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Blog Archives

How do I go about Exporting Food from the UK?

The government recently highlighted a huge gap in the UK’s potential exports.  The UK’s largest manufacturing sector is food and drink, with a turnover of in excess of £90bn.  Despite this impressive statistic only 10% of UK food and drink manufacturers currently export their goods.

If you’re a UK food or drink manufacturer and have not been involved in shipping before you may be asking ‘how do I export my goods?’

Obviously the first step is to find a buyer for your goods abroad.  Once you have achieved this, the next step is to arrange the shipping of your food or drink.

In order to do this, the best route is to appoint a freight forwarder to handle this for you.  Finding a reliable and reputable freight forwarder can be a bit of a task.  Your freight forwarder will need to have knowledge of required documents for exporting food and drink, and also understand port health restrictions, which differ from country to country.

For this reason, it is important to choose a freight forwarder who has contacts globally.  Mercator Cargo has these relevant contacts as we are a founding member of the global freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL).  Using our contacts from MPL, we can draw on local knowledge at your cargo’s destination.

In the sector of international trade and shipping, knowledge is extremely powerful; it can avoid great mistakes and achieve great advantages.  Mercator has a core team of experienced freight forwarders who have been working in the industry for the entirety of their careers; freight forwarding is their bread and butter.

When in discussion with your buyer, you will need to agree on what “INCO terms” you are selling your food or drink.  “INCO terms” are an internationally understood terms of buying and selling, the terms outline what you as a seller are liable to pay for and what the buyer will need to pay.  Discuss this in further detail with our export team if you are unsure, we will do our best to make this clear for you.

Give Mercator Cargo a call today and ask for the export team to discuss exporting your UK manufactured food and drink – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for Exporting Food from the UK

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Is it time to change your Freight Forwarder?

Have you had problems with your shipments recently that your freight forwarder has not attempted to resolve for you?

When you call your freight forwarder do you always speak to a different person, and therefore lack continuity?

Are you unhappy with the service that your freight forwarder provides?

Does your freight forwarder not have the specialist knowledge needed to handle your shipments?

If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘yes’, then it is time you looked to change your freight forwarder.  Having a freight forwarder that does not fit or understand your business can be very costly to you and your company.

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder based in the UK and has been running for over twenty years under the same managing family.

At Mercator we pride ourselves on excellent customer service.  If (and we mean IF) there was a problem with your shipment, we would endeavour to sort it for you, it is after all our job.  Remember we are working for you.

When you choose Mercator as your new freight forwarder you will be appointed a personal contact here in the office.  This experienced member of our team will handle all your shipments and be in contact with you personally about the movements of your goods.

Mercator is a founding partner of a global network of freight forwarders.  Our membership in this network means we have personal contacts in over 90 countries worldwide.  We regularly attend the network conferences which means we have built excellent working relationships with other forwarders globally.  This will benefit you as a customer because we can offer ‘to door’ shipments in almost every country and we have valuable local knowledge where ever your cargo goes.

Our freight forwarding team is long-standing and the majority are part of the managing family.  This is huge strength because it means our best interests for you as the customer are at the heart of what we do.  Each member of our team cares for the company and our customers.

Now that you know you’re looking for a new freight forwarder, why not give Mercator a call now to discuss what we can do for you and your business – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Freight Forwarding – Shipping to Russia from the UK

Russia is one of the largest countries in the world and is enjoying an ever-growing economy.  These two strengths combined make Russia an excellent choice to ship your UK manufactured goods to.

Once you have found a buyer for your goods in Russia, you will then need to consider how you are going to ship them from the UK.  The most sensible route is to appoint a reputable freight forwarder as shipping to Russia can be complex due to its vast size and strict customs regulations.

Mercator Cargo has been shipping goods on behalf of our clients to Russia for many years and our export team are familiar with procedures when your shipment arrives in Russia.  Our partner agent in Russia (thanks to our affiliation with the global freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL)) can assist in clearing your shipment through customs and arranging delivery to door if required.

Mercator mainly handles pallet, part container and full container shipping to Russia, but do contact us even if your shipment is smaller, as we may be able to arrange air freight for you, or palletise the shipment.

The majority of the shipping we handle to Russia is via sea freight, but you may wish to consider air freight if the shipment is quite small or urgent.  Sea freight shipping times to Russia is approximately two weeks, whereas air freight is a matter of hours (not including packing, loading, unloading and customs clearance time – give us a call to discuss this in further detail).

So if you are looking for a freight forwarder to handle shipping your goods to Russia, then give the export team a call to discuss your requirements and to obtain a quote – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for Shipping to Russia

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Freight Forwarder Mercator Cargo Attends Annual Conference in Cape Town, South Africa

Marco Polo Line (MPL), a global network of independent freight forwarders held its annual conference last week in Cape Town, South Africa.  Mercator Cargo is a founding partner of the network, and this year our representatives were Paul (our MD) and Myles (our Director).

There were just over ninety freight forwarders from across the world in attendance this year.  The annual conferences allow Mercator the opportunity to network with other freight forwarders that we work with on a regular basis.  This has great advantages to our service offerings globally, for example, if there were a problem at your cargo’s destination, we could call on our local freight forwarder there to resolve the issue.  Having contacts in most countries also means we have access to valuable local information, for example customs and document requirements.

We believe that being part of the global network MPL enhances our service we offer to our customers.  As an independent freight forwarder, we pride ourselves on providing a personal service to our clients no matter how large or small.

If you’re looking for an experienced freight forwarder to handle your shipments, whether they are imports or exports, then give us a call to discuss your requirements – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

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Freight Forwarding – Shipping to Australia from the UK

The export market for goods to be shipped to Australia from the UK has grown recently.  As a result, Mercator has seen an increase in shipping activity to Australia from the UK, and as such we have become more experienced in handling shipments to Australia.

Our experience in shipping to Australia means that we have had the opportunity to build great working relationships with other agents in Australia.  This can be extremely helpful to you as a customer when you are shipping your goods to Australia, as we can arrange for our partner agents to complete your customs clearance and delivery to the door of your goods destination.

Australia has some strict customs rules to understand before you begin shipping to Australia from the UK.  Even if your product is safe to pass through customs without an issue, there is even the packaging to consider.  Any kind of wood will need to be treated for shipping to Australia from the UK.  This is a topic you can discuss with one of our freight forwarders if you think it might be an issue.

The typical sea freight shipping time to Australia from the UK is up to forty-five days, this depends on which port your goods are being shipped to.  This is something you can discuss with our export department in further detail.

Give us a call to discuss your shipping to Australia from the UK for further details and for a quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for Shipping to Australia

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Freight Forwarding – Shipping to Turkey

The Turkish economy has been strengthening over the past few years.  As such, people who live in Turkey have been demanding bigger and better houses and more sophisticated technology.  This has led to a demand in imports in Turkey for raw materials for construction, technology items, clothing, household furniture and goods, and so on.

Shipping UK manufactured goods to Turkey has become big business; Turkey has become a leading source for exports from the UK.  Istanbul’s high street is now lined with shops such as Marks and Spencer and Next.  It is the perfect time for the UK’s economy to cash in on Turkey’s construction and economic boom.

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder and over the past couple of years we have seen a big increase in shipping to Turkey services, in particular sea freight, where it is more cost effective to ship large amounts of goods (as opposed to air freight services).

Shipping to Turkey can be a complex task if you decide to arrange it without the help of a freight forwarder, it can be more cost effective to use a freight forwarder.  This may seem a silly statement, but if you use a freight forwarder for your shipping to Turkey, then they will phone around the shipping lines, or airlines, to get the best deal.  Often a freight forwarder’s long-term business relationship with the carriers will pay off.  Also, by using a freight forwarder you are going to avoid simple mistakes which could end up quite costly to you and your business.  It is a simple decision to instruct a freight forwarder who will handle all elements of your shipping to Turkey.

Contact our export department to discuss shipping to Turkey, to arrange a service fitted to your business needs and get a no obligation quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for Shipping to Turkey

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Freight Forwarder Mercator Cargo Expands its Air Freight Services

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder based in the UK.  We’ve been running for over twenty years and have offered air freight services since forming in 1991.

This year, Mercator Cargo has become a member of the international freight forwarder association IATA (International Air Transport Association).  This means that Mercator‘s freight forwarding team can deal with the airlines for air freight services direct.  This allows our air freight services to be more competitive, flexible and have a greater coverage of the globe.

We can now provide air freight services to more countries, at better rates and more frequently than before.  We cover both air freight imports and exports thanks to our founding membership of the international freight forwarder network MarcoPolo Line (MPL).

If you are looking for a freight forwarder that offers air freight services internationally, then give one of our freight forwarders a call today to discuss your air freight shipment and provide a quote – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for an Air Freight Shipment

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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.

 

Request a Quote for International Shipping

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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.

 

Request a Quote for Shipping to Saudi Arabia

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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.

 

Request a Quote for Shipping into London Gateway

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