Below is some practical advice you can follow to safeguard your interests for the first time exporter.
1. Select a reputable, reliable and efficient shipping company as your agent to handle your shipments. Even if they might cost you a bit, this cost is negligible when considering the value of your cargo and it is in your interest that it is safely transported.
2. Meet or visit your agent to ensure that they understand your exact requirements. Your agent should be able to guide you on whether you have all the required documentation, permits, licences etc in order for you to export.
3.There are several entities that are involved in an export movement. Understand the roles of each of these entities.
- Removal Company or Haulier – who will come to your warehouse to take away your cargo.
- Freight Forwarder/Customs clearing agent – who will be handling the customs clearance for your cargo. Some removal/forwarding companies have a customs clearance licence and they will do the clearance for you themselves.
- Shipping Line – Many experienced shippers take on the function of negotiating the freight rates and nominating the shipping lines themselves. The shipping line will either have agents or own offices at the Load Port and Discharge Port.
- Destination shipping line office/agent – they are the counterparts of the shipping line at the destination and they issue the final release of cargo to your agent.
- Destination customs clearing agent – could either be the own office of the customs clearing agent at origin or their agent – these people will secure the release of the cargo from the shipping line office/agent and clear the cargo with customs at destination before delivering the cargo to you.
When shipping your cargo, depending on how much you’re shipping and how will depend on some requirements.
For example, exporting via sea – if you have enough goods to accommodate one Full Container Load (FCL), you will need your own container. If your goods will not warrant its own container, a Less Container Load or LCL, the shipping line will load into containers at the port.
4. Insurance!– This is one of the MOST important parts of the entire process. You need to ensure that the cargo it is covered by insurance via a reputed cargo insurance company with international coverage or presence.
- Make sure that you get the original insurance policy from your broker or insurance company and keep it safe.
- If anything does happen to your cargo, this is one of the most important documents you must produce to recoup your losses.
5. Ascertain and familiarise yourself with the route that your cargo will take from port of load to port of final discharge, and how long it is expected to take, especially if you are shipping your cargo as Less Container Load (LCL) and if the cargo is going to be reworked into another container along the way.
6. Documents that you will receive from your agent:
- Bill of Lading (a detailed list of a ship’s cargo in the form of a receipt given by the master of the ship to the person consigning the goods) – A copy is issued 4 – 5 days after sailing.
- Copies of the documents that have been filed with customs
For an export you may need to supply a Certificate of Origin, packing list and commercial invoice to the agent depending if the country your goods are intended for requires them.
Our logistics team at Express Freight Solutions can handle all of your exporting needs.
Whether you are looking for a single pallet or full load rate, ambient or refrigerated service, Air & Sea or warehousing; at Express Freight Solutions (EFS) we are confident we can offer a first class service across all sectors.
Express Freight Solutions has been a leading provider of freight services and road haulage in the UK since 1996, throughout the 20 years EFS has been based in in the bustling market town of Burnley, Lancashire