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    Category Archives: Freight Forwarder Experience

    UK Customs Clearance

    Freight forwarder Mercator has an experienced and professional team with the ability to customs clear most cargoes at the majority of UK sea freight ports and airports.
    Our team has many years of experience of handling UK imports and completing customs clearance entries. Our import team will be able to assist with VAT and duty calculations and guide you with any documents that may be required for import into the UK.
    Our team work closely with shipping companies, dock operators, warehouses and hauliers on a daily basis, so we have strong connections to handle UK customs clearance and the onward journey to door in an efficient manner.
    We have direct links with HMRC at Felixstowe, Southampton, Liverpool and London Gateway to name a few. This gives us the ability to efficiently customs clear part and full loads arriving via sea freight into the UK.
    We handle HMRC VAT and duty payments on a daily basis for our customers. We manage the payments highly effectively in order to ensure a fast turnaround and therefore swift release by UK Customs.
    Customs clearance is an important part of the shipping process. Make sure you choose a reputable customs clearance expert such as Mercator who will be able to handle the process efficiently for you. To discuss your customs clearance requirements, contact our team by calling +44 2392 756 575, emailnig, or by filling in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.

    Get a Quote UK Customs Clearance

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      Freight Shipping to Mexico from the UK

      Mercator’s export shipping team handle both sea freight and air freight to Mexico.  Our freight shipping services cover all commercial industries, from a single pallet to a full shipping container.  Thanks to our team’s extensive experience in shipping, we can also deal with more complex cargo such as out of gauge and project cargo.  Our service offerings range from a complete door to door shipment to handling just the freight and everything in between.

      Mercator is a founding member of a worldwide freight network (MarcoPoloLine).  It is using these connections that we are able to offer our customers a comprehensive and well-trusted shipping service to Mexico.  We have connections with other freight forwarding firms in Mexico, who we have met personally over the years, have moved cargo with and therefore are tried and tested.  We will only request assistance from our trusted partners, so you know that your cargo is in good hands no matter where it is in the world.

      Air freight to Mexico takes less than 24 hours (for a direct route) and there are usually daily departures from the main UK airports.  It is possible to opt for indirect routes to Mexico, it is worth noting that these can be cheaper than direct flights, but there is always the risk of a delay somewhere in the chain.  An indirect route is perfect if you do not quite have enough time for sea freight, but you do not necessarily need the cargo to arrive in Mexico in under a few days.

      Sea freight sailings from the UK to Mexico depart several times a week from various ports in the UK.  We do try to marry up your shipment with a local UK port (it can reduce trucking costs to the port in the UK), but sometimes it is more economical to choose a carrier from a UK port slightly further away, they may be offering more frequent sailings, or have a quicker route.  Sea freight to Mexico tends to take 21 days port to port, you need to add a few days either side for loading, customs clearance etc. Mercator is a small, independently owned freight forwarding company.  When you call our team, there are no voice recordings or hold music, you will get through to who you need and speak to a real person.  Your shipment will be handled by one member of our team, and you can contact them directly.  So if you are looking for a reliable freight forwarder to handle your sea or air freight shipping to Mexico from the UK call +44 2392 756 575, email, or fill the form in below and a member of our team will be in touch

      Get a Quote for Shipping to Mexico

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        Shipping to Canada from the UK

        Freight forwarder Mercator arranges export shipping from the UK to Canada on a regular basis.  We have several customers who ship to Canada monthly, and welcome enquiries from new customers with recurring or one-off shipments.  Our team are able to handle any commercial cargo type when it comes to exporting to Canada.  We mainly see the shipping of machinery, chemicals, and vehicles and parts.

        The main sea freight ports in on the east coast of Canada are Montreal and Toronto.  Transit times from the UK to Canada via this route are around 15 days, with regular sailings from both Southampton and Liverpool ports.  It is possible to ship to the west coast of Canada, some routes go via the Panama Canal, transit times for a route like this would be around 40 days.  Other carriers call at Montreal and rail the container across the country.

        For export shipping to Canada, we can offer a part or full package depending upon the agreement the UK supplier has with their customer in Canada.  For example, we can just organise the loading and delivery of the shipment to the UK port, or arrange for the shipment to go all the way through to the customer’s door in Canada.  We are able to offer such a comprehensive service for shipping to Canada thanks to our close working relationship with another freight forwarder based in Canada.  We work very regularly with this team, and as such we can trust them with our clients’ cargo as we know it will be in safe hands.

        When selecting a freight forwarder to handle your shipping tasks to Canada it is important to ensure they not only have the right contacts in Canada, but also that they have relevant experience in shipping to Canada.  A freight forwarder that regularly arranges shipping to Canada will have good connections with the sea freight carriers, preferred rates from the carriers, and will also be in the loop regarding any requirements or restrictions for shipping to Canada.

        So if you have a shipment for Canada and you are looking for a freight forwarder to handle it for you, get in touch to discuss our services and to get a quote: call us on +44 2392 756 575 or email

        Get a Quote for Shipping to Canada

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          Road Freight Shipping Solutions from Turkey to the UK

          Freight forwarder Mercator handles a variety of commercial cargo from Turkey to the UK, via several modes of transport. Our shipping from Turkey services include road freight, sea freight and air freight.

          Road freight is a relatively popular option as it is usually speedier than sea freight taking between 8 and 12 days. If a shipment is less than a truck load, then it is also usually cheaper than sea freight too.

          Purchasing goods from Turkey can sometimes include an ATR movement certificate – which is a document from the manufacturer in Turkey to confirm that the goods were made in Turkey. This document can be used upon customs clearance in the UK and can allow tariff preferences on goods upon import into the UK (usually a reduced or zero import duty rate, depending on the classification of the goods you are importing). When you are liaising with your supplier in Turkey, be sure to ask if they are able to provide an ATR for shipping purposes.

          Mercator’s import shipping team recently arranged the road freight of a consignment of 11m3 of ball pool balls. We ensured that the customer obtained an ATR from their supplier in Turkey, organised the less than truck load road freight, and then once the truck arrived in the UK, customs clearance and delivery to the customer’s door.

          Our shipping services from Turkey to the UK can cover the full process, or just part. In this case we handled the whole shipping from start to finish. We can also just arrange the clearance once the goods arrive in the UK, and onward delivery (for example if it was air freight or sea freight from Turkey).

          If you have purchased goods from Turkey and require assistance with the shipping of the goods to the UK, then get in touch with our import team who will be happy to talk you through the options and put together a quote for a suitable shipping solution: +44 2392 756 575 or email


          Get a Quote for Shipping from Turkey

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            Sea Freight Shipping to the USA

            Freight forwarder Mercator Cargo has been handling commercial sea freight shipments to the USA from the UK since it was founded in 1991. Our export shipping team handle consignments to the USA regularly, and as such we have strong relationships with the shipping lines that run trade over to the USA, and also with our USA based freight forwarding partners.

            Our shipping services to the USA include both air and sea freight. Sea freight shipping to the East Coast of America is a popular option due to the short transit time, usually between 7-10 days port to port. Shipping to the West Coast of the USA takes around 30 days. It is always best to factor in some extra time at each end to allow for loading, cut off times for sailings, customs in the USA and delivery. If you are short on time, air freight to the USA is an alternative option.

            Our export shipping team recently arranged the shipping of a 20’ container of baby products from the UK to the USA. We instructed for the pallets to be picked up from the customer’s warehouse and delivered to a yard near Liverpool port where they were loaded and secured into a 20’ shipping container. Ordinarily the customer would load and “lash” (i.e. secure) the goods directly in the container themselves, however, it is not always possible for every business to be able to do so (requiring manpower and also forklift trucks on site). The container was then transferred to the port ready to be shipped to New York. Our team completed the export customs in the UK, and liaised with our partner agents in the USA to clear and deliver the goods directly to the buyer.



            This particular shipping consignment to the USA was “door-to-door”, Mercator’s shipping services to the USA cover any or all aspects of the export process. Most exporters from the UK will have a FOB (free on board) term agreed with their buyer in the USA, which means they are only responsible for getting the shipment onto the vessel, and would therefore include loading, export customs, trucking to the port, and port fees in the UK to load the container onto the vessel. However, due to our relationships with freight forwarders across the USA (thanks to our founding membership of the worldwide network MarcoPoloLine), we are well connected to arrange a shipment right up to the door in the USA.

            If you have goods which you need shipping to the USA, please get in touch, our export team will be more than happy to assist you: +44 2392 756 575 or email


            Get a Quote for Shipping to the USA

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              Import and Export Shipping Between the UK and Egypt

              The import and export shipping team at Mercator recently arranged the temporary import and re-export of this Land Rover from Egypt. The owner required a specialist repair in the UK, so our agent in Egypt arranged the shipping from Egypt to the UK. Once the vehicle arrived at the UK port, our import team arranged the temporary import paperwork and customs entries accordingly, and onwards delivery to the repair garage.

              Arranging a temporary import into the UK usually means that no import VAT or duties are payable. There is a list of requirements for a shipment to be able to be entered as a temporary import with UK customs, in this instance the shipment qualified for a temporary import.

              Our team kept in touch with the UK garage so when the vehicle was ready for shipping to Egypt we arranged the collection, loading and lashing of the vehicle in the container, and sea freight to Egypt.
              Alexandria is one of the main sea freight ports in Egypt. Sea freight shipping from Egypt to the UK takes around 20 days from port to port.

              Mercator has a good working relationship with our partner agent in Egypt, thanks to our founding membership of the global freight forwarding network MarcoPoloLine. As such, we can handle all kinds of commercial cargo shipments to and from Egypt. Our shipping services to and from Egypt include air freight and sea freight.

              If you have a commercial shipment to or from Egypt, or a temporary import into the UK that you would like a freight forwarder to handle, get in touch +44 2392 756 575 or email


              Get a Quote for Commercial Shipping to or from Egypt

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                Shipping Containerised Cargo From Canada to the UK

                Mercator Cargo has been involved in the shipping of some unusual cargo over the past 25 years.  We recently arranged the shipping of this collectable aircraft from Canada to the UK.

                The customer approached us and asked for a door to door shipping service from Montreal, Canada to Swindon, UK.  Our import team put their heads together to come up with the best solution to ship the vintage aircraft.  The customer had already planned to take the wings off for shipping, and as such, the body of the plane had the right dimensions to fit into a 40’ high cube shipping container.

                Shipping a specialist piece of cargo such as an airplane can require specific paperwork in order to export the cargo.  In this case, an export licence was required in Canada.  Thanks to our freight forwarding partner in Canada, we were able to assist our customer in being able to obtain this for export from Canada.

                Loading (and unloading) an unusual or bulky load takes time, and it is not always possible to load within the allotted timeframe for a haulier.  We regularly arrange to drop a container to the ground for loading or unloading, and to leave the container in place for a number of days.  For this shipment from Canada, we dropped the container to the ground for both loading in Canada and unloading in the UK.

                The import team instructed the collection of the shipment in Montreal, the container was delivered to the port to be loaded onto the vessel bound to the UK.  Once the container arrived in Southampton 11 days later, we arranged the customs clearance and onward delivery to door in Swindon.

                If you have a shipment from Canada to the UK, or an unusual load you need some specialist help with, get in touch with our freight forwarding team to see how we can assist you: +44 2392 756 575 or email


                Get a Quote for Import Shipping from Canada

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                  Importing and international freight from Vietnam

                  At Mercator Cargo we closely monitor worldwide manufacturing and sourcing trends. The recent increase in trade from Vietnam shows the move away from China to other countries, demonstrating the region as one potential new area for traders and manufacturers looking to source cheap, reliable products.

                  This, of course, is nothing new – like the move away from Europe to China which has prevailed in the previous decades, driven by the increase in the standard of living in China which has increased labour costs driving up manufacturing costs.

                  The latest move by the USA President, Donald Trump, to increase tariff/duty rates on goods from China will add further pressure to the Chinese manufacturing community. Many US Companies are looking to source goods from outside of China. It makes sense for the rest of the world to follow this trend and begin to look elsewhere, facilities manufacturing goods for the USA will also be able to manage the production of goods for the EU and the rest of the world.

                  We have excellent partners in Vietnam who not only can provide us with low freight rates for both air and sea, but who can also assist in finding trusted, reliable partners for your manufacturing and sourcing needs. We can also bolt on added services such as warehousing and consolidation.

                  As Vietnam, and other Asian countries continue to grow we forecast these markets will be the “new” China in a few years’ time, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this new era.

                  Make sure that you choose a well-established and reputable freight forwarder who has direct connections locally in Vietnam. If you would like to discuss any aspect of shipping or supply chain from Vietnam or you would like a quotation, then get in touch: +44 2392 756 575 or email


                  Get more information on Vietnam Trade

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                    Land Rover and Vehicle Shipping

                    For many years Mercator Cargo have been involved in international vehicle shipments. We have had the pleasure of moving hundreds of vehicles both to and from the UK, from the rare to rust bucket we have moved them all. Over the years we have built a network of trusted partners all over the world, in some cases we can help source vehicles as well as organise shipping.

                    We have seen the recent trend around the ever-popular Land Rover Defender, these vehicles are in huge demand since production stopped in 2016. Mercator is at the forefront of the steep increase in Defender shipping from the UK and other countries mainly to the USA where they are highly coveted.

                    Contact us to discuss shipping requirements of Land Rovers, or any other vehicles.

                    If you have a vehicle shipment make sure that you choose a well-established and reputable freight forwarder. If you would like to discuss a vehicle shipment or you would like a quotation, then get in touch: +44 2392 756 575 or email


                    Get a Quote for Vehicle Shipping

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                      Importing Vehicles from South Africa to the UK

                      Mercator has seen consistent requests over the years to arrange shipping of cars from South Africa to the UK. We receive the vehicles in Durban, organize the secure loading into containers for shipping and arrange customs clearance of these vehicles into the UK; we negotiate port costs and arrange the unpacking on arrival into the UK including NOVA documentation. The sea freight from South Africa to the UK takes around 20-23 days.

                      Our most recent shipments include 2x Ford Escorts and 1x Suzuki motorcycle which were all loaded into one 40’ container, 3x Volkswagen Campers loaded into another 40’ Container and lastly 2x Range Rovers both also loaded into one 40’ Container.


                      Containerized vehicle shipping is much more secure than it might sound.  All vehicles that are loaded into the container are secured with various lashing and padding around the cars so that they do not move in transit – making it a safe shipping option.  Our vehicle shipping service even goes as far as arranging detailed inspection of the vehicle before and after it is shipped to ensure there is no damaged made during transit.

                      As part of a worldwide network of freight forwarders, we have personal contacts around the globe with local knowledge. Our Partner in South Africa is able to assist with Export Customs, transport and other associated activities. We can advise our customers on all aspects of exporting from South Africa to the UK. Our services for importing from  South Africa can be fully comprehensive including insurance, door-to-door imports, or as little as arranging your ocean or air freight.

                      If you have a vehicle to ship to the UK from South Africa then get in touch with us for a quote. Our import shipping team will be more than happy to help:

                      +44 2392 756 575 or email


                      Get a Quote for Importing Vehicles from South Africa to the UK

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