International shipping companies have seen an increase in activity with the growth of e-commerce. While there could be certain restrictions depending on the locations of the sender and recipient, for the most part, online shopping has removed barriers to buying and selling between people and stores in different countries.
Ordering items from an e-commerce vendor based in another country is a task that takes a few minutes at most and using a parcel delivery service to send a parcel to Sri Lanka requires very little work from the sender. However, this does not mean shipping cargo internationally is a simple and easy affair.
Operating a shipping cargo service requires various licensing and paperwork and the procedures to be followed by freight forwarders UK must be carefully studied. If you plan on launching your own freight forwarding services, these are a few things you must know about shipping cargo internationally.
Seven steps of international shipping
There are seven key steps taken by freight forwarding companies when handling every single international shipment. Two of these are described as documentation steps and the remaining five are physical steps.
- Export haulage
An international shipment starts with the shipper. Transporting the item from the shipper to the forwarder’s premises is known as export haulage and is the first step of international shipping. The forwarder’s premises can be an export consolidation centre or origin warehouse, where the forwarder has their own people or agents in control.
Freight forwarding companies can be of use here, especially if the shipper is not using a local transportation company for the export haulage.
- Origin handling
The next step taken by a parcel delivery service is origin handling. This covers all physical handling of the cargo, including inspection, from the time the origin warehouse receives the goods from the shipper to the time it is loaded onto a shipping cargo service.
Origin handling is essentially all steps taken from the time the cargo is received to when it is inspected and tallied, planned for loading, consolidated with other cargo, put in a container, moved to the port, and loaded onto a ship.
There are several parties and steps involved in origin handling and freight forwarders UK typically coordinate the process to ensure it takes place smoothly. Problems that can crop up in this stage include disagreements on origin chargers and costs.
- Export customs clearance
If you want to send a parcel to Sri Lanka or launch cargo services to India, you will be required to follow an export customs clearance process. The process and what is required of you depends on what you plan to do, whether it is to move goods to an EU country, send goods through the post, take goods in your luggage, car, or van to sell, or take goods temporarily out of the UK.
If you are a UK-based cargo service, you can contact the HMRC for more information on the procedure applicable to you when exporting goods out of the UK and EU.
- Ocean freight
Shipping services often use ocean freights for international cargo, unless specified to use air cargo or another method of transportation. Freight forwarding services will decide on the shipping line from the port of origin to port of destination.
Working with reputed freight forwarders UK and building a wide net of contacts is vital to making sure this stage of transporting goods internationally is carried out without any issues.
- Import customs clearance
Once the shipment arrives at the destination port, the import customs clearance process begins. The process you will be required to follow and documentation to be produced will depend on the type of goods as well as the destination country’s import customs regulations.
Freight forwarding companies are usually aware of the process of import customs clearance and will know what documents to submit to ensure the cargo services to India can be carried out properly.
- Destination handling
Destination handling is one of the last steps delivery companies carry out in international shipments and consists of the container being transferred from ship to shore and the port to the forwarder’s destination warehouse. This stage includes removing the goods from the container and preparing it for collection.
- Import haulage
Import haulage is the process of transporting the goods from the destination warehouse to the consignee and is performed by either freight forwarding companies or a local transportation company.