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    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.


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    Freight Forwarding – Which UK Port Shall I Import My Goods Through?

    Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder, based in the UK in Portsmouth.  Having been running for over twenty years, with the same management in situ, Mercator has a wealth of experience in importing goods into the UK via various ports.  As an independent business, still run and owned by the same family, we are able to offer our customers a comprehensive customer service, and offer different levels of freight forwarding services depending upon your requirements.

    From some locations, your vessel may only call at one port in the UK, in which case, you do not need to worry about making a decision as to which port to use.

    Depending on where you are importing from, you may choose to import your goods into the UK via the Port of Southampton.  Located on the South Coast of England, with good transport links, it may be your preferred choice for your cargo to be unloaded into the UK.

    We also operate the majority of our UK imports through Felixstowe and Tilbury (often preferred choices of container ports for deliveries further North).  Both with excellent transport links, and capacities to handle a great deal of cargo on a daily basis.

    Your choice of import container port in the UK may also take into account sailing times of the vessel your cargo is on.  Some vessels will just call at one container port in the UK, whereas others may call at several.  Which port they call at first, may be your choice of unloading if you wish to have your goods in the UK slightly sooner.

    The below video clip is taken from the BBC’s show ‘Sea City’ which followed the workings of Southampton container port.  This particular clip shows the operation of the cranes unloading the containers from the vessel at the port.

    If you’re looking for an independent freight forwarder to handle your UK import, then call us today to discuss your requirements – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


    Request a Quote for Shipping to the UK

      Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

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      Freight Forwarding News – London Gateway Container Port

      A new container port is due to open later this year on the north bank of the River Thames.  London Gateway is said to be the UK’s first deep water shipping port, and one of Europe’s largest centres for logistics.

      As container ships grow in size, London Gateway will be an ideal choice when using these larger container liners for importing and exporting from the UK.

      The port will increase the UK’s container handling capacities, and is aiming to be one of the most efficient ports in the UK.  Alternative ports in the UK currently include Felixstowe, Southampton, Hull and Liverpool.  The new container port will add 3.5 million TEU (equivalent 20 foot containers) to the UK’s container handling capacity.

      Record-breaking cranes were recently delivered to the London Port.  Five in total, these cranes will be able to handle the world’s largest container vessels.  The cranes are said to be taller than the London Eye, and can reach further than is currently required when loading and unloading the largest of the container vessels currently sailing.  This will ensure the port’s future, as container ships are becoming larger all the time.  The cranes will be able to reach across 25 containers on the container ships, and will lift up to 80 tons at a time.

      Container ships have currently grown to hold up to 18,000 TEU (compared with just 6,000 TEU, 50 years ago).

      If you’re looking for a freight forwarder to handle your shipment from or to the UK, get in touch.
      Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


      Request a Quote for Shipping in or out of London Gateway

        Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

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        Freight Forwarding Import Service Fees – China, Far East and Indian-Subcontinent

        It is advised that you appoint an experienced freight forwarder when you import goods from China, the Far East or the Indian-Subcontinent.  It is quite a well-known issue that if you rely on your supplier to arrange the shipment when the  goods arrive into the UK there are extra higher charges payable.

        Why does this happen?  When the supplier of the goods arranges the shipment to the UK, they will contact a UK based agent to accept the shipment.  In return for this, the supplier will expect ‘remuneration in kind’ – these are extra charges, and ultimately it is the UK importer who will have to stump up the bill.

        It is essential that if you wish to import goods from either China, the Far East or the Indian-Subcontinent, that you choose a reliable freight forwarder who can ‘take control of your cargo and charges’.

        What does this mean in plain English?  By nominating Mercator Cargo as your UK based freight forwarder to take the whole shipment from origin either under FOB (an INCO term ‘free on board’) or EX Work Terms, and avoiding CIF Terms (cost insurance freight – where the shipper pays/arranges the freight), in other words taking ‘full control of your shipment’ and letting us arrange the freight, there will not be any unexpected higher charges upon arrival.

        For example, we recently shipped in some goods from Pakistan for a customer – for one of the containers we were given ‘control’ and we arranged the full shipment from the door in Pakistan, to the port, via ocean freight and onwards to the door in the UK.  The same customer had another shipment from Pakistan of a similar size from the same supplier in the same origin, however they decided to allow their supplier to arrange the shipment under CIF Terms.  Using this option, they incurred an invoice for the UK port charges and local UK delivery fees, not including ocean freight, which came to 75% of the invoice total of our full door-to-door shipment from Pakistan to the UK.  In other words, they paid too much in charges for their shipment.

        If you decide to appoint Mercator as your freight forwarder and give us ‘control’ of your cargo you could save yourself money.  Don’t get ripped off by another option which might look cheaper, because in the long run, it is likely that it will not be cheaper.  If you switch to FOB or EX Works and choose us to be your freight forwarder starting from at least the ocean freight, you can eliminate any ‘surprise’ charges and you could save your business money and avoid headaches when the cargo does not arrive on time, and costs you more than it should.

        Contact Mercator before you agree on your buying terms.  If you buy on CIF (cost insurance freight – where the shipper pays/arranges the freight) you are at risk of paying too much for the service you are receiving.

        So give us a call to speak to a member of the imports team and discuss how we can take control of your import shipment and most importantly your charges so they don’t get out of hand – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


        Request a Quote for Shipping from China or India

          Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

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