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Category Archives: Freight Forwarder Experience

International Freight Forwarder Mercator Cargo Celebrates 22nd Birthday

Mercator Cargo celebrates its 22nd birthday this week.  Paul (our MD) set up the international freight forwarding provider in 1991 after fifteen years already in service in the international forwarding industry.

In 1991 Mercator was based in London and has since grown to a core team of five experienced freight forwarders plus admin staff.  The majority of the international freight forwarding team are family with personal interest in the businesses performance and customer care.  This is a great strength, as it makes our core ethos to ensure that the customer is happy.  We pride ourselves on excellent, personal service in the international freight forwarding industry.

Mercator has now been based in Portsmouth for 15 years with the wealth of international freight forwarding business support and experienced shipping personnel in the area.  Two of our experienced international freight forwarders are local to Portsmouth with previous years’ experience in shipping and logistics.

The international freight forwarding industry has changed over the past twenty years when faxes and telephones were the main communication tools, now Skype and emails.  Business advertising was in the international freight forwarding magazines, now it is online and website promotion.

Although Mercator has kept up with the times in many ways, we pride ourselves to be old fashioned in core business values – that is our main aims are customer care and satisfaction, we listen to what our customers’ needs are and provide a service to fit that.  Each of our freight forwarders in the office have a personal client list that they take care of, so if you were to choose us as your international freight forwarder, you would always be dealing with the same shipping expert.

If you are looking for an international freight forwarder provider for air, sea or road freight worldwide, then get in contact for a discussion of your requirements and a quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarder – Shipping to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has become a popular export destination for UK goods to be shipped to.  Mercator has recently seen a surge in enquiries and business for shipping from the UK to Saudi Arabia.  As such, we have experience in export shipments to Saudi Arabia from the UK.

The most popular mode of transport for shipping to Saudi Arabia we have seen is sea freight.  Most vessels calling at Damman and Jeddah operate from the UK sea freight ports of Southampton and Tilbury.  Typical sea freight transit shipping time is 28 days Damman, some fast services can get to Jeddah in about 11 days.

If you have a shipment ready to send to Saudi Arabia, there are a few things that are worth considering before you decide whether to send the cargo sea freight or air freight:

  • How urgent is the shipment for Saudi Arabia?  If you are short on time, you might choose air freight, or a faster sea freight service to Jeddah.  If time isn’t an object and your shipment is better arriving at Damman sea freight port (in terms of onward logistics), then that might be your choice.
  • How much margin do you have in your cargo?  Obviously cost is a big consideration when you choose a shipping method, and generally speaking sea freight is better value than air freight (this is assuming your cargo for Saudi Arabia is a full 20 or 40 foot container).

Another consideration is whether you need UK haulage to get your goods to the sea freight port or airport.  Generally if you are shipping a full container then customers ask us to arrange collection of the goods, but if you are sending a small load via air freight, you might want to deliver the shipment to our warehouse nearby the origin airport, where it can be packed ready for transit (do ask us about this service when you enquire).

When your shipment arrives in Saudi Arabia, there’s its onward journey to consider.  If you are selling the cargo to a customer, you may wish to arrange delivery to their door – with our contacts in Saudi Arabia we are able to arrange this for you, but some customers expect to collect the shipment from the port themselves.  It is worth checking with your customer what they expect or want you to take care of before any shipping arrangements are made.

Please get in contact to discuss shipping to Saudi Arabia and to obtain a quote, we are a freight forwarder with many years experience, and particular experience in exporting to Saudi Arabia from the UK – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – Shipping to Israel

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder, running for over 20 years under the same family management.  We regularly arrange shipments to Israel for our customers.

If you have goods to export to Israel, the process is fairly straight forward from your point of view, by appointing a freight forwarder such as Mercator, we can make all the arrangements for the shipment to Israel.

Our usual service for customers shipping goods to Israel entails a collection of the goods from your premises and load into a container (or if it is a load that is smaller than a container and is being loaded to share a container with other goods, it might be palletised for transit).  Our driver will then transport the cargo to the sea port that the vessel is due to sail from, for shipping to Israel this tends to be from Felixstowe (and sometimes Southampton, but this usually tranships).  Typical sea freight transit time from the UK to Israel is about 16 days.

We are able to arrange the necessary documents for when your export shipment arrives in Israel.  Document requirements are different for every country, so it is a good idea to appoint a freight forwarder to handle your shipment, as they will have the knowledge and experience in this.

When your goods arrive in Israel, we will instruct our partner office in either Haifa or Ashdod to clear and deliver your goods (made possible by our membership of a global network of similar sized independent freight forwarders).  If you are shipping your own manufactured goods to Israel for a customer, then the customer may only expect, or want, delivery up to the port, in which case they will then arrange locally for clearance and delivery.  This depends on what terms you are selling your goods, if you are unsure, when you call to discuss your export shipment to Israel, ask for clarification (our export team: George and Jess are always willing to help).

The process is similar for air freight to Israel, apart from the obvious difference in transit time.

Give Mercator a call today to discuss shipping to Israel from the UK.  We can provide you with a quotation and can help every step of the way with your export shipment to Israel – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarder – Ship to New York

If you are searching for a freight forwarder to ship your goods to New York, then look no further.  Mercator Cargo is a well-established freight forwarder that has been in operation for over 20 years.  We have a small, but expert team to help you ship your goods to New York, USA.  We regularly ship customers’ goods to New York from the UK, so are well placed to handle your shipment.

There are a few options when it comes to shipping to New York from the UK.  The first decision to make is whether your goods should transit via sea or air.  The most obvious difference is, of course, the time scales.  For example a typical shipment time from UK to New York is around 7 to 10 days from Southampton or Felixstowe Docks.  Whereas an air shipment to New York from the UK takes a matter of hours.

If your load to be shipped to New York is particularly big (i.e. 20 foot or 40 foot container), and not very urgent, then you might consider a shipment via sea freight (as this generally will be a better priced option compared to air freight depending on cargo size).  However, if you have an urgent shipment, or a particularly small shipment (i.e. a light pallet), then air freight might be more favourable.

Once your goods arrive in New York, they will need to be cleared through customs, this is a service we can also offer, in partnership with our agents based in New York.  We can then arrange for your shipment to be delivered to its final destination in the USA.

If you have some goods to be shipped from the UK to New York contact us today to discuss your requirements and obtain a quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – Exporting for the First Time

If you’re a UK based manufacturer, you may have recently seen an increase in the demand for your goods overseas. Perhaps you haven’t exported your goods before, or have only done it a few times. It will seem like a daunting task, but that’s why it is a good idea to appoint a Freight Forwarder to handle your export shipment for you.

Mercator Cargo is a UK based Freight Forwarder, we have been running for over 20 years, and are still managed and run by the same family. We are a small team of experts in international shipping. Our dedicated export department can assist you in exporting your goods to almost anywhere in the world.

The Government has been saying for some time that international trade (particularly exports) will help the UK economy grow. Now is the perfect time to take that first step into the international trade arena and start exporting your UK manufactured goods. International trade can massively boost a small to medium sized company.

The UK has had a few exposed years in terms of media coverage, what with the London 2012 Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Royal Wedding and so on. As such, there is a greater demand in the world marketplace for UK branded goods.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the export market for the UK for the second quarter of 2013 has been the highest on record (at £78.4bn). If you think your company would like a slice of this huge potential, then perhaps it is time to seriously consider exporting your goods worldwide.

If you are in the stage of arranging some international sales, then it is always a good idea to also tempt your buyers by offering freight included (this can be seen as favourable as it would reduce their workload).  We can offer a range of services, from just freight, to a full door to door service.

Give one of our sales team a call today to get a quote for your shipment – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding Experience – Shipping to Australia

As an experienced freight forwarder, Mercator Cargo handles regular air and sea freight shipments to Australia.  Generally, sea freight shipping to Australia can take up to 50 days, depending upon which port the vessel calls at.  Some vessels will call by several ports, whilst others will just stop at one or two, for example Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, to name a few.

Our local partner in Australia has handled many shipments in conjunction with Mercator Cargo.  The benefit of having a freight forwarding point of contact in Australia is their local knowledge and abilities to arrange a ‘to door’ shipment once arrived in Australia.

Shipping to Sydney, for example, can be arranged whereby your cargo is loaded onto a vessel which calls at Sydney, to reduce trucking time.  Once your container shipment has arrived in Sydney, arrangements to deliver the cargo to its final destination can be implemented.

Australia is a vast country, and whereas, for example, if you are shipping goods into the UK, there isn’t a great difference if the vessel calls at Southampton or Felixstowe, the difference between Perth and Brisbane is vast.  It is best to arrange for your shipping to Australia to arrive at the port nearest the cargo’s final destination.

We can also arrange air freight shipping to Australia, arriving in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or Adelaide.  Air freight takes 24 hours from leaving London to arriving in Australia.  Obviously air freight comes at a premium, so unless the shipment for Australia is urgent, or much smaller than a pallet or container, then sea freight tends to be the method of transit most choose.

Upon your shipments arrival in the Australian port, the cargo will be checked, along with the documents, packing list, and cleared through customs.  Depending upon what has been agreed with your buyer, there may be GST and duty to pay to clear the shipment through customs.

If you’re looking for someone to handle your shipping to Australia, then give us a call and speak to our exports department, where someone will be able to assist you – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Banishing Freight Forwarding Myths

Using a freight forwarder to handle your import or export shipment might not be as costly as you think.

Firstly, freight forwarders have good contacts with various hauliers and shipping lines.  Freight forwarders understand their industry, and their suppliers.  Shopping around for the best price is standard practice here at Mercator Cargo, we obtain the best price for our customers.  Using a freight forwarder can have this advantage, if you consider a potential shipment, where would you start?  Would you ring around lots of suppliers to get the best price?  Would you know which supplier offers which route or service?  Mercator Cargo knows, and that’s why we are able to shop around for the most competitive price for you.

Would you know to ask suppliers if prices they gave you included this service, or that service?  A freight forwarder can help you in this aspect, the price given will be the price paid.  If you know your costs upfront, you can then work on your profit margins; how much do you need to sell this for to make a decent profit taking into account your shipping costs?

Finally, utilising a freight forwarder can prevent mistakes, thus saving money.  For example, if a document is not in the right place at the right time, your shipment may have to be held on quay, or in storage, which can be costly.  Putting your freight into trusting hands can alleviate this possibility of further costs incurred due to delays.

If you’re looking for a freight forwarder to take control of your shipping for you , then call us today to discuss your shipments – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – Importing VW Campervans from Australia and New Zealand

If you’re an avid renovator of the beautiful VW Campers, or fancy a project for the weekends, you’ll be looking for a subject to work on.  You might currently be looking at availability in the UK.  Why not stretch further afield and consider importing a Camper from Australia or New Zealand?

For a start, Australia and New Zealand both drive on the left hand side of the road, so the majority of the Campervans available there will be right-hand drive.  The climate in Australasia (i.e. much less rain than here in sunny England!) also is an advantage, creating less damage to the Campervans (we all know rust is a big problem to solve, and expensive too).

A VW Campervan could be transported over to the UK in a number of ways, there is the option of putting it in its own 40 foot container, or it could be ‘rolled on, rolled off’ (or RORO for short).  How you ship the Campervan will depend on its condition and whether it is currently driveable.

Mercator Cargo has excellent freight forwarding partners in Australia and New Zealand, and can arrange for transportation to the dock there, and for the Campervan to be loaded into the container safely, or rolled onto the ship.

If the Camper will transit in a container, there must be less than a quarter tank of fuel, and the battery must be disconnected – we can have this arranged for you.  If the Campervan will be loaded RORO, then all that needs to be made sure is that there is no other cargo in the van itself.

Upon arrival in the UK, customs clearance and import VAT and duty will need to be arranged.  One of our experienced freight forwarders can advise you on levels of duty to be paid, and any other necessaries to clear the Campervan through customs.  And finally, we can arrange for the Campervan to be delivered to you so that you can begin your work on it.

So if you’re seriously looking at shipping a VW Camper (or any kind of motorhome/caravan) from Australasia, then give us a call to obtain a quote – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – Why Choose an Independent Freight Forwarder

Mercator Cargo has been running for over twenty years now and is still run and managed by the same founding family.  Mr Paul (our MD) has been in the industry for almost forty years, and our imports and exports team have extensive knowledge of the freight forwarding industry.

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder.  But what does this mean to you as the import or export customer?  Traditionally, independent freight forwarders have had the means and the advantage of offering their customers a high quality personal service.

An independent freight forwarding outfit has excellent capabilities of being flexible with their customers, and the ability to be agile and respond quickly to their customers’ need for convenience.  By having this valuable service, good rapport with customers, and formed links with other independent freight forwarders (via a global network), independent freight forwarders have the ability to offer just as comprehensive freight forwarding service, if not a better service than larger logistics companies.

The advantage of an independent freight forwarder being a part of a global network, is also something which can set apart one forwarder from another.  Mercator Cargo is a founding partner of the independent freight forwarder network Marco Polo Line.  The global network is made up of other independent freight forwarders from all around the world.  The advantage of being part of this network includes having personal contacts in almost every country in the world, local knowledge around the globe, ability to offer door-to-door services in most countries, and tried and tested worldwide partners.

Independent freight forwarders, such as Mercator Cargo, have traditional strengths of innovative and bespoke premium services, teamed with the added value of thorough knowledge of their clients businesses and service.

If you’re looking for a reliable service from an independent freight forwarder, then call us today to discuss your shipping needs – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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What is a Freight Forwarder?

If you are new to importing or exporting from the UK, you may be wondering what a freight forwarder does, what their role with your company should be, what they can offer, and what the responsibilities of the importer/exporter (i.e. you) versus the freight forwarder are.

To cut the jargon, the freight forwarder (the person or company that you appoint to handle your shipment) will do just that – they will handle your shipment for you. Freight forwarders oversee the worldwide movement of goods from country to country, and can offer services such as packing, documentation and customs clearance on behalf of exporters and importers.

Your freight forwarder should be able to offer any kind of level of service you require. For example, if you are completely new to importing and exporting your goods, you may wish your freight forwarder to arrange all aspects of your shipment. This might include a door-to-door delivery (i.e. arrange the collection of goods, and delivery of goods to the door for your chosen destination), insurance, customs clearance, and all services required to deliver goods from one country to the next. However, you may decide that you only wish for a delivery from door to port, or from port to door, and so on. Mercator can offer either a fully comprehensive freight forwarding service, or arrange smaller aspects of your shipment.

So what kind of role do you wish your freight forwarder to have with your company? Again, this entirely depends on your needs and the needs of your business. If you are a first time importer, or exporter, you may wish to make initial contact with your freight forwarder before committing to any international trade with other companies. Mercator Cargo can offer you advice on buying terms from abroad, provide quotes for exports from the UK so you can inform your buyers, and also advise what you can or cannot import from country to country. Our experienced team of freight forwarders can offer as much “hand holding” as you require.

What are your responsibilities, and what are our responsibilities? In a nut shell, our responsibilities are to get your goods to its destination for you as instructed, to inform you every step of the way of your shipment, and to provide reliable advice relating to your shipment. Your responsibilities as an importer or exporter vary from shipment to shipment.  You are required to declare your goods accurately (i.e. if a declaration is made on your behalf as instructed, and it is not accurate, you are liable for this, not the freight forwarder), therefore it is essential you advise your freight forwarder of the accurate nature of your goods.

If you think that you might need the services of a freight forwarder, then give us a call, we will be happy to discuss your freight forwarding needs with you – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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