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Blog Archives

How do I Export for the First Time?

A recent survey compiled by the British Chamber of Commerce suggests that some UK businesses are holding back from exporting their goods and services overseas.

The Chamber reports that less than half companies surveyed (total of 4,700) had plans to expand internationally.  There have been calls for further support and advice for those UK companies who have potential to export from the UK in order to strengthen the UK’s economy and become a leading export nation.

In order to export successfully knowledge is required, not just of protocols from the UK, but the requirements in other countries.  This is where appointing a well-established and trust-worthy freight forwarder could be the perfect solution to lack of experience and confidence.

A decent freight forwarder should be able to provide you with as much ‘hand holding’ as you require, will be up-to-date with world markets and protocols, and will have a strong network across the globe.

Appointing a freight forwarder will be an important decision for your company as you will work closely on some important business.  You will need to make sure that you work well together, by starting a dialogue early on, you will be able to get to know your forwarder and ascertain whether their promptness, knowledge and experience suits your business needs.

Mercator is a UK based freight forwarding company, proud to offer a personal service for our customers no matter how large or small.  We were founded in 1991, so are well-established in the market with good contacts within the major shipping lines and UK-based hauliers.

We are founding members of the international network of freight forwarders MPL (Marco Polo Line) which gives us personal contacts across the globe.  These contacts allow us to deliver and collect locally in a number of different countries, including clearing exports through local customs.

If you are actively looking for a professional to assist you with exporting (or importing) for the first time, then do feel free to call us.  Your enquiry will be passed to James (our first time importer/exporter guru) or Myles (one of our directors).  You can call 02392 756 575 or 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 – Exports to Turkey

Turkey is set to be a prosperous business partner in the years to come.  Turkey has had their credit rating increased whilst many European countries have had theirs cut.

Turkey has been said to be one of the new high growth countries, alongside the ‘BRICS’ – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.  Whilst the majority of Europe has been crippled in construction for financial reasons, Istanbul is experiencing its construction boom.  And Turkish banks are looking to lend more, something a lot of European countries can only dream of.

Turkey is currently Europe’s sixth biggest economy, predicted to rise to the fourth biggest economy in Europe by 2050.  This would push them to the thirteenth biggest economy in the world (currently sat in seventeenth).

The construction industry is booming in Turkey.  As the economy has grown, people have become wealthier and are demanding bigger and better houses.  Some UK businesses have cashed in on the construction industry by creating partnerships with Turkey-based companies, supplying the construction industry with JCBs and materials.

The banks have reduced their lending rate in order to encourage consumers to spend more.  This has resulted in high streets booming, with big stores moving in to cash in.  Stores such as Nike, Marks & Spencer and Gap, all line the high streets.

Despite this, the UK is lagging behind on its exports to Turkey.  In 2012, the UK exported goods worth £3.7bn, a far cry from Italy’s £8.7bn, and Germany’s monstrous £14bn.

The “new middle class” is said to be the major area of growth for Turkey’s economy, with household spending accounting for 70% of national income.  There is said to be an opportunity for luxury goods, electronics and mobile phones, items which are not as developed as they are in other European countries.

There are several options when exporting goods to Turkey in terms of modes of transports and ports.  The most frequently used port for air freight is Istanbul, whilst there are many options for sea freight, including Mersin, Ambarli, Gebze, Haydarpasa, Istanbul and Evyap.

We have excellent contacts in Turkey, and we work closely with our Turkish agent regularly.

So if you are considering exporting your goods to Turkey and are looking for a freight forwarder, give us a call today – 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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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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Exporting Goods from the UK Worldwide

At Mercator, we have seen an increase in freight forwarding exports from the UK.  When considering expanding your business and beginning to export your goods from the UK, it is important to understand the procedures required to allow this process to run smoothly.

The majority of Mercator’s current client base is small to medium sized enterprises.  For over 20 years, we have assisted hundreds of UK-based companies establish protocols for UK export.  As such we are used to guiding our customers through the freight forwarding export process, offering advice on transport options, routes and documentation, thus creating a seamless process for exporting your goods.

So if you require a UK-based expert freight forwarder to assist in exporting your goods, contact us to see how we can help
Tel. 02392 756 575 or Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk

 

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