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The Steps Of International Shipping

Transportation of goods between countries takes place for many reasons. The majority, however, is for reasons of increasing the value of the goods. With the rapid growth of e-commerce, a large number of smaller business now require international transportation.

There are many parties involved in international shipping; booking agents, freight forwarders, customs house brokers. If your shipping needs are cargo related that can fit in a standard shipping container, but not enough to fill it up, then you’ll likely require a less than container load solution. In this case, the only players you need to be aware of are shipper, consignee, freight forwarder, and shipping line.

The shipping line is the company carrying your cargo at sea. It is unlikely you would ever have any need to be in contact with them, or even see documents or correspondence from them. However, the freight forwarder is the logistics solutions provider that you would be dealing with, as they arrange transport from shipper to consignee, one of which would be you.

The shipper is the party at the origin of the cargo, and the consignee is the recipient. In the transport of goods from shipper to consignee, there are five physical steps, and two documentation steps. Each step involves a cost, which usually would have to be paid by the shipper or consignee. Be sure there is a clear agreement on who pays each of these fees to avoid delays and extra costs.

The first step is export haulage. This is the movement of the goods from the shipper to the freight forwarder. This would most likely be to an export consolidation centre. At this point, the goods are often moved by rail, road, or a combination of the two.

Every shipment that leaves a country is subject to export customs clearance, which is the next step. Customs clearance is a transaction whereby a declaration is developed and required documents are submitted to the appropriate authorities. This can only be done by companies with valid customs licenses.

Export customs clearance can be performed by a freight forwarder with a valid license, or they can appoint an agent or custom house broker. This step must be completed before the goods can leave the country of origin.

Origin handling is the physical handling and inspection of the cargo from being received at the freight forwarder’s premises until it is loaded on a ship in a container. There are many steps involved in this, but that is all handled by the freight forwarder, or their appointed agent. In short, when the goods are received, they are inspected, planned for loading, consolidated with other cargo and placed in a container which is then transported to the port for loading on to the ship.

Once the ship has reached its destination port, the next step is destination handling, which involves the transfer of the container from the ship to shore, from the port to the freight forwarder’s destination premises, unloading of the container, and preparing the cargo for collection by the consignee. This again, is all handled by the freight forwarder or their agents.

The last leg of the transportation is the delivery of the cargo to the consignee, the import haulage. This could be done by the freight forwarder, or a local transport company.

If you’re seeking ocean freight forwarding solutions then get in contact today.

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