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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 – 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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