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Category Archives: Freight Forwarder Experience

Freight Forwarding – Air Freight Shipments to Dubai from the UK

So you’ve got your cargo ready, your buyer lined up in Dubai, and are searching for an air freight carrier.  Get the cargo on the plane and then Bob’s your Uncle.  Unfortunately it isn’t that straight forward.

Exporting goods via air freight to Dubai (or to anywhere in the world for that matter) isn’t a case of just arranging one thing.  To arrange air freight to Dubai you will need to arrange at least these aspects:

–          Delivery of your cargo to a warehouse nearby the departure airport for packaging and handling;
–          Air freight;
–          Documentation (which differs from destination country to country), for Dubai you will require a certified commercial invoice (we can arrange this for you and advise further);
–          Customs clearance at destination;
–          Delivery to door in Dubai.

Fortunately there is a simple way you can just arrange one thing and Bob really is your Uncle.  And that is to appoint a freight forwarder to handle your air freight to Dubai.  Mercator Cargo is a UK based independent freight forwarder and we regularly arrange air freight to Dubai from the UK.

We work with our partner office in Dubai on a regular basis, they are proven to be reliable and full of useful local information.  We have this contact through our founding membership of the global freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL).

Reasons you may choose air freight over sea freight to Dubai:

–          The shipment is urgent (transit time via sea can be up to 20 days);
–          Your shipment is relatively small and light weight (air freight is calculated by weight and volume);
–          Generally sea freight is the cheapest form of shipping, but if your cargo is particularly light and the current sea freight rates are not in your favour, it might be worth doing a quick comparison between the two freight services (it rarely happens that air freight is cheaper than sea freight, but we have known it to happen).

So if you’ve got an air freight shipment for Dubai, give our export team a call to discuss export protocols and costs – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


Request a Quote for Air Freight to Dubai


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Freight Forwarding – Shipping to Argentina from the UK

Argentina is South America’s second largest economy behind Brazil, which is one the world’s high growth markets.  The UK has recently seen a demand for exports to Argentina as a result of the economy’s strength.  Mercator handles shipping to Argentina on a weekly basis, and the demand is increasing.

Mercator offers multimodal shipping to Argentina from any area in the UK and to any area in Argentina.  We are a small family-run business with a long-standing team of shipping experts who arrange freight shipping on a daily basis.  We pride ourselves on offering a traditional, personal service to all our customers.

When shipping to Argentina, it is important to choose a freight forwarder who can offer various freight options and have contacts in Argentina.  This is really important because with contacts in Argentina, it is possible for your freight forwarder to arrange to door shipping and customs clearance.  Mercator Cargo is a founding partner of the global network Marco Polo Line (MPL), we have those contacts in Argentina.  In partnership with our agent in Argentina, we can organise all aspects of your shipping, including transit to door and clearing customs.

Our shipping services to Argentina include the following:

–          Air freight (cost is calculated by weight and dimensions);
–          Full container shipping by sea freight (20 foot, 40 foot, or 40 foot high cube, please contact for dimensions – cost is on a per container basis);
–          Less than container loads shipped by sea freight (where your goods are palletised and share a container with someone else’s goods.  This can save costs in comparison to air freight, the cost is calculated by weight and dimensions).

Sea freight transit times from the UK to Argentina is about 25 days.  If you are short on time, you may opt for air freight to Argentina, however, this comes at a premium.  You can discuss prices and transit times with our export team, we can provide two quotes; one for air freight and one for sea freight if required so you can compare the costs and benefits.

In international shipping there is nothing more valuable than being organised and having knowledge in the industry.  For example, using a freight forwarder to handle your shipping to Argentina that does not have experience in this area can end up being costly if mistakes are made.  Mercator has this knowledge, and in combination with our local knowledge in Argentina, you are in safe hands when you choose Mercator to handle your shipping to Argentina.

Give the export team a call today to discuss your requirements – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


Request a Quote for Shipping to Argentina


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Freight Forwarding – Shipping Container to Australia from the UK

Are you looking for a price to send a shipping container to Australia from the UK?  You can complete our quote form here and one of our export team will contact you with costings.  In order for us to provide you with an accurate price for sending a shipping container to Australia, we will need to know the following information:

–          The pick-up point in the UK of your cargo;
–          Whether you require assistance to pack the shipping container;
–          The nature of the goods (so that we are able to advise on special requirements (if any) for example documents, fumigation, or whether the goods are restricted for import into Australia);
–          Whether you require us to arrange delivery of your shipping container ‘to door’ in Australia (and if so, the ZIP code for this);
–          Whether you are responsible for customs clearance of the goods;
–          Whether you are responsible for paying any import taxes in Australia;
–          Whether you require marine insurance on the goods;
–          And finally when your goods are ready, or a time limit you have to get the shipping container to Australia (transit time via sea freight from the UK to Australia is approximately 50 days – it’s a long way! – If your shipment is more urgent, we can look at air freight as a speedier alternative).

Don’t be put off by the long list of information we require, the more information we know and the better we understand your shipment, the more likely we are able to offer you a smooth transit of your shipping container from the UK to Australia.

If you are shopping around for a freight forwarder, be weary if these questions are not asked upon quotation (as there may be hidden charges).  When Mercator provides you with a price for your shipping container to Australia, generally it will be broken down so you know exactly what is and isn’t included in your quotation.

To discuss your shipping container to Australia, give the export team a call and they will be able to assist you – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


Request a Quote for Container Shipping to Australia


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How do I go about Exporting Food from the UK?

The government recently highlighted a huge gap in the UK’s potential exports.  The UK’s largest manufacturing sector is food and drink, with a turnover of in excess of £90bn.  Despite this impressive statistic only 10% of UK food and drink manufacturers currently export their goods.

If you’re a UK food or drink manufacturer and have not been involved in shipping before you may be asking ‘how do I export my goods?’

Obviously the first step is to find a buyer for your goods abroad.  Once you have achieved this, the next step is to arrange the shipping of your food or drink.

In order to do this, the best route is to appoint a freight forwarder to handle this for you.  Finding a reliable and reputable freight forwarder can be a bit of a task.  Your freight forwarder will need to have knowledge of required documents for exporting food and drink, and also understand port health restrictions, which differ from country to country.

For this reason, it is important to choose a freight forwarder who has contacts globally.  Mercator Cargo has these relevant contacts as we are a founding member of the global freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL).  Using our contacts from MPL, we can draw on local knowledge at your cargo’s destination.

In the sector of international trade and shipping, knowledge is extremely powerful; it can avoid great mistakes and achieve great advantages.  Mercator has a core team of experienced freight forwarders who have been working in the industry for the entirety of their careers; freight forwarding is their bread and butter.

When in discussion with your buyer, you will need to agree on what “INCO terms” you are selling your food or drink.  “INCO terms” are an internationally understood terms of buying and selling, the terms outline what you as a seller are liable to pay for and what the buyer will need to pay.  Discuss this in further detail with our export team if you are unsure, we will do our best to make this clear for you.

Give Mercator Cargo a call today and ask for the export team to discuss exporting your UK manufactured food and drink – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


Request a Quote for Exporting Food from the UK


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Is it time to change your Freight Forwarder?

Have you had problems with your shipments recently that your freight forwarder has not attempted to resolve for you?

When you call your freight forwarder do you always speak to a different person, and therefore lack continuity?

Are you unhappy with the service that your freight forwarder provides?

Does your freight forwarder not have the specialist knowledge needed to handle your shipments?

If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘yes’, then it is time you looked to change your freight forwarder.  Having a freight forwarder that does not fit or understand your business can be very costly to you and your company.

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder based in the UK and has been running for over twenty years under the same managing family.

At Mercator we pride ourselves on excellent customer service.  If (and we mean IF) there was a problem with your shipment, we would endeavour to sort it for you, it is after all our job.  Remember we are working for you.

When you choose Mercator as your new freight forwarder you will be appointed a personal contact here in the office.  This experienced member of our team will handle all your shipments and be in contact with you personally about the movements of your goods.

Mercator is a founding partner of a global network of freight forwarders.  Our membership in this network means we have personal contacts in over 90 countries worldwide.  We regularly attend the network conferences which means we have built excellent working relationships with other forwarders globally.  This will benefit you as a customer because we can offer ‘to door’ shipments in almost every country and we have valuable local knowledge where ever your cargo goes.

Our freight forwarding team is long-standing and the majority are part of the managing family.  This is huge strength because it means our best interests for you as the customer are at the heart of what we do.  Each member of our team cares for the company and our customers.

Now that you know you’re looking for a new freight forwarder, why not give Mercator a call now to discuss what we can do for you and your business – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


Request a Comparison Quote for Your International Shipments


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Freight Forwarder Mercator Cargo Attends Annual Conference in Cape Town, South Africa

Marco Polo Line (MPL), a global network of independent freight forwarders held its annual conference last week in Cape Town, South Africa.  Mercator Cargo is a founding partner of the network, and this year our representatives were Paul (our MD).

There were just over ninety freight forwarders from across the world in attendance this year.  The annual conferences allow Mercator the opportunity to network with other freight forwarders that we work with on a regular basis.  This has great advantages to our service offerings globally, for example, if there were a problem at your cargo’s destination, we could call on our local freight forwarder there to resolve the issue.  Having contacts in most countries also means we have access to valuable local information, for example customs and document requirements.

We believe that being part of the global network MPL enhances our service we offer to our customers.  As an independent freight forwarder, we pride ourselves on providing a personal service to our clients no matter how large or small.

If you’re looking for an experienced freight forwarder to handle your shipments, whether they are imports or exports, then give us a call to discuss your requirements – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:

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Freight Forwarding – Shipping to Australia from the UK

The export market for goods to be shipped to Australia from the UK has grown recently.  As a result, Mercator has seen an increase in shipping activity to Australia from the UK, and as such we have become more experienced in handling shipments to Australia.

Our experience in shipping to Australia means that we have had the opportunity to build great working relationships with other agents in Australia.  This can be extremely helpful to you as a customer when you are shipping your goods to Australia, as we can arrange for our partner agents to complete your customs clearance and delivery to the door of your goods destination.

Australia has some strict customs rules to understand before you begin shipping to Australia from the UK.  Even if your product is safe to pass through customs without an issue, there is even the packaging to consider.  Any kind of wood will need to be treated for shipping to Australia from the UK.  This is a topic you can discuss with one of our freight forwarders if you think it might be an issue.

The typical sea freight shipping time to Australia from the UK is up to forty-five days, this depends on which port your goods are being shipped to.  This is something you can discuss with our export department in further detail.

Give us a call to discuss your shipping to Australia from the UK for further details and for a quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


Request a Quote for Shipping to Australia


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Freight Forwarding – Shipping a Car to Australia

If you’re moving to Australia, you might want to take your current car with you, afterall, the Australians also drive on the left-hand side of the road, so shipping a right-hand drive to Australia would make sense.  You may have a classic car, or a car of worth for shipping to a buyer or dealer in Australia.  Whatever the vehicle, Mercator Cargo can handle your car shipping to Australia.

There are a few decisions to make when planning car shipping to Australia, firstly whether the car should be transported by sea or air.  The first obvious difference between the two freight services is of course transit time, air freight will take just over a day (you will need to factor in time for clearance and delivery at the other end in Australia), whereas sea freight can take up to forty-five days.  The next difference is the cost; air freight is more costly than sea freight.

Another thing to think about when planning car shipping to Australia is where you’d like the vehicle to arrive into.  For example, if your car is destined for just outside Sydney, then the sensible option would be for the car to be shipped to Sydney port, ready for its short onward journey.  You can discuss locations with our export team.

The next decision is whether you’d like the car to be containerised or “Rolled-on, Rolled-off” (RORO for short).  RORO is literally where the vehicle is driven onto the vessel.  Containerising a car is where the car is loaded into a container, and it will be transported to the port of departure in that container, and will be unloaded when it arrives at the destination in Australia.  Containerising is usually used for vehicles which may not be fully running, or for vehicles of significant worth (e.g. classic cars or supercars).

There are different requirements for the vehicle whether you are shipping via RORO or containerised, these are to do with fuel levels in the vehicle and also connections within the vehicle itself.  These can be discussed with our export team.

If you would like a quote for shipping a car to Australia from the UK then give us a call to discuss your requirements and a quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


Request a Quote for Car Shipping to Australia


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Freight Forwarding – Shipping to Turkey

The Turkish economy has been strengthening over the past few years.  As such, people who live in Turkey have been demanding bigger and better houses and more sophisticated technology.  This has led to a demand in imports in Turkey for raw materials for construction, technology items, clothing, household furniture and goods, and so on.

Shipping UK manufactured goods to Turkey has become big business; Turkey has become a leading source for exports from the UK.  Istanbul’s high street is now lined with shops such as Marks and Spencer and Next.  It is the perfect time for the UK’s economy to cash in on Turkey’s construction and economic boom.

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder and over the past couple of years we have seen a big increase in shipping to Turkey services, in particular sea freight, where it is more cost effective to ship large amounts of goods (as opposed to air freight services).

Shipping to Turkey can be a complex task if you decide to arrange it without the help of a freight forwarder, it can be more cost effective to use a freight forwarder.  This may seem a silly statement, but if you use a freight forwarder for your shipping to Turkey, then they will phone around the shipping lines, or airlines, to get the best deal.  Often a freight forwarder’s long-term business relationship with the carriers will pay off.  Also, by using a freight forwarder you are going to avoid simple mistakes which could end up quite costly to you and your business.  It is a simple decision to instruct a freight forwarder who will handle all elements of your shipping to Turkey.

Contact our export department to discuss shipping to Turkey, to arrange a service fitted to your business needs and get a no obligation quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


Request a Quote for Shipping to Turkey


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Freight Forwarder Mercator Cargo Expands its Air Freight Services

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder based in the UK.  We’ve been running for over twenty years and have offered air freight services since forming in 1991.

This year, Mercator Cargo has become a member of the international freight forwarder association IATA (International Air Transport Association).  This means that Mercator‘s freight forwarding team can deal with the airlines for air freight services direct.  This allows our air freight services to be more competitive, flexible and have a greater coverage of the globe.

We can now provide air freight services to more countries, at better rates and more frequently than before.  We cover both air freight imports and exports thanks to our founding membership of the international freight forwarder network MarcoPolo Line (MPL).

If you are looking for a freight forwarder that offers air freight services internationally, then give one of our freight forwarders a call today to discuss your air freight shipment and provide a quote – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


Request a Quote for an Air Freight Shipment


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