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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 – New to International Trade and Importing?

If you haven’t dealt with international trade before, the business of importing your goods into the UK might seem like a bit of a challenge.

It is a good idea to appoint a freight forwarder with the required knowledge and experience to assist you with your shipments.

Not only can a good freight forwarder arrange the actual shipment for you from A to B, but they should be able to impart some useful advice when it comes to buying your goods abroad.

When buying your goods, here are some pointers that you may wish to think about before signing anything with a supplier:

–          Ensure you know how much your goods are going to cost;
–          Make sure you know how much it is going to cost to transport your goods to your warehouse;
–          Make sure you investigate as to whether there are any restrictions on the goods you wish to import into the UK (an experienced freight forwarder will be able to advise);
–          Ensure that your contract of purchase is sound;
–          Make sure that you will get your goods once you have paid, or have legally agreed to pay.

These are just a few pointers to consider when looking to import into the UK.  If you are at this stage, then it will be worth contacting a freight forwarder to obtain a quote for the importation of your goods.  An experienced freight forwarder will be able to offer you a variety of different levels of shipping services – for example, a comprehensive service from door to door, including all insurance, customs clearance, VAT & Duty payments to HMRC etc, or just an aspect of your shipment, for example just the ocean freight.

If you’re looking to import goods into the UK, then contact Mercator Cargo today, our family-run business can offer you support and advice when it comes to importing for the first time – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for Importing into the UK

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