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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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      International Freight Forwarder Mercator Cargo Celebrates 22nd Birthday

      Mercator Cargo celebrates its 22nd birthday this week.  Paul (our MD) set up the international freight forwarding provider in 1991 after fifteen years already in service in the international forwarding industry.

      In 1991 Mercator was based in London and has since grown to a core team of five experienced freight forwarders plus admin staff.  The majority of the international freight forwarding team are family with personal interest in the businesses performance and customer care.  This is a great strength, as it makes our core ethos to ensure that the customer is happy.  We pride ourselves on excellent, personal service in the international freight forwarding industry.

      Mercator has now been based in Portsmouth for 15 years with the wealth of international freight forwarding business support and experienced shipping personnel in the area.  Two of our experienced international freight forwarders are local to Portsmouth with previous years’ experience in shipping and logistics.

      The international freight forwarding industry has changed over the past twenty years when faxes and telephones were the main communication tools, now Skype and emails.  Business advertising was in the international freight forwarding magazines, now it is online and website promotion.

      Although Mercator has kept up with the times in many ways, we pride ourselves to be old fashioned in core business values – that is our main aims are customer care and satisfaction, we listen to what our customers’ needs are and provide a service to fit that.  Each of our freight forwarders in the office have a personal client list that they take care of, so if you were to choose us as your international freight forwarder, you would always be dealing with the same shipping expert.

      If you are looking for an international freight forwarder provider for air, sea or road freight worldwide, then get in contact for a discussion of your requirements and a quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


      Request a Quote for International Shipping

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        Freight Forwarder – Ship to New York

        If you are searching for a freight forwarder to ship your goods to New York, then look no further.  Mercator Cargo is a well-established freight forwarder that has been in operation for over 20 years.  We have a small, but expert team to help you ship your goods to New York, USA.  We regularly ship customers’ goods to New York from the UK, so are well placed to handle your shipment.

        There are a few options when it comes to shipping to New York from the UK.  The first decision to make is whether your goods should transit via sea or air.  The most obvious difference is, of course, the time scales.  For example a typical shipment time from UK to New York is around 7 to 10 days from Southampton or Felixstowe Docks.  Whereas an air shipment to New York from the UK takes a matter of hours.

        If your load to be shipped to New York is particularly big (i.e. 20 foot or 40 foot container), and not very urgent, then you might consider a shipment via sea freight (as this generally will be a better priced option compared to air freight depending on cargo size).  However, if you have an urgent shipment, or a particularly small shipment (i.e. a light pallet), then air freight might be more favourable.

        Once your goods arrive in New York, they will need to be cleared through customs, this is a service we can also offer, in partnership with our agents based in New York.  We can then arrange for your shipment to be delivered to its final destination in the USA.

        If you have some goods to be shipped from the UK to New York contact us today to discuss your requirements and obtain a quotation – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


        Request a Quote for Shipping to New York

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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

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            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 (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

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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:


              Request a Quote for Freight Forwarding Services

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