Chile are Antofagasta, which is near a mining region, and Santiago, the capital city of Chile.  Most sea freight services call at both ports in the South American country.  We see many engineering and component parts being shipped to Antofagasta for the mining industry, and other commodities to Santiago.

There are direct sea freight shipping services to Chile, which sail via the Panama Canal.  Transit time for sea freight is approximately 24 days.  Air freight generally calls at Santiago, where it is unpacked and handled for its onward journey.

Mercator Cargo regularly handles shipments to Chile, and we have a partner agent based in Santiago.  Our partner agent will be able to clear your goods through customs and arrange for delivery to door.  This is a valuable part of our service.  Through our founding membership of the global freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL) we are able to offer this service in almost every country around the world.  Our contacts with local freight forwarders mean we have access to local information, such as customs and documentation requirements.

Our services to Chile can be comprehensive, or we can arrange just certain aspects:

  • Collection of goods from your base in the UK;
  • Delivery to warehouse or port in the UK;
  • Packing at a UK warehouse for transit;
  • Air or sea freight to Chile;
  • Marine insurance;
  • Documentation;
  • Customs Clearance in Chile;
  • Delivery to door in Chile.

Chile is an EUR. 1 country.  What does this mean?  An EUR. 1 form is a movement certificate, which is required for the movement of goods between EUR. 1 countries in order to claim a reduced rate of duty, or a zero duty rate, and to certificate the origin of the goods.

To discuss this further and to enquire about our shipping services to Chile, call our freight forwarding team today and talk to our export department – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – Importing Goods into the UK, Paying VAT and Duty

If you have not imported goods into the UK before, you may be wondering how import VAT and duty works.

How much VAT and duty will I need to pay?

HMRC uses a ‘tariff’ to determine the rate (a percentage) of VAT and duty that needs to be paid on customs clearance.  This means that the rate is dependent upon what your goods are, and their worth.  Take a look here: https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff.  Our team of freight forwarders will classify your goods when we handle your shipment and/or customs clearance, calculate the amount payable, and handle payments to HMRC (if required).

Who is responsible for paying for the VAT and duty?

You, as the importer, are responsible for settling any VAT and duty payable upon your goods arrival in the UK.  Your goods will not be released from customs until this is settled.  Most of our customers opt to use us to clear their import through customs.  Our standard procedure is to calculate the rate of VAT and duty payable, an invoice is raised for this amount, once funds from our customer has cleared into our account, we forward the payment to HMRC with the necessary release instructions.  Customs clearance is required for both air and sea imports.

Can I claim back VAT and duty?

If you are VAT registered, then you should be able to claim back any import VAT (not duty).  To import into the UK you will require an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification).  This is a straight forward process of filling in a form, you should receive your EORI number within a week.  We can assist you with this if required.

Give us a call to discuss Mercator Cargo handling your shipment, or UK customs clearance and delivery.  Our team of freight forwarders deal with UK clearance and delivery, and international shipping on a daily basis – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – Shipping to Jordan from the UK

If you have cargo to be shipped to Jordan you’ll need to make a few decisions about your shipment.  The first decision is whether you wish for the goods to travel via air or sea freight.  The first obvious difference between sea and air is the transit time.  Shipping via sea freight to Jordan can take around 14 days (via the Suez Canal), whereas air freight to Jordan arrives within the same day.

The second main difference between sea and air shipping is the cost.  Air freight comes at a premium, but if your shipment is urgent, you may choose to transport your goods in this way.  Sea freight liners operate to Aqaba from Felixstowe in the UK, and air freight is generally to Amman from major UK airports.

It is wise to appoint a freight forwarder to handle your shipping to Jordan as they can arrange all aspects for you at your instruction.  This is especially valuable to your business if you are unfamiliar with shipping.  Without specific knowledge of shipping and also local restrictions in Jordan, mistakes can be rather costly.

Our export team handles shipping to Jordan regularly, and we have a partner office in Amman thanks to our founding membership of the global freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL).  MPL is an exclusive network of small to medium sized independent freight forwarders, and all members are carefully vetted before being allowed into the group.  So we can be safe in the knowledge that our worldwide partners operate how we do, with the customer at the forefront of what we do.

Our partner agent in Amman, Jordan, will be able to arrange clearance at the port, advise of any required documents, and arrange for a delivery to door (if required).  This is rather special as there are not many UK based forwarders who will be able to handle your whole shipment with you from start to finish.

Give our export team a call today to discuss your shipment to Jordan, either via air or sea freight – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for Shipping to Jordan

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Do you want to buy a Shipping Container for Storage?

Shipping containers have many uses as we discussed in a recent blog post about low-cost housing for the homeless

You might be considering buying a shipping container as a solution to a storage problem on your premises.  If you’ve got the space outside, and a 40 foot, or even a 20 foot container will suit your storage needs, the next step is to find one for sale.

This is where we might be able to help.  We’re Mercator Cargo, an independent, family-run freight forwarder based in the UK.  We work with customers all over the world helping them ship their goods from one country to the next.  We deal with shipping lines on a daily basis who own the shipping containers.  Our contact means that we know who to ask to purchase a shipping container and can arrange the sale for you.

Most people opt for a second-hand shipping container as they are a great deal more cost-effective than a brand new one.  If you are using the container for storage then you will want to have peace of mind in knowing your shipping container has no leaks and is clean.

Once we’ve found the container for you, we can arrange for a haulier with a special truck to drop the container to the ground at your premises.

Call us today to discuss the possibilities of sourcing a shipping container for you to solve your storage needs – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

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Freight Forwarding – Cargo to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

If you have cargo to send to Jeddah, whether it is a pallet of goods or a full 40 foot container, you will need to appoint a freight forwarder to handle the shipping for you.  Before you reel back in your chair thinking ‘this sounds expensive’, it really doesn’t have to be.  By appointing a well-established and experienced freight forwarder, you could actually save money.  Sounds unreal?  Well, a good freight forwarder will shop around for the best price for their customers, and with their knowledge, mistakes (which are often costly) can be avoided.

Mercator Cargo has been running since 1991 under the Goehlert family, our founder is still a large part of the business today and the family make up over 50% of the workforce.  We regularly arrange for cargo to be sent to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.  We are familiar with which carriers offer which services to Jeddah and have built working relationships.  Both of these elements allow us to get the best price and service for our clients.

Mercator Cargo is a founding member of the international freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL), and as such we have a partner office in Saudi Arabia.  Having this personal contact in your cargo’s destination means we can draw on the local knowledge of Saudi Arabia, for example customs and documentation requirements, and offer a ‘to door’ service.

In terms of sea freight to send your cargo to Jeddah, there are regular sailings departing from Southampton and Tilbury in the UK.  Some carriers offer an ‘express’ sea freight service to Jeddah taking just 11 days, whereas using a regular service can take 19 days.  If you want to compare the two services, just ask one of our export team to provide a price for both the express and regular sailings to Jeddah.

Air freight is also an option if your cargo is particularly lightweight or urgent.  There are daily cargo flights to Jeddah from major UK airports and these take a matter of hours (but please factor in packing, handling, unloading and customs clearance times for your cargo – ask our freight forwarding team for more details if you are unsure, we are here to help).

Give our export freight forwarding team a call to discuss sending your cargo to Jeddah, request a quote and seek advice regarding your shipment with us – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for Shipping to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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Freight Forwarders – Shipping to the USA from the UK

As the UK’s export market grows, first time exporters are looking to the States for business opportunities.  Shipping goods to the USA from the UK has many benefits to a growing company.  Obviously the biggest impact exporting has on a small to medium business is the growth in revenue and increased production as a result of demand for the goods.

There are also specific benefits to trading with the USA:

  • There is no real language barrier.  Admittedly, the international business language is English, but still it can be challenging dealing with a business partner who’s native tongue is not English;
  • The time difference between the UK and the USA are not too great to disrupt communication.  New York time is 5 hours behind the UK, and the biggest difference is the West Coast, where the time difference is about 8 hours;
  • Sea freight sailings to the USA are relatively straight forward, and do not take as long as Australia for example (up to 50 days).  Sea freight sailings vary from 7 days to New York to 31 days to Los Angeles;
  • There are daily air freight departures from the UK to all over the USA, so no matter where your goods are destined, there is likely to be an international airport nearby for your goods to arrive at;
  • The USA is a vast country with a huge population of over 300 million.  If you can break into this market, there is a huge opportunity for your small business to grow to be bigger and better than ever;
  • Without being stereotypical, the Americans are fans of the British.  If you have a British made product, whether it is chocolates or furniture, you may be onto a winner.

We are a family-run and managed shipping agent, our team of experienced export freight forwarders deal with shipping to the USA on a daily basis.  Whether your goods require transit via sea or air freight, we can offer a comprehensive freight forwarding service for your shipping to the USA.

Give the export team a call today to discuss your freight forwarding needs for shipping to the USA, we can provide you with a quotation and advice relating to your shipment with us – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Who was Geradus Mercator? Why is there a Freight Forwarder Named after him?

Geradus Mercator was a cartographer in the sixteenth century and is most well known for his projection of the world named after him, the Mercator Projection.  The Mercator Projection was revolutionary in cartography because for the first time a map depicted straight lines of longitude and latitude.  This enabled mariners of the time the opportunity to plot straight lines for long-distance voyages without having to adjust continually with a compass reading.

Mercator also introduced the term ‘Atlas’ for a collection of maps which we still use today.  The term stemmed from Greek mythology where the giant, Atlas, is depicted holding the world on his shoulders.

Mercator revolutionised the way that the world was projected through mathematical and geographical intellect.  This has had a huge impact on seafarers, navigation, maps, and even travel and shipping today.  What was so straight forward and revolutionary about Mercator’s projection was the inclusion of straight lines, which made it possible to show the straight forward path of a ship sailing on a fixed bearing as a straight line.

This is why over twenty years ago, when our MD, Paul, was setting up his freight forwarding business, the name ‘Mercator’ was perfect.  Like Geradus Mercator, our freight forwarding team have a commitment to provide a ‘straight forward’ service for every customer and each shipping task we are assigned.

Call our freight forwarding team today to discuss how Mercator Cargo can work with you and your business for all your shipping needs – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarder USA to UK

Appointing a freight forwarder to handle your cargo from the USA to the UK needs some consideration.  It is important that you choose a reliable and knowledgeable freight forwarder for any shipment, and more importantly a freight forwarder with contacts in the USA.  Your freight forwarder will need to have a good relationship with another reliable freight forwarding agent in the USA to ensure the smooth transportation of your cargo from the USA to the UK.

Mercator Cargo is a UK based freight forwarder with an experienced import department handling freight from the USA on a regular basis.  We have several partner freight forwarders in the USA, thanks to our founding membership of the global freight forwarding network, Marco Polo Line (MPL).  With this connection, we can arrange collection in the USA to be delivered to the port of departure and organise necessary documentation for your shipment.

Mercator can handle your freight shipment either by sea or air from the USA.  There are daily departures by air and these take a matter of hours, departing from all over the USA (for example Miami, New York, Texas and Chicago).  Sea freight transit timings vary from 7 days from New York, to 31 days from Los Angeles (via the Panama Canal).  Sea freight vessels vary, calling at ports such as Liverpool, Felixstowe, Southampton and Thamesport.  You can discuss various departure ports in the USA and arrival ports in the UK with one of our experienced freight forwarders.

Once your shipment arrives at the UK port, we can arrange for customs clearance for you.  Depending upon the goods, there will be import VAT and duty to pay (please discuss tariffs with our freight forwarders).  You will require an EORI number to import goods to the UK (if you are VAT registered, this is a simple process we can assist you with).  Once your shipment has cleared customs, we can arrange haulage to the cargo’s final destination.

Give us a call today to discuss our freight forwarder services from the USA to the UK in further detail and to obtain a price – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for Freight Forwarder Services from the USA to UK

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