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Category Archives: Company News

COVID-19 Shipping Operational Update

Mercator continues to operate at full capacity during the Coronavirus pandemic.  We have select staff in the office at any one time practicing social distancing, the rest of the team continue to work from home.

We are hearing encouraging news from our customers and contacts all the time with business picking up in retail and demand for shipping goods in and out of the UK on the increase again now that companies (which closed earlier in the pandemic) are operating again.

Sea and air freight availability and number of sailings/flights are improving and continue to move closer to pre-lockdown services.

Calling our landline (+44 2392 756 575) will still field out to Mark, George and Alex whether they are home or in the office.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need us.

Get in Touch with our Freight Team

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COVID-19 Operational Shipping Update

It is business as usual for UK based freight forwarder, Mercator. Our office is open for normal working hours, manned by George, Paul and Julie. The rest of the team continue to work remotely, also in normal working hours. We are being as productive as usual, handling the same amount of freight as pre-lockdown, taking new enquiries and maintaining the high standards of communications that our customers are used to.
All of the team are available on their usual email addresses, and calling the office landline (023 92 756 575) will call George, Mark and Alex simultaneously. We will always have someone to take your enquiries or pass a message on for a call-back (in office hours). We are proud that our team are still able to offer our customers a high standard of customer service, despite the current situation.
Sea freight is getting busier by the day with blank sailings, or much reduced sailings. Demand will soon start to outstrip supply. Air freight rates appear to be reducing and recovering from the sudden hit taken earlier in the pandemic.
Please contact our team if you would like to discuss a certain route or rates for a fuller picture: call +44 2392 756 575, email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk, or fill the form in below and a member of our team will be in touch

Get in Touch with our Freight Team

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Covid-19 – Shipping Operational Update

Mercator’s freight forwarding team continues to work from home arranging import and export shipping across the globe. We have minimal staff in the office to ensure the continual running of documentary requirements for both imports and exports.
Each member of our team is contactable within office hours via email and also telephone. Calling our business landline (023 92 756 575) pings each of our operational team, one of whom will answer your call and assist accordingly.
This week we have seen customers who had previously slowed down their shipping pipeline due to the Coronavirus outbreak, begin to take advantage of depressed freight rates in the market, particularly from China. Several of our customers have confirmed orders for goods from China and are exploring their shipping options to the UK within the next few weeks.
At the moment sea freight rates are reasonable, some trade routes are actually a lot lower than we have seen for many years. We do expect that once the lockdown is lifted, both here in the UK and also around the world, that freight rates will increase, space will be at a premium, and there may be some delays in shipping.
Air freight is still oversubscribed and underperforming. We are urging customers to consider sea freight right now if at all possible.
If you are looking for a proactive freight forwarder who is currently 100% operational, then get in touch and speak with one of our team +44 2392 756 575 or email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk

 

Get in Touch to Discuss your Shipping Requirements

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Covid-19 – Air Freight Shipping

Freight forwarder Mercator is continuing to book and handle air freight shipments to and from the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Air freight is always a changing picture, however, the changes we are seeing at the moment are very rapid. Obtaining quotes for air freight can be challenging, especially if the goods are not ready for shipping yet as quotes have little validity.

In order to process our customers’ requests for air freight shipping quotes, we are asking for a full packing specification along with the cargo readiness date. This gives our team the best opportunity to check prices and availability of space for air freight shipments.

If you require assistance with your air freight shipment, then get in touch with the team who will be happy to update you on the current situation, and work with you to find a suitable solution: +44 2392 756 575 or email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk

 

Get in Touch to discuss Air Freight Solutions

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Covid-19 – Sea Freight Shipping Solutions

Mercator is continuing to book and handle both full and part container load shipping to and from the UK.

Due to a number of businesses having to temporarily close, including those that have live import shipments either en route to the UK, or have already arrived, Mercator is dealing with existing and new clients in coming up with temporary storage solutions.

Various solutions have been put in place according to the needs and wants of the businesses we work with. If your warehouse/site has had to close under the government guidelines for Coronavirus and you have an import shipment arriving, then Mercator can help you by arranging one of the following solutions.

The first is to place the entire import shipping container into storage. We would look to take the container off the quay to minimise the cost of storage, as on quay storage gets expensive quite quickly. Another solution is to deliver the shipping container to the customer’s site and drop it to the ground. This would save on storage costs (essentially free storage as it is the customer’s yard) and only cost the shipping line’s charges on “borrowing” the container, plus the charge to deliver (and later on return) the container from/to the port. The final option, which could be the best option if the customer does not have a suitable place to store an entire shipping container, is to unpack the goods from the container and put it into storage.

UK sea freight exports are still in action. There are new challenges particularly with availability of shipping containers, mainly because of the long Lunar New Year Holiday in China, which resulted in fewer containers arriving in Northern Europe. This has caused a shortage of shipping containers for exporters. However, if you have an export shipment, providing Mercator with the exact cargo specification and a date for cargo readiness gives us the ability to provide costings and availability of shipping space.

If you are having challenges currently with your import or export sea freight shipping, then please do get in touch. Our team are keeping in contact with the major sea freight operators and hauliers at the main ports in the UK so that we can overcome any issues we see approaching and to ensure we can offer our customers up to date information. Contact us for quotes and availability: +44 2392 756 575 or email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk

 

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Coronavirus – Freight Forwarding Updates

Due to the ever-changing situation in the UK and around the world, businesses and sectors are having to react on a daily basis to new challenges. We have seen changes to requirements for some physical documents upon import into the UK, temporary storage at ports extending opening hours, and postponement of some new digital import systems.

In these times, it is so important for your freight forwarder to be well informed and at the forefront of the advice and changes to everyday operations. Mercator is keeping a close eye on the changes being brought in daily and assisting our customers as such with their import and export movements.

All our staff are working from home, with the exception of our Managing and Finance Directors (Paul and Julie – who live together), so that we have presence in the office for any documents that arrive and to have access to any paperwork in the office that is required. If you call our landline (023 92 756 575) it pings out to all our operational staff whether they are in the office or at home, so rest assured someone will be available to answer your call.

Mercator remains at your disposal for your shipping requirements and thanks to our contacts through MarcoloPoloLine throughout the world, if you need an update for another country, we can certainly assist with this by getting in touch with our freight forwarding partner office in that location.

We thank our customers for their continued support and welcome any new enquiries: +44 2392 756 575 or email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk

 

Get in touch for help with your shipping

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Coronavirus Operational Update

Business as usual

Mercator Cargo is closely monitoring the developments in connection to the current health and security measures being implemented due to the Covid-19 outbreak in locations around the world.

Following UK Government advice, we have implemented home working for our staff.

All our staff members may be contacted by email as usual.

Telephone 023 9275 6575 will be manned.

Our Portsmouth office will continue to send and receive documents by courier and post during normal working hours 09.00 – 17.00 five days a week.

Protecting the health and well-being of our staff together with supporting our customers are our primary objectives during this difficult time.

The situation is fluid and changing quickly and we will update you as necessary.

Should you have any concerns and/or queries then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your continued support.

If you need assistance with your shipping (either import or export) please get in contact: +44 2392 756 575 or email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk

 

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Award Winning Freight Forwarder up for Further Award

Following Hampshire based freight forwarder Mercator Cargo’s recent success at the Portsmouth News Business Excellence Awards, we are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for Team of the Year at the Johnston Press South Business Awards 2015.

awards logo grey side‘To have been shortlisted for Team of the Year at the Business Excellence Awards was exciting for the whole team here at Mercator’, MD Paul Goehlert recalls, ‘but then to go up onto the stage and receive the trophy was the perfect acknowledgement of our team’s hard work and dedication to Mercator’.

The freight forwarding firm hit a rocky patch in 2013 when the MD and FD had to take an unexpected step away from the business leaving Myles Daly (Director) at the helm.  But with the support and teamwork of all members, Mercator is thriving more than ever with increases in UK import and export shipping traffic.

Now to have been shortlisted for the Johnston Press South Business Awards is the cherry on the cake for the Portsmouth based freight forwarder.  The award ceremony takes place on 2nd October in Brighton, and shortlisters are coming from all across Hampshire and Sussex.

After 10 years out of the awards spotlight (Mercator last won acclaim in 2005 with Finance Director Julie Goehlert scooping the Business Personality of the Year trophy), Paul (MD) and Julie (FD) are absolutely delighted for the team to be receiving the recognition of their determination and true team work.

Mercator celebrates entering its 25th year in the freight forwarding business this year.  As an active member of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Mercator is keen to assist other local firms with their freight forwarding needs, covering all industries and specialising in air, sea, road and rail freight. The beauty of being a family business is that we take time to get to know our customers, their shipping needs and offer a comprehensive shipping service no matter the destination or origin.

If you have a shipping task you might like Mercator to assist you with arranging, then get in contact: +44 2392 756 575, or email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk

Request a Quote for your International Shipping

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Mercator’s Success at The News Business Excellence Awards 2015

On Friday 6th March, members of our freight forwarding team attended the Portsmouth News’ Business Excellence Awards.  The awards night was a chance for local businesses in Portsmouth to get together and celebrate a year of success.

Mercator was nominated for three categories: Small/Medium Business of the Year; International Development of the Year; and Team of the Year.  We are absolutely delighted to have been Highly Commended for International Development of the Year, and to be named Winner for Team of the Year.

cropped teamWinning Team of the Year is a really special achievement for us at Mercator.  ‘We pride ourselves on customer care – that is what really makes us stand out in such a competitive market’, George Goehlert explains.  ‘How can you do that without an exceptional team?  You just can’t.  All of our team has been 100% focused on keeping our customers happy.’

Mercator is a family business, with 6 out of 9 members of staff from the same family, working together closely comes naturally to the team.  What really tests the strength of a team is a challenge, and when there was a large shift in management with the MD and FD taking an unexpected step away from the business in 2013, the team at Mercator really stepped up to the mark.  Myles describes the team as ‘exceptional, supportive, understanding, always willing to get involved and go that extra mile for the business.’

Through the determination and teamwork of everyone at Mercator, crisis was averted and the firm has gone from strength to strength.  ‘The team at Mercator just gels, everyone does their bit, and we have a good atmosphere in the office.  We all get on so well, and would choose to socialise together, which I think is a great mark of a team’, Sophie (Finance Manager) sums up.

Business Awards Logo (1) (1)In the past year Mercator has seen a huge development in its export trade traffic.  This is in part due to our founding membership of the
international shipping agent network, MarcoPoloLine (MPL).  The members-only network was founded in 2007 by our MD (Paul Goehlert) and three other European shipping agents who all were experiencing the same problems: the mega players of the freight industry were handling the majority of the shipping traffic, but not offering the same customer service experience that the smaller freight forwarders have to offer.  The group was formed with the ideals of only allowing vetted and recommended members; a source of new business with referrals between members; and buying power with the shipping suppliers.

‘Being a part of MPL is a fantastic string to our bow’, George Goehlert explains.  ‘It allows us to offer our customers a fully comprehensive shipping service, which is what everyone is looking for these days.  Most of our customers are busy focussing on running their businesses, they want someone who can take care of their whole shipping task, which is what we’re able to do’.

A large part of Mercator’s diversifying has been into handling more car shipping consignments, these include importing or exporting vehicles for dealers, or shipping someone’s family car because they are moving abroad.  We have also seen a bigger drive for freight forwarders to handle personal effects shipments: shipping someone’s personal goods because they are moving abroad.

‘People are beginning to look elsewhere from the traditional removal firms.  Most of our personal effects clients are happy to muck in, pack the container themselves and then unload it at their new home.  Doing it this way is more cost-effective as you’re cutting out a great deal of manpower’.

Mercator offers sea, air and road freight across the globe.  If you have a shipment you would like to discuss or have a shipment ready to go, then do get in touch either by calling +44 2392 756 575 or emailing sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk

 

Request a Quote for International Shipping

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Freight Forwarding from South Africa to the UK

Mercator Cargo has been handling regular imports from South Africa to the UK for many years now. We are an independent freight forwarder, based in the UK and have a team of experienced forwarders with experience in importing from South Africa.

We have recently seen trends for vehicle imports from South Africa. These are either an individual purchasing a vehicle for their personal use, or a business buying stock for their UK market.

Another field of our experience in importing from South Africa are used, and in some cases, classic cars. The climate in South Africa means vintage cars are, for the most part, not affected by rust or perishing. We have imported a number of interesting vehicles over the years, and are in regular contact with some vehicle sourcing and exporting companies.

fiat multipla 1956

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’re looking for a freight forwarder with experience in importing from South Africa, then give us a call today to discuss your requirements – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

Request a Quote for Shipping from South Africa to the UK

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