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Blog Archives

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 News – Export Week 2013

This week sees the UK’s ‘Export Week’; a government launched series of events around the UK to promote exporting to small businesses.

The aim of ‘Export Week’ is to increase the number of small businesses that currently export.  The national target set by the government is for 100,000 more businesses exporting over the next 5 years.

This would increase the number of UK manufacturers that export from 20% to 25%, and add to the UK economy an estimated £36 billion.

UK businesses can see an increase in up to 34% of productivity when they start exporting, so if you have the opportunity to export – it’s a no-brainer!

Small businesses might be daunted by the prospect of exporting from the UK, however, it is becoming increasingly more evident that smaller businesses can also win international business.

Of course, larger firms may already have trained staff in exporting their goods, and may even have dedicated staff for this purpose.

Smaller firms need not fear; this is where a freight forwarder can step in.  By appointing a freight forwarder to handle their export shipment, the whole process can be taken care of.  By appointing an experienced freight forwarder (such as Mercator Cargo) the weight can be lifted off your shoulders and you can be safe in the knowledge that your cargo is in expert hands.

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder who prides itself on offering a personal service.  With a team of experienced freight forwarders at hand, we can offer a “hand holding” service if needs be, and can offer advice at every step along the way.

So if you’re considering exporting your goods from the UK, give Mercator Cargo a call today to discuss your export shipment – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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How to Choose a Freight Forwarder

If you import into the UK or export from the UK, you are most likely to either have a freight forwarder, or will be looking to choose a freight forwarder.

Here are a few questions that might be important to consider before choosing your freight forwarder:

Does your freight forwarder have links to or experience in importing or exporting to your origin or destination countries?  Here at Mercator, we are part of a global network of independent freight forwarders.  This means we have a personal freight forwarding contact in virtually every country in the world, allowing us to draw on local knowledge that other freight forwarders may not have access to.

Does your freight forwarder have time to spend talking through options and processes?  As an independently run freight forwarding agent, Mercator’s experienced freight forwarders have the expertise and the time to deliver a first class service.  When you choose us as your freight forwarder, you will be assigned a personal contact, your logistics expert if you like.  This freight forwarder will be personally contactable via email and telephone, and will keep you updated with your shipment every step of the way.  It is not coincidence that our first customer back in 1991 is still our customer today.

Does your freight forwarder listen to your forwarding needs and the needs of your business?  We understand that it is important for your freight forwarder to be working with you.  This is why we will do our upmost to deliver your goods on time, and keep you in the loop throughout your shipments movements.

Can your freight forwarder cope with a complicated shipment?  As an independent freight forwarder, we have the time and the expertise to deal with complex shipments.  Whether you have an out of gauge cargo shipment, or a delicate load, Mercator Cargo can assist you.

If the above points are important to you and your business, why not give one of our freight forwarders a call to discuss how we can help your business.  Even if you’d like to just have a chat and get a quote, you are under no obligation to take up our services if you decide not to.

So to compare our service with your current freight forwarder, give us a call today – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Are you a First Time Importer Looking for a Freight Forwarding Partner?

Are you about to embark on importing goods into the UK for the first time? Perhaps you are importing goods into the UK from a manufacturer abroad to sell on in the UK. Or you might be getting bespoke goods manufactured abroad and importing in them into the UK for distribution. Either way, you are probably looking for a freight forwarding partner. Look no further, Mercator Cargo is an experienced freight forwarder and we can help with your import logistics.

Importing goods into the UK might seem like a scary notion. And it may well be if you have not done this before. That is why it is a wise decision to look for a freight forwarding partner to arrange your import for you. At Mercator we offer a wide range of freight forwarding services for imports, from just arranging a sea freight shipment, to a full service of door-to-door deliveries and all necessaries when importing, such as customs clearance, VAT and duty payments, and documentation.

Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder based in the UK. Founded in 1991, we are still run and owned by the same family. We have a highly experienced import department made up of freight forwarders, all with different experiences and knowledge. As we are independently run, we can offer a full ‘hand holding’ service, and advise on all matters related to importing goods into the UK.

So if you are unsure of what you are doing when it comes to importing into the UK and want to be guided through by the experts, then give us a call today and ask for the imports department – 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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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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Exporting Chemicals from the UK

If you’re looking to export chemicals, Mercator Cargo can help. With trained staff and over 20 years’ experience in international freight forwarding, Mercator has the knowledge and contacts to arrange your export of chemicals from the UK.

Even hazardous, dangerous or restricted chemicals are in our remit. When your chemicals both leave the UK and arrive at their destination country, hazard restrictions and regulations may apply, it is vital these are understood. Mercator is able to assist you in understanding these regulations and offer advice with regards to labelling, packaging and documentation.

There may be specific regulations about how your chemicals need to be packaged, classified and labelled. Mercator can offer advice with regards to any queries you may have. Still managed and owned by the founding family, we pride ourselves with offering the best customer service at a personal level.

Mercator is able to offer a bespoke service to aid you in organising your export shipment of chemicals from the UK.

Call today to speak to a member of our Export Department to discuss your export of chemicals from the UK – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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