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Blog Archives

Freight Forwarding News – Container Ships Increasing in Size

The biggest ever container ship is due to set sail on the waters in June this year.  Rumoured to be taller than the 2012 Olympic Stadium and 400 metres long, it will be the largest vessel on the seas.

Named the Triple E, the new model of container ship will have holding capacity of 18,000 20 foot containers.  Inside these 18,000 containers you could fit 863 million cans of baked beans, or 36,000 cars.

Currently, the largest container ship holds the equivalent of 12,500 20 foot containers.  This is an increase in capacity of almost 50%.  There are already discussions of an ever bigger vessel holding up to 30,000 containers.

The new Triple E ships are intended to run ocean freight services between Asia and Europe.

So what does this mean for the freight forwarding industry?

Bigger container ships are said to be more eco-friendly.  Not only is technology becoming more advanced on these large container ships, but by carrying more cargo, the fuel footprint per tonne of cargo is reducing.

However, larger container ships bring their own problems, as ports are expected to either adapt to receive these bigger vessels, or the ships will call at other ports instead.

The Port of Felixstowe handles almost half of the UK’s container trade and has plans to increase its capacities by constructing a third rail terminal due to open later this year.

If you’re looking for a freight forwarder to handle your import or export sea freight, call us today – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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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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Are you Thinking of Expanding your Business to the Global Export Market?

As we are now in 2013, you may be thinking of expanding your UK based manufacturing business.  Perhaps you have a product that is selling well in the UK, but you’re considering the global market place.  Freight forwarding might seem a daunting area for new exporters, but we’re here to help.

As experienced freight forwarders based in the UK, we can offer a comprehensive service to all our customers, both large and small.  As a family-run, independent freight forwarder, we are able to take the time to guide you through exporting your UK manufactured goods to the global market.

Mercator offers air, sea and road freight worldwide.  We are rather unique in that we are a founding member of a global network made up of other independent freight forwarders like us.  This allows us personal contacts in almost every country around the world, and invaluable, local knowledge.

Think you might need hand-holding the whole way?  No problem.  We are well versed in introducing the procedures to new exporters.

Need advice on different options?  Mercator can offer advice on ocean freight, air freight and road freight, including costings, transit times, and any local charges you may incur at your goods destination.

Mercator began trading over twenty years ago, and our first customer back in 1991 is still our customer today.

If you’re still wondering if we’re right for you, why not give us a call on 02392 756 575, or email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk, and either Paul or Myles will be in touch about your export freight.

 

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Russian Port set to Increase Container Handling Capacity

A large investment for Russia’s gateway port, St. Petersburg container terminal has been announced. The investment aims to increase the port’s container handling capacity by twenty percent. The Russian operating company (Global Ports) report that the $120 million investment will also increase the port’s Ro-Ro and automobile services at the terminal, which has seen a large consumer demand for the import and export of vehicles. The money will also go towards improving the rail networks linking the container port at the far East of the country, Port of Vostochny.

Global Ports handles thirty percent of Russian port container volumes and twenty-three percent of fuel exports from the country.

Mercator can handle all kinds of shipment of cargo to and from Russia, including Ro-Ro services, reefer containers, and the transit of perishable or dangerous goods.

To discuss your sea freight to or from Russia, call Mercator today – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Importing Supercars into the UK from Dubai and Saudi Arabia

Mercator has over twenty years experience in the freight forwarding business and has imported various supercars and luxury cars into the UK from all over the Middle East including Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Let Mercator guide you through the process of importing your supercar into the UK with a comprehensive, personal service.  Our experienced team of freight forwarders can advise on all matters including transit methods (i.e. sea freight or air freight), transit times, options to securely fasten the car in its shipping container, import VAT and duty, and loading options.

We understand that the safety of your vehicle is paramount, and so will go to lengths to ensure that the car is secured safely in its shipping container, or on the airplane.  Fastening will only be undertaken in full knowledge that no marks will be made to the car.  Options such as using webbing and padded straps can be discussed.

Mercator can organise everything for your shipment of your supercar from its destination in the Middle East.  We can arrange the sea or air freight, the collection of the car when it arrives into the UK for delivery anywhere across the country, the import VAT and duty payable upon arrival in the UK, and all measures to ensure a safe transit.

Ferrari UK to Australia - Ocean Freight Forwarder

The Ferrari above is a car that we shipped for a customer. As you can see, it has been containerised in order to minimise the risk of damage in transit and has been secured in the container to ensure that it does not move around during transit. We have contacts at most ports who can arrange the secure loading of your car, do a full inspection before the vehicle is loaded and ensure the car is securely fastened into the container for transit.

If you’re looking to import a supercar from Dubai, Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, contact us today to see how we can help – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Brazilian Port Cleared to Handle Larger Container Vessels

The Brazilian Port Terminal de Conteineres de Paranagua (TCP) has recently received permission to handle larger ocean carriers.  Previously restricted sizes were according to the limits allowed to travel through the Panama Canal.  The Brazilian port has now been authorised unrestricted access to ‘post-Panamax’ vessels (that is larger than Panamax container ships).

This newly lifted restriction will allow larger container vessels to the South American port than previously, thus increasing loads entering the country and reducing costs.  This is of significant benefit to both importers and exporters to and from Brazil.

Since the container terminal was acquired by a private US firm in 2011, productivity in the port has increased.  There has been a sharp rise in container moves per hour, from less than 30 in 2010, to almost 80 in November 2012.  This is partly due to investment in new handling equipment for the containers.  This also has a cost benefit for those importing containers of goods into Brazil, and exporting containers from this terminal.

A planned expansion of the container terminal is due for completion in November 2013.

Call Mercator today to discuss your export shipment to Brazil, or import shipment from Brazil – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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New Container Terminal – Port of Tripoli, Lebanon

Gulftainer has won a bid to develop and run a new container port in Tripoli, Northern Lebanon.  An investment of $60 million will fund machinery for the new port, including three ship-to-shore gantry cranes, nine yard cranes and up-to-date technology to manage the yards and containers in the new port smoothly.

Once the port has been completed, it will be able to receive some of the largest container ships in the Eastern Mediterranean.  The new Port of Tripoli will alleviate some of the congestion at nearby Port of Beirut, and an alternative terminal to that of Tartous and Lakakia in Syria.

The new port will provide another route for imports and exports to Iraq from the Mediterranean Sea.  This will cut transit times from Europe to Iraq, allowing cargo to pass through the new Tripoli Port and travel via road to its destination in Iraq.  Currently the Umm Qasr Port (Iraq) and the Gulftainer Port in Tripoli (Lebanon) are not linked via rail, although it would only take 31km of track to link the two ports.

Call Mercator today to discuss your shipment to or from Lebanon – 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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Refrigerated Container Imports and Exports

At Mercator we can offer a variety of options for refrigerated container transport (also known as reefers) for import into the UK and export from the UK.  Some goods will need to be kept at a cooled constant temperature, for example frozen food stuffs, whilst other items (for example candles) may need to be protected from heat or cooler temperatures in a controlled temperature environment.  Reefers allow the transportation of perishable goods at any time of year, safe in the knowledge your goods will not spoil.

Available in either 20 foot or 40 foot containers, and even part loads – where we can combine your goods with other loads (provided that all the goods can be kept at the same temperature).  Combining your load with other goods can keep your costings down.

Examples of refrigerated container transported goods include:

  • Paintballs
  • Frozen meat
  • Scented candles
  • Chocolate
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Fruit & Vegetables

Mercator also offers comprehensive advice and services in all Port Health matters.  If importing or exporting food stuffs, your goods will be subject to Port Health clearance.  Our experienced team of freight forwarders can advise on all Port Health queries.

When importing into the UK your goods will be subject to VAT and Duty charges through customs.  We are able to calculate this rate and deal with HMRC clearance.  Once your goods have arrived in the UK and your VAT & Duty charges have been settled, Mercator can make arrangements to deliver your shipment to door, either via road haulage or rail.

Call today to speak to a member of our Operations Department to discuss your refrigerated shipment – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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