Simply complete form below and we will contact you as soon as possible with a bespoke and competitive quote tailored to your requirements.

Alternatively, please call the team on +44 (0) 2392 75 65 75 or e-mail sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

     

    Skip to Content

    Blog Archives

    Freight Forwarding – Customs Clearance for Importing to the UK

    If you are importing goods into the UK for the first time, you will need to understand ‘customs clearance’ and your responsibilities with regards to paying VAT & Duty on your import.  As freight forwarders, we can handle your customs clearance for you.

    If you do not yet have an EORI Number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) then you will need to contact HMRC to obtain one.  This number will be used as a reference when dealing with any customs matters relating to your shipments.  It is a requirement to have an EORI number when importing goods into the UK, and it is fairly straight forward to obtain one (generally it takes less than a week to obtain this through HMRC).

    I have my EORI number, what else do I need to know?  The following list details some other aspects you will need to know/have before you import your goods:

    • Your EORI number for imports;
    • Deferment Number (if you already have one existing with HMRC);
    • A full description of your goods and a Customs Tariff Code (we can assist you with this).

    What do I actually need on the day of import?  In order for your goods to clear customs, you will need to have the following sent to us in advance of the import:

    • The commercial invoice from the shipper of the goods;
    • Certificate of Origin of the goods;
    • Generalised System of Preference (if applicable).

    These documents will not only allow us to proceed with customs clearance, but will also allow us to calculate the amount of VAT and duty payable (this can be worked out in advance if required).

    If you choose us as your freight forwarder to handle your import into the UK, and decide for us to handle your VAT & duty payment to HMRC, we will require the cleared funds to be able to release your shipment.

    If this sounds intimidating, then please do not despair!  As experienced freight forwarders we are here to guide our customers through this process, and are happy to provide a “hand holding” service for those new to the process.

    Give us a call today if you have any questions about your import shipment with us – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

     

    Request a Quote for Importing into the UK

      Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

      0 Continue Reading →

      Freight Forwarding – Terms of Delivery when Buying Internationally

      If you are looking to begin international trade: buying your goods outside of the UK and importing them, there are some terms of delivery which you will agree with your supplier that are important that you understand.

      It is generally advised that you use ‘INCOTERMS’ when buying your goods internationally. INCOTERMS are a set of rules which have been issued by the International Chamber of Commerce. The terms outline both the buyer’s and the seller’s obligations and risk under given terms of delivery. The precise nature of these terms and their definitions can prevent misunderstandings between the buyer and seller and their obligations.

      The following are the main terms used for delivery (there are many others, but generally these are the ones to know about).

      EXW – Ex Works. The buyer is responsible for the door to door transport costs, destination taxes and duties, and marine insurance. It is the buyer’s risk from door to door.

      FOB – Free on Board. The seller is responsible for charges up to and over the ‘ship’s rail’ (the ship’s rail being the point where the container is lifted off the quay and over the side of the ship). It is the seller’s risk up to and over the ship’s rail.
      The buyer is responsible for the shipping costs from the port of departure to the place of delivery, marine insurance from the port of loading and destination duties and taxes.

      CFR – Cost and Freight. The seller is responsible for the FOB charges and ocean freight up to the named port of destination. It is the seller’s risk up to the FOB.
      The buyer is responsible for unloading from the ship, duties and taxes, and local delivery to the destination and marine insurance from the FOB.

      CIF – Cost Insurance Freight. Same as CFR (above), but the seller arranges and pays for the marine insurance up to the buyer’s door.

      We can offer all levels of service, from arranging every single aspect for you (e.g. door to door delivery, insurance, customs clearance, VAT & Duty payments, and so on), or just one part of your shipment for you, for example the ocean freight.

      If this has left you baffled and you’re not sure what to do next, then give us a call to discuss your shipment. We’d be happy to help you make sense of this and assist you with arranging your import into the UK – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

       

      Request a Quote for International Shipping

        Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

        0 Continue Reading →

        Freight Forwarding – New to International Trade and Importing?

        If you haven’t dealt with international trade before, the business of importing your goods into the UK might seem like a bit of a challenge.

        It is a good idea to appoint a freight forwarder with the required knowledge and experience to assist you with your shipments.

        Not only can a good freight forwarder arrange the actual shipment for you from A to B, but they should be able to impart some useful advice when it comes to buying your goods abroad.

        When buying your goods, here are some pointers that you may wish to think about before signing anything with a supplier:

        –          Ensure you know how much your goods are going to cost;
        –          Make sure you know how much it is going to cost to transport your goods to your warehouse;
        –          Make sure you investigate as to whether there are any restrictions on the goods you wish to import into the UK (an experienced freight forwarder will be able to advise);
        –          Ensure that your contract of purchase is sound;
        –          Make sure that you will get your goods once you have paid, or have legally agreed to pay.

        These are just a few pointers to consider when looking to import into the UK.  If you are at this stage, then it will be worth contacting a freight forwarder to obtain a quote for the importation of your goods.  An experienced freight forwarder will be able to offer you a variety of different levels of shipping services – for example, a comprehensive service from door to door, including all insurance, customs clearance, VAT & Duty payments to HMRC etc, or just an aspect of your shipment, for example just the ocean freight.

        If you’re looking to import goods into the UK, then contact Mercator Cargo today, our family-run business can offer you support and advice when it comes to importing for the first time – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

         

        Request a Quote for Importing into the UK

          Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

          0 Continue Reading →

          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

            Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

            0 Continue Reading →

            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: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

             

            Request a Quote for Shipping to the UK

              Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

              0 Continue Reading →

              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: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

               

              Request a Quote for Shipping in or out of London Gateway

                Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                0 Continue Reading →

                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: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

                 

                Request a Quote for Shipping from China or India

                  Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                  0 Continue Reading →

                  Freight Forwarding Exports to the USA

                  Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder, based in the UK. Having been operating for over twenty years, we regularly arrange export shipments to the USA from the UK.

                  Direct sea freight shipments from the UK to the USA depart from a number of UK ports, including Liverpool, Southampton, Thamesport and Felixstowe. Each of these departure ports have direct sailings to different parts of the USA.

                  Sea freight transit times vary from 7 days sailing to New York, to 31 days sailing to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal.

                  There are daily departures for air freight direct to various airports in the USA, including New York, Chicago, Texas and Miami.

                  As founding members of the global network Marco Polo Line (MPL), we have contacts with various freight forwarders across the USA. These connections allow us to offer a comprehensive door-to-door service across the States.

                  For exports to the USA from the UK, documentation needs to be prepared no less than three days prior to vessel departures.

                  So if you’re looking for an experienced freight forwarder to handle your export shipment to the USA, then give us a call – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

                   

                  Request a Quote for Export Shipping to the USA

                    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                    0 Continue Reading →

                    The International Food and Drink Event 2013

                    Are you exhibiting at the International Food and Drink Exhibition (IFE) this year?

                    Are you hoping to meet some new suppliers/buyers?

                    How would you feel if they were based outside the UK? Perhaps you have never dealt with imports or exports, you might feel this situation would be daunting, or you may have had difficulties in this area in the past.

                    Mercator Cargo is visiting IFE, represented by Paul (our MD) and (hopefully*) James (*his wife is expecting their first a few weeks following the exhibition – if their baby arrives early you may spot him as the man with the biggest grin on his face!).

                    Paul has been running Mercator Cargo for over twenty years and been in the freight forwarding industry for almost 40. The firm’s experiences in shipping food stuffs include coffee, noodles, sauces, jarred and canned goods, seeds, pastes, rice, oils, juices, flours, and food grains.

                    Paul’s son, James, joined the exports team in 2009, and has grown into his role, overseeing the majority of our complex food logistics (including peanuts, curry pastes, and rice).

                    Not only do the team at Mercator have the necessary experience to handle your food shipments, Paul and James have a genuine interest in food, especially world foods.

                    With personal contacts in almost every country in the world we are able to draw on local knowledge at your goods destination or origin.

                    If you would like James or Paul to darken your stand for 15 minutes during the exhibition, then please feel free to email us on sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk (this will arrive at both James and Paul’s inboxes).

                    James and Paul will be happy to answer any questions you might have about shipments.  If we don’t know the answer to your question, James or Paul will endeavour to find you the correct answer. Paul’s motto is “there’s no such phrase as ‘it can’t be done'”.

                    We look forward to hearing from you.

                     

                    Request a Quote for Shipping Food and Drink

                      Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                      0 Continue Reading →

                      Freight Forwarding Exports to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

                      Mercator Cargo is an experienced freight forwarder, arranging shipments from the UK to Dubai on a regular basis.

                      There are direct weekly sailings from Southampton and Tilbury for sea freight to Dubai.  Transit times for Dubai via sea freight is approximately 20 days.  For air freight shipments to Dubai, there are daily direct flights to Dubai airport.

                      Freight shipments for Abu Dhabi and Sharjah via sea freight will tranship at Dubai, adding approximately 7 days to the transit time (taking the total up to about 27 days).  There are regular air freight departures from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

                      Generally, for exports to Dubai and UAE, commercial invoices are required to be certified. As a freight forwarder, this is something that we can arrange for you as part of our freight forwarding service.

                      A Certificate of Origin is also required to be issued for exports to Dubai and UAE.  These certificates come in two forms, EU or British Arabic Chamber of Commerce.  We are also able to offer this as part of our freight forwarding service.
                      So if you’re looking for a freight forwarder to handle your export shipment to Dubai or the UAE, then give us a call – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

                       

                      Request a Quote for Export Shipping to Dubai or the UAE

                        Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                        0 Continue Reading →