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Blog Archives

Mercator to Attend Freight Forwarder Exhibition – Mexico

Cargo Week Americas and Expo Carga are running this June in Mexico City.

The aim of the international trade exhibition is to allow members of international trade to meet and discuss business together.  It is a great networking opportunity, and Mercator (and independent, international freight forwarder) will be in attendance this year.

Paul, our MD, will be representing Mercator Cargo on the Marco Polo Line stand (Stand Number 423).  Marco Polo Line (or MPL) was set up as a global network for independent freight forwarders like Mercator.  We are proud to be a founding member of this international network.

As a part of MPL, Mercator has strong relationships with other freight forwarders around the globe.  This allows us invaluable local knowledge and personal contacts where ever your cargo goes.

If you are attending Expo Carga, please come and say ‘hello’ to Paul.  And if you are looking to book a meeting as part of the ‘Cargo Week Americas’, we will be represented by Luis, who is fluent in English and Spanish.  To arrange a one-to-one meeting, please email Mr. Alexandre Surman (who speaks fluent English) asuman@glidatex.com

 

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Importing Wooden Toys into the UK

Two representatives of Mercator Cargo attended the Toy Fair at Olympia this year.  Amongst the very exciting new toys, we noticed how popular wooden toys are becoming again.  Suppliers of quality wooden toys can be in some fairly unusual parts of the world; with our extensive global network covering over 90 countries Mercator is well placed to help you import wooden toys into the UK.

There are several things to consider when importing wooden toys into the UK.  If the goods are being imported from outside the EU, it will be your responsibility (as the importer) to ensure that the wooden toys adhere to certain toy safety regulations here in the UK (such as the European Standard EN17).  Wooden toys imported into the UK will require a CE mark.  It is advised that this is organised prior to shipment as customs clearance may not allow the toys into the country without it.  If you are having toys made for you, then it is your responsibility to ensure that they can satisfactorily pass the tests required to make the toys safe for distribution and use in the UK.  Likewise, if you are buying from a manufacturer who already makes the goods, it would be advisable to have a sample sent to the UK so you can have the wooden toy tested in the UK.

If you already have CE marks in place, and are looking for a freight forwarder to assist you import wooden toys into the UK, then we can help!  With over twenty years of experience in the freight forwarding business, Mercator is large enough to cope, but small enough to care.  We pride ourselves on our personal service offered to all our customers.

If you decide to make us your freight forwarder of choice, then you will be assigned a personal contact here in the office.  This experienced freight forwarder will be able to answer your queries and provide advice on topics such as transport methods (i.e. sea freight, air freight or road freight), transit times, VAT and duty payable upon importing of your goods (if any), your responsibilities as an importer, and documentation.

Speak to one of our experienced team today to discuss your import of wooden toys into the UK – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Oversized Cargo / Out of Gauge Cargo (OOG) Services

Mercator can offer shipping services for abnormal loads and oversized cargo.  Examples of loads we are able to deal with include yachts, planes, locomotives, wind generators and propellers to name a few.

Cargo of this nature needs to be handled with care for loading and unloading and specially secured during transit by sea.  Mercator can arrange for your oversized load to be transported in the safest and efficient way.  With over twenty years of experience in the freight forwarding business, our team of freight forwarders have the knowledge and experience to be able to advise you about options when shipping your out of gauge (OOG) cargo.

Arranging for cargo which does not fit into a standard container requires experience and full understanding of possibilities when it comes to ocean freight.  Some freight services on offer include flat-rack, RoRo (roll-on, roll-off), timber beds, hiab/crane deliveries and low loaders.  With Mercator’s team of freight forwarders, we can assist you in arranging the safe transportation of your oversized cargo load.

Call us today to discuss your out of gauge (OOG) cargo shipment with details of rough dimensions and weight – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Largest Container Ship Visits Southampton Port, UK

Just a few weeks ago, the port of Southampton in the UK saw the arrival of the largest container ship. Named Marco Polo after the explorer, the container ship measures a whopping 1,299ft long by 177ft wide. The vessel is longer than four football pitches.

The container vessel, owned by CMA CGM can hold up to 16,000 containers; it’s this capacity that makes it the world’s largest sea freight container ship.

New technology incorporated into new container ships such as the Marco Polo, for example, the advances in hydrodynamics, decrease CO2 emissions and energy consumption. The ship’s electronically controlled engine uses an average of three percent less fuel than a regular engine. Provisions to prevent oil leaks (via a specially designed double hull) and reducing the transfer of micro-organisms from one ocean to another (via a water treatment system) have also been made. Advances such as these make new container ships more environmentally friendly and conserving for the marine environment.

Competitor Maersk is working on building an even larger ocean freight container ship to hold 18,000 containers, after previously holding the record for the largest shipping vessel with capacity of 11,000 containers.

The Marco Polo container ship will adopt a route to link Asia to Northern Europe. As one of the fastest ocean freight services between Asia and the United Kingdom, it also has comprehensive coverage of China, visiting Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen and Hong Kong to name a few, visiting Southampton in the UK .

Call us today to discuss your import shipment from Asia to the United Kingdom – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Container carriers heading for the rocks?

A further sign that peak season has been a disappointment for ocean carriers came when it was announced that at the end of August 2011  the number of idle container ships stood at 116 units compared to 98 units two weeks earlier. Despite this gloomy situation, only two out of the top 20 container ship carriers have recently reduced their overall capacity. Indeed over the last six months the number of slots available to shippers has risen by nearly six per cent as new tonnage has entered service. As a result freight rates remain depressed although most carriers are trying to impose General rate Increases for September 2011 liftings. It remains to be seen if these rate hikes stick.

For more information on this or any other Freight Forwarding, Import or Export requirements please contact our team of Experts at Mercator Cargo Systems on 02392 75 65 75

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Air Freight Cargo Picks Up

After a very slow and somewhat dismal start to 2011 it looks like Airfreight Export and Import cargo is finally picking up with growth since January around 4% and the annual forecast should be between 5-10% up on the second half of 2010.

However rising fuel prices have squeezed margins for most carriers with increases in Fuel meaning that to secure business the carriers have had to cut basic Airfreight Rate per KG to hold onto and increase market share.

It remains to be seen if traditional Summer and Christmas “peak seasons” will drive volume up, it seems likely that the costs incurred for exporting or importing by air could well result in volumes remaining low until first quarter 2012 when the London olympics should begin to increase overall Import Volume, especially into London Heathrow.

For more information, or air freight rates, services and general guidance please contact one of our expert team at Mercator Cargo Systems on 02392 75 65 75

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Container Freight Rate Increase on Hold

Many carriers are putting planned GRI (General Rate Increase) for the 1st of August on hold due to lower than forecasted Peak Season Container bookings, a number of carriers are already announcing the scrapping of increases way ahead of the proposed implementation date, with most citing growth and volumes at low levels even as we approach the traditional peak season for Christmas goods to begin shipping.

Some industry sources say that peak season this year will fail to materialise, due to the historically low freight rates but also due to some customers getting burnt in previous years with space problems, some of them having already arranged shipment and in some cases already fully stocked for Christmas.

For more information on this or any other container, import or export, freight or international trade matters please call the expert team at Mercator Cargo on 02392 756575

 

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Court overrules planning decision for much neede rail terminal

The developer of a proposed huge new rail freight terminal using Green Belt land at Radlett in Hertfordshire, UK, is celebrating a victory following a High Court decision to overturn the government’s denial of planning permission.

The ruling means that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will have to reconsider his decision made in July last year.

HelioSlough’s proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) had been opposed by campaigners arguing that the terminal would erode the Green Belt and increase the level of noise and traffic in the area.

The developer wants to build the 350,000sq metre depot on the former Radlett Airfield.

A spokesman said: “The SRFI is important for sustainable economic growth – some £250 million (US$402m) will be invested by the private sector in this development, with some 3,000 jobs being generated over the long term.

“It will also generate significant carbon savings by switching freight onto the railways that would otherwise have been moved by road.”

It added: “In the light of this ruling, we now await to hear from the secretary of state what his next steps will be and we will be engaging fully in that process.”

The Secretary of State has until 11 July to challenge the court ruling.

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail’s Manager, said, “Without road and rail transfer points in the right locations, long-distance road freight cannot be removed from our congested road network.

“The planning inspector recommended granting planning permission for this strategic interchange, so we urge the secretary of state to support this application, which ticks all the right boxes in terms of location, stimulation of the green economy and green jobs.”

She added: “Not only is this decision crucial for relieving road congestion around Greater London, it is a key test for wider strategic planning versus localism in the new planning regime.

“The country needs the Localism Bill and the forthcoming National Planning Policy Framework and National Policy Statements to support strategic planning, and, in particular, rail freight terminals of varying sizes in order to reduce road congestion and tackle climate change.”

For more information on this, or any other Rail, Road Sea or Air shipments, please contact our expert team at Mercator Cargo on 02392 75 65 75

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Shipping Industry Confidence Not Good!

As we enter the 3Quarter of 2011 the shipping line industry is facing doom and gloom with rising fuel costs and over capacity on most trade lanes leaves the shipping lines with a problem, however things should start to improve during the last quarter, with Christmas peak season kicking in and leading to a possible increase in ocean freight rates.
It is more than likely that capacity will outstrip demand for the next two to three years, leading to speculation that freight rates will remain at a historically low level for next six months to one year, however the industry will try to push a series of GRI (General Rate Increase) to cover rising costs, probably using “back door” methods such as increases to CAF, BAF and other surcharges.

For more information on Freight Forwarding, Ocean Freight Rates or other Import and Export requirements please call our dedicated team of professional freight forwarders on 02392 75 65 75

 

 

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China/Europe Freight rates still on the slide

Freight rates in the Far East/Europe trade have been falling for the past 6 months or so and are currently 40-50% lower than November 2010. Carriers have tried to increase freight rates in 2011, but the hikes have failed to stick. This is bad news for shipping lines as they enter peak season, traditionally the time of year when demand for shipping space is high resulting in firmer freight rates. The causes are weaker than expected demand linked with new, bigger vessels entering service.

For more information on this, or any other international shipping, freight forwarding, import, export and international trade requirements call our freight forwarding experts on 02392 75 6575

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