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Blog Archives

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 – 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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