What can I do to prevent delays and ensure a smooth process of the shipment?
Firstly, make sure your supplier overseas (on imports) or if you are the supplier for an export shipment, creates all of the necessary documents correctly (packing lists, commercial invoice, original bill of lading-OB/L) and in a timely fashion, so that all documents are provided with the necessary banks and sent to you (the importer) or your buyer-consignee on the B/L (if you are the exporter) at least 1 week before cargo arrives the destination so that everything can be processed through customs ahead of schedule and freight can be paid along with presentation of the original B/L. One factor that usually slows this process down is when there is discrepancies between the buyer and supplier and since the goods are not paid for, the OB/L has not been surrendered by the Supplier to the Consignee (buyer)
Can I get cargo released without presentation of the OB/L?
This can be a touchy subject, as you may be a long time importer with a long time relationship with a particular supplier overseas, however a situation arises and for whatever reason you have not paid your supplier because they were supposed to give you credit, but there was a misunderstanding, they are not honoring the agreement, the next thing you know the cargo arrives and if you don’t get it released it goes into demurrage and or you may lose your customer because they have a deadline, and so on. So you desperately need that cargo released. So the ONLY way this can happen WITHOUT the OB/L is to somehow settle the matter with the supplier, get them to authorize the release in writing to the shipping agent in the port of origin, or direct to the U.S. Office that is holding the cargo. This can act in Lieu of an OB/L. This is no other legal way or one that doesn’t jeopardize the liability of the shipping company to be sued by the supplier if they release without their written consent.
How many containers do you move a year?
About 17000 to 21000 a year.
How is changeable weight calculated?
There is a special formula. Just give us all three dimensions and we will calculate the chargeable weight for you.
What is the maximum size or weight?
This varies depending on the airline so please ask us. As a rule of thumb, maximum normal cargo dimensions: 120x80x60in. As the weight and size increase so will the cost. If your cargo is over-sized or requires special handling, ask us about special rates.
What you advice for a first time shipper?
We have 5 tips for you:
Tip #1: Save container transport cost by preparing to load your container in less less than 2 hrs
When the driver shows up to your site, the first 2 hours are included in your fees. We recommend staffing up and preparing in advance to load the container as quickly as possible to avoid overtime charges.
Tip #2: Prepare Shipping Container Contents for Extremes
Containers are subject to extreme conditions. There are wild swings in temperature and humidity inside the container – they go through the Panama Canal and sometimes around the Cape. Containers are subjected to triple digit heat and humidity to sub-zero temperatures while in storage or in transport.
Tip #3: Carefully Declare ANY Organic Cargo
Plants, Edible Plants, Vegetables and Fruit are all treated differently depending on the origin and destination of the shipment. If customs finds any undeclared organic cargo, the can quarantine your container and charge you daily holding fees.
Tip #4: Properly Insure Your Cargo
Plan for “attrition”. All of the contents don’t always make it all of the time.
There will be some “attrition” – containers get inspected, sometimes by unscrupulous dock/deck hands…this isn’t REALLY considered stealing, as the items in transit, technically are the property of the shipping company*. See our blog entry on securing, insuring and properly declaring your container contents to manage risk of inspection, suspicion, mistakes and “attrition”.
Tip #5: Understand that Freight Forwarding is both an art and a science
Many companies and handlers are involved in moving your container, here are just a few possible examples: Trucking company(ies) outbound (your door to the port of origin or train yard), Crane Operations transferring container from truck to train, and train to ship. That’s just to get the container to the ship, then the reverse happens on the other side…it’s a REALLY rough ride, even in good weather.
Do you have warehouse where I can drop off the cargo?
Yes, we have receiving warehouse near all major airports. Please let us know your cargo location and we will advise you the closest receiving warehouse.
How and where can we pick up the cargo at destination?
We will provide you with the necessary paperwork for custom clearance, once custom is done, you can go to the warehouse to pick up the cargo. We also advise you to check with destination custom prior to shipment departs, just to make sure if there’s any special rule & regulation at destination for certain commodities.
Can you handle door delivery at destination? Can you handle pick up from residential area?
Yes, please help to provide us your door address, and we will check the cost for you.
What are some of the destination charges?
There may be airport fees, warehouse fees, custom clearance charges, duty/tax and door delivery charges. Of course, if your cargo is chosen for custom exam at destination, please prepare to home charges and delays for getting the cargo.
What’s the best way to save money on air freight?
Ship only the most important items, pack in as small of a box, crate or pallet as possible. If you can route from/to a major hub (JFK, LUH, BJS) instead of a smaller airport, this may help to lower your freight rate.
Can I pack my items in suitcases, bags or plastic bins?
No, the airlines will reject any cargo that is not properly packed. Must be packed in a box, crate, or on a pallet. If there are any over-sized items or cargo requiring special packing, please ask.
What is typically transit time?
Airport to airport 3-5 days on average. Door to door varies depending on customs clearance, estimate 5-7 days.
Delays and/or changes to schedules can happen. Best way to make the cargo ship as quickly as possible is to make sure all paperwork is properly filed before hand, this eases the customs process.
What kind of paperwork I will need to fill out ahead of time?
We will send you some paperwork for you to fill out the basic information, Such as shipper and receiving party contact information. Don’t worry, let the EXPERTS handle your cargo & we will take care of all the export custom and paperwork for you.