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Blog Archives

Freight Forwarding News – Zim Rotterdam Stops at London Gateway

The shipping vessel Zim Rotterdam, made a stop at London Gateway last week. The vessel holds over 10,000 TEU (the equivalent of 20 foot shipping containers) and is said to be the largest ship to enter the River Thames. Situated on the north bank of the Thames, the UK’s new sea freight port isn’t meant to officially open until later this year.

The shipping vessel was on its transit from Asia, and was heading to Felixstowe. A fire on board prompted the unexpected stop at the new London sea freight port for repairs and to discharge its shipping container loads.

When the sea port London Gateway opens in November, it is predicted that the terminal will handle over 3.5 million TEU per year. This is almost on par with Felixstowe port, which handled 3.7 million TEU in 2012, which accounts for almost 40% of all container traffic in the UK.

London Gateway is expected to become a popular calling sea freight port for many shipping vessels for the UK because of its proximity to one of Europe’s largest logistics parks. Container traffic will be able to travel to here where there are options for warehousing, distribution and assembly, along with onward transit options (including sea, air and road freight). This idea aims to reduce unnecessary mileage of empty containers and reduce costs for distributors.

Mercator will be offering services into and out of London Gateway once the sea port has officially opened. We can arrange full sea freight options, or arrange for your cargo to travel to the port, or arrange for customs clearance and delivery via road or rail to you in the UK.

Call Mercator Cargo if you are looking for an experienced freight forwarder to handle your UK import or export via sea freight – 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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Freight Forwarding – How Shipping Containers have Changed the Freight Forwarding Industry

Shipping containers have been used since the 1950s when they were invented by an American trucking businessman.  Since then, freight forwarders, importers and exporters have used shipping containers for the transit of all kinds of goods.

Prior to freight forwarders using 40 foot or 20 foot containers, ships hulls were loaded manually by dock workers, box by box, piece by piece.  This is a time consuming job, and sometimes these big shipping liners spent more time at the docks than they did at sea.

Now, using shipping containers, freight forwarders can get their cargo off the shipping liners within hours, rather than weeks.  Their uniformed sizes mean that they can be easily transferred from ship to dockside, to truck, to train, and so on.

These rather simple developments in freight forwarding have dramatically decreased costs involved in importing and exporting goods.

If you have a full container load, or even a less than container load, of cargo to be exported or imported, then get in touch today to discuss our freight forwarding services available – 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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Freight Forwarding News – The New ‘BRICS’

For the past few years, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have been at the forefront of economic growth and prosperity.

Word has it that these nations have slowed down in growth, and are set to be over taken by some emerging countries.  The BRICS nations have been predicted to continue a slow growth over the next few years.  This may result in fewer exports to these nations from the UK.

The Head of Emerging Markets at Morgan Stanley has predicted that China’s economy will grow between 5%-6% over the next five years, whilst India will continue to grow at a rate of 6% each year.  These rates are much lower than their previous double figure rates over the past few years.

The emerging economic stars are set to be parts of Asia and Latin America.  The list includes the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Peru, Chile and Colombia.

With these economies set to grow, there are business opportunities to be had from here in the UK.  Mercator Cargo is an experienced freight forwarder, with excellent contacts in almost every country around the globe thanks to our founding partner status in the global network of independent freight forwarders, Marco Polo Line.

If you are considering exporting to any of these emerging markets (the Philipines, Indonesia, Thailand, Peru, Chile or Colombia) or importing goods into the UK, then give Mercator a call today.  You can speak directly with one of our team of freight forwarders to get quotes for freight shipments, and any help and advice you may need as an importer or exporter.

To speak to an experienced freight fowarder regarding your shipment, call us today – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding News – Benefits of Freight Forwarders Belonging to a Global Network

Mercator Cargo is a founding member of the global freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL).  What does this mean for you, the potential (or existing) customer?

Marco Polo Line was founded with the intention to give independent freight forwarders (like Mercator Cargo) advantages that the bigger freight forwarders have traditionally enjoyed over the independent forwarders.

The first, and biggest impact that Mercator finds invaluable on a daily basis (both for our customers, and our operations in the office) is the personal contacts that we now have globally.  Marco Polo Line holds annual conferences, where members can meet face-to-face and build working relationships.  Mercator Cargo takes full advantage of these conferences, sending at least two members of the freight forwarding team.  These personal contacts allow Mercator to arrange shipments seamlessly, using valuable local knowledge, and offer to-door shipments in almost any country in the world (thanks to our global partners).

The other advantage is that members are ‘vetted’, tried and tested (you cannot join MPL by just filling a form in).  Membership is monitored, so if there are problems, these can be raised and eradicated.  This means that our partner offices are trustworthy and reliable to handle your shipments, where ever they are in the world.

These are just a few examples of the benefits of choosing Mercator as your freight forwarder.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your freight forwarding needs – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding News – Export Week 2013

This week sees the UK’s ‘Export Week’; a government launched series of events around the UK to promote exporting to small businesses.

The aim of ‘Export Week’ is to increase the number of small businesses that currently export.  The national target set by the government is for 100,000 more businesses exporting over the next 5 years.

This would increase the number of UK manufacturers that export from 20% to 25%, and add to the UK economy an estimated £36 billion.

UK businesses can see an increase in up to 34% of productivity when they start exporting, so if you have the opportunity to export – it’s a no-brainer!

Small businesses might be daunted by the prospect of exporting from the UK, however, it is becoming increasingly more evident that smaller businesses can also win international business.

Of course, larger firms may already have trained staff in exporting their goods, and may even have dedicated staff for this purpose.

Smaller firms need not fear; this is where a freight forwarder can step in.  By appointing a freight forwarder to handle their export shipment, the whole process can be taken care of.  By appointing an experienced freight forwarder (such as Mercator Cargo) the weight can be lifted off your shoulders and you can be safe in the knowledge that your cargo is in expert hands.

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder who prides itself on offering a personal service.  With a team of experienced freight forwarders at hand, we can offer a “hand holding” service if needs be, and can offer advice at every step along the way.

So if you’re considering exporting your goods from the UK, give Mercator Cargo a call today to discuss your export shipment – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding News – London Gateway Container Port

A new container port is due to open later this year on the north bank of the River Thames.  London Gateway is said to be the UK’s first deep water shipping port, and one of Europe’s largest centres for logistics.

As container ships grow in size, London Gateway will be an ideal choice when using these larger container liners for importing and exporting from the UK.

The port will increase the UK’s container handling capacities, and is aiming to be one of the most efficient ports in the UK.  Alternative ports in the UK currently include Felixstowe, Southampton, Hull and Liverpool.  The new container port will add 3.5 million TEU (equivalent 20 foot containers) to the UK’s container handling capacity.

Record-breaking cranes were recently delivered to the London Port.  Five in total, these cranes will be able to handle the world’s largest container vessels.  The cranes are said to be taller than the London Eye, and can reach further than is currently required when loading and unloading the largest of the container vessels currently sailing.  This will ensure the port’s future, as container ships are becoming larger all the time.  The cranes will be able to reach across 25 containers on the container ships, and will lift up to 80 tons at a time.

Container ships have currently grown to hold up to 18,000 TEU (compared with just 6,000 TEU, 50 years ago).

If you’re looking for a freight forwarder to handle your shipment from or to the UK, get in touch.
Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Charleston Port Sees Increase in Container Traffic

The freight forwarding port of Charleston, South Carolina in the USA, has seen a recent increase in shipping container traffic; handling over 1.5 million equivalents of 20ft containers at its two container terminals last year.

Charleston container port has been named the fastest growing container port on the USA’s East Coast between January and November last year.  This increase in size and capacity makes it an ideal port for freight forwarders to ship cargo via sea freight to and from for an efficient and reliable service.

Part of the port’s successes in the increase of container traffic is due to the improved export services and new carrier services to places such as Vietnam and Australia via ocean freight.  These improved links between (for example) the USA and Vietnam add to the sea freight forwarding list of options of routes and destination ports.

Charleston container port has stated that it wishes to continue this growth, in particular increasing refrigerated cargo (in refrigerated containers sometimes known as reefers), forest and agricultural products and container imports for e-commerce retailers.

If you would like to speak to a member of the Mercator Cargo team today to discuss your import from Charleston, USA, or an export to the United States, call us today- Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Are you Thinking of Expanding your Business to the Global Export Market?

As we are now in 2013, you may be thinking of expanding your UK based manufacturing business.  Perhaps you have a product that is selling well in the UK, but you’re considering the global market place.  Freight forwarding might seem a daunting area for new exporters, but we’re here to help.

As experienced freight forwarders based in the UK, we can offer a comprehensive service to all our customers, both large and small.  As a family-run, independent freight forwarder, we are able to take the time to guide you through exporting your UK manufactured goods to the global market.

Mercator offers air, sea and road freight worldwide.  We are rather unique in that we are a founding member of a global network made up of other independent freight forwarders like us.  This allows us personal contacts in almost every country around the world, and invaluable, local knowledge.

Think you might need hand-holding the whole way?  No problem.  We are well versed in introducing the procedures to new exporters.

Need advice on different options?  Mercator can offer advice on ocean freight, air freight and road freight, including costings, transit times, and any local charges you may incur at your goods destination.

Mercator began trading over twenty years ago, and our first customer back in 1991 is still our customer today.

If you’re still wondering if we’re right for you, why not give us a call on 02392 756 575, or email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk, and either Paul or Myles will be in touch about your export freight.

 

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