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    Blog Archives

    Importing Wooden Toys into the UK

    Two representatives of Mercator Cargo attended the Toy Fair at Olympia this year.  Amongst the very exciting new toys, we noticed how popular wooden toys are becoming again.  Suppliers of quality wooden toys can be in some fairly unusual parts of the world; with our extensive global network covering over 90 countries Mercator is well placed to help you import wooden toys into the UK.

    There are several things to consider when importing wooden toys into the UK.  If the goods are being imported from outside the EU, it will be your responsibility (as the importer) to ensure that the wooden toys adhere to certain toy safety regulations here in the UK (such as the European Standard EN17).  Wooden toys imported into the UK will require a CE mark.  It is advised that this is organised prior to shipment as customs clearance may not allow the toys into the country without it.  If you are having toys made for you, then it is your responsibility to ensure that they can satisfactorily pass the tests required to make the toys safe for distribution and use in the UK.  Likewise, if you are buying from a manufacturer who already makes the goods, it would be advisable to have a sample sent to the UK so you can have the wooden toy tested in the UK.

    If you already have CE marks in place, and are looking for a freight forwarder to assist you import wooden toys into the UK, then we can help!  With over twenty years of experience in the freight forwarding business, Mercator is large enough to cope, but small enough to care.  We pride ourselves on our personal service offered to all our customers.

    If you decide to make us your freight forwarder of choice, then you will be assigned a personal contact here in the office.  This experienced freight forwarder will be able to answer your queries and provide advice on topics such as transport methods (i.e. sea freight, air freight or road freight), transit times, VAT and duty payable upon importing of your goods (if any), your responsibilities as an importer, and documentation.

    Speak to one of our experienced team today to discuss your import of wooden toys into the UK – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


    Request a Quote for Importing Toys into the UK

      Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

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      Are you Thinking of Expanding your Business to the Global Export Market?

      As we are now in 2013, you may be thinking of expanding your UK based manufacturing business.  Perhaps you have a product that is selling well in the UK, but you’re considering the global market place.  Freight forwarding might seem a daunting area for new exporters, but we’re here to help.

      As experienced freight forwarders based in the UK, we can offer a comprehensive service to all our customers, both large and small.  As a family-run, independent freight forwarder, we are able to take the time to guide you through exporting your UK manufactured goods to the global market.

      Mercator offers air, sea and road freight worldwide.  We are rather unique in that we are a founding member of a global network made up of other independent freight forwarders like us.  This allows us personal contacts in almost every country around the world, and invaluable, local knowledge.

      Think you might need hand-holding the whole way?  No problem.  We are well versed in introducing the procedures to new exporters.

      Need advice on different options?  Mercator can offer advice on ocean freight, air freight and road freight, including costings, transit times, and any local charges you may incur at your goods destination.

      Mercator began trading over twenty years ago, and our first customer back in 1991 is still our customer today.

      If you’re still wondering if we’re right for you, why not give us a call on 02392 756 575, or email, and either George or Jess will be in touch about your export freight.


      Request a Quote for Export Shipping from the UK

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        Oversized Cargo / Out of Gauge Cargo (OOG) Services

        Mercator can offer shipping services for abnormal loads and oversized cargo.  Examples of loads we are able to deal with include yachts, planes, locomotives, wind generators and propellers to name a few.

        Cargo of this nature needs to be handled with care for loading and unloading and specially secured during transit by sea.  Mercator can arrange for your oversized load to be transported in the safest and efficient way.  With over twenty years of experience in the freight forwarding business, our team of freight forwarders have the knowledge and experience to be able to advise you about options when shipping your out of gauge (OOG) cargo.

        Arranging for cargo which does not fit into a standard container requires experience and full understanding of possibilities when it comes to ocean freight.  Some freight services on offer include flat-rack, RoRo (roll-on, roll-off), timber beds, hiab/crane deliveries and low loaders.  With Mercator’s team of freight forwarders, we can assist you in arranging the safe transportation of your oversized cargo load.

        Call us today to discuss your out of gauge (OOG) cargo shipment with details of rough dimensions and weight – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


        Request a Quote for Shipping Out of Gauge Cargo

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          Refrigerated Container Imports and Exports

          At Mercator we can offer a variety of options for refrigerated container transport (also known as reefers) for import into the UK and export from the UK.  Some goods will need to be kept at a cooled constant temperature, for example frozen food stuffs, whilst other items (for example candles) may need to be protected from heat or cooler temperatures in a controlled temperature environment.  Reefers allow the transportation of perishable goods at any time of year, safe in the knowledge your goods will not spoil.

          Available in either 20 foot or 40 foot containers, and even part loads – where we can combine your goods with other loads (provided that all the goods can be kept at the same temperature).  Combining your load with other goods can keep your costings down.

          Examples of refrigerated container transported goods include:

          • Paintballs
          • Frozen meat
          • Scented candles
          • Chocolate
          • Pharmaceuticals
          • Fruit & Vegetables

          Mercator also offers comprehensive advice and services in all Port Health matters.  If importing or exporting food stuffs, your goods will be subject to Port Health clearance.  Our experienced team of freight forwarders can advise on all Port Health queries.

          When importing into the UK your goods will be subject to VAT and Duty charges through customs.  We are able to calculate this rate and deal with HMRC clearance.  Once your goods have arrived in the UK and your VAT & Duty charges have been settled, Mercator can make arrangements to deliver your shipment to door, either via road haulage or rail.

          Call today to speak to a member of our Operations Department to discuss your refrigerated shipment – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


          Request a Quote for Refrigerated Container Shipping

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            Freight Forwarding to Brazil, South America from the UK

            Mercator Cargo is a founding partner of a global network of independent freight forwarders.  With our 20 years’ of experience in freight forwarding, we can arrange for your export goods to Brazil, South America from the UK.

            There are several freight forwarding options to consider when arranging your export to Brazil.  One important first consideration is how big your load is.  Mercator can offer services including:

            –          Full container load by ocean freight
            –          Half container load by sea freight
            –          Smaller load via air freight
            –          Or less than container load (LCL) – where your goods are combined with other specially selected cargo which can reduce the shipping costs.

            Other information required includes whether your cargo has any special requirements.  For example, Mercator can accommodate for unusual or sensitive loads including:

            –          Dangerous Goods
            –          Hanging Garments
            –          Precious Cargo
            –          Special Merchandise
            –          Perishable Goods.

            Mercator offers a comprehensive freight forwarding service, giving advice on options such as documentation; transit routes; customs clearance; transit times; and transport options.

            Mercator can arrange your customs clearance for you as your cargo arrives in San Paulo, Brazil.  These customs charges can be calculated in advance, so that all charges are clear and upfront.  Once the customs clearance charges have been settled, we will call on our contacts locally in San Paulo – thanks to our global network of independent freight forwarders.  Using their local freight forwarding knowledge and contacts with hauliers and rail networks, we can arrange your cargo’s onward journey to its final destination.

            Whether you’re a new business expanding into exports, or you’re an established company looking for a freight forwarding partner, contact us to discuss your shipment to Brazil.
            Tel. 02392 756 575 or


            Request a Quote for Shipping to Brazil

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              Ferrari Shipped to Australia

              Mercator Cargo Systems was recently instructed to arrange for the transportation of a Ferrari to Australia. Our experienced freight forwarding team decided that the safest way to do this would be to ship the Ferrari in a standard 20ft shipping container and ship the car using road haulage and ocean freight services.

              Great care had to be taken to ensure that the car was not marked or damaged in any way whilst being loaded into a container, and that it was sufficiently secure for the transport around the world by both sea and road freight.

              The Ferrari was carefully driven up a ramp and strapped into a 20 foot container by our packers. It was secured into place using special soft webbing and lashing that wouldn’t leave marks/rub on the tyres, with further padding provided by cotton wool around the alloy wheels to ensure that even with a lot of movement the lashing would not mark the car.

              Special wheel surrounds were also made and secured to the container floor that fitted around the wheels to ensure the Ferrari couldn’t roll forwards, backwards or even sideways towards the edges of the container, whatever the conditions were like at sea or on the road during transit to Australia.

              Mercator Cargo is an established freight forwarder in the UK. Celebrating its 20th year in business in 2011 it is a long standing member of the British International Freight Association.

              With extensive experience in all aspects of freight transport, customs clearance and international shipping, the companies dedicated team of freight forwarders are able to find you the most reliable and cost effective international sea, road, air and rail freight forwarding services for your cargo.


              Request a Quote for Car Shipping to Australia

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                It’s Rugs to Riches

                Published in Portsmouth News Mon Feb 09

                See the full article here.

                A 2,600-year-old work of art is to be brought back to life with the aid of a Portsmouth firm. Iraq, devastated by war, is gradually beginning to rebuild its industries, and one of its core traditional crafts is making some of the world’s finest rugs and carpets.

                Now, thanks to a delivery of finest sheep’s wool to Baghdad from across the border in eastern Turkey by Portsmouth shipping specialist Mercator Cargo Systems, work is under way on reviving this ancient craft.

                The Iraqi labourers have begun a project to produce replicas of the Pazyryk Rug, the world’s oldest surviving carpet, believed to have been made in Mesopotamia in around 600BC and now preserved in a museum in St Petersburg.

                Previously, the factory had been reduced to making tacky designs from poor quality fibre mixed with nylon, many of which ended up in Saddam Hussein’s tasteless palaces.

                But a top-grade Kurdish sheep’s wool has now been sourced capable of doing justice to the millennia-old Pazyryk, and with its history of carpet expertise Mercator Cargo was chosen to deliver the raw materials – and may get the chance to deliver the finished articles to the West.

                Paul Goehlert, managing director of Mercator, based at St George’s Square, Portsmouth, said: ‘The Pazyryk was found in Siberia. It was frozen and they actually managed to work out, don’t ask me how, that it was made in Mesopotamia. And when they gave the Baghdad factory a project, they thought they’d do a copy of it.

                ‘All the skills were there, all the workers were there, the loops were there, but they just had rubbish wool, so the products they were making weren’t very clever.’

                The operation is headquartered in the Kadhimiya district of the capital, and employs around 750 staff.

                It is run by 60-year-old English businessman Richard Ringrose, under contract from the US Department of Defence.

                He has worked with Mercator for many years, and although Mr Goehlert said the project would have got off the ground even without Mercator’s help, it was especially gratifying to be involved – for sentimental reasons.

                ‘I started, aged 10 or 11, running around the City of London as a messenger boy during the holidays. One of the warehouses I went to one day was full of all these Oriental rugs, and I’ve just been gobsmacked by them ever since,’ Mr Goehlert said.

                ‘Every business has their own particular language. Ours is carpets. We’re probably about the only shipping company in the UK where you could say “40,000 sq ft of Tientsin full cut”, and I’d actually know what that would look like as a cargo.’


                Request a Quote for Shipping Carpets or Rugs

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