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sea freight

What is Sea Freight Import?


If you are considering the logistics of Importing goods into the United Kingdom for your business, sea freight will naturally be an option you will consider. Sea freight is a good choice for those businesses that are looking to import a large amount of consumer goods and is most often used when importing from Far East Asia. One of the main reasons for this is because sea freight is a cost-effective option that has been a preferred method for many industries for decades.

Sea freight is the method of transporting a large quantity of goods using cargo ships. These come in the following forms:

  • Full Container Load (FCL) – In which a company fills a whole container with their own goods. Containers can be from 20 – 45 feet long.
  • Less than Container Load (LCL) – Where different companies share the same container and load their shipments into it. This would then get split once it reaches port.
  • Roll On Roll Off (RORO) – Where lorries or other vehicles are packed with shipments, drive onto the cargo ships and drive off once they have reached their destination.
  • Dry Bulk Shipping – Where materials such as metals or aggregates can be poured into the ships hold rather than being loaded into containers.

What are the Advantages of Sea Freight?

The advantages of importing using sea freight include:

  • Can be highly cost effective for businesses looking to import large quantities of goods. Sea freight has been known to be 4 – 6 times cheaper than air freight. Additionally, duty and VAT are calculated at a cheaper rate than air freight keeping the costs down
  • Supreme freight can also organise container sharing for smaller loads that can keep costs down for their clients.
  • Sea freight is a global business and is accessible from most countries around the globe.
  • Sea freight importing is much better for the environment than other methods.

What Will you Need to Pay for?

When importing into the UK, businesses not only need to consider the cost of the goods and the fee they are going to pay to the shipping company to transport them, they must also consider the duty and the taxes incurred on the goods as they pass through customs processes.

The price of these costs depends a lot on where the shipment is coming from. Currently, importing from the EU typically costs less than from outside as there normally isn’t duty to be paid. This may change as the United Kingdom goes through the process of leaving the European Union and businesses will need to consider this when pricing up their shipment.

Shipping costs depend a lot on the size of the shipment and what it is. Other costs excluding the shipping cost could include:

  • Cost of goods
  • UK import duty
  • UK VAT (There are some cases where businesses can claim this back.)

How Sea Freight Works

Arranging a shipment can generally be done using these steps:

  • Contact Supreme to discuss your logistic requirements and agree a plan.
  • The goods will be collected by the shipping company from the supplier.
  • The shipment will be transported to the port and proceed through customs.
  • Goods are loaded into an FCL or LCL container and loaded onto a cargo ship.
  • Once the shipment has arrived into the UK, the shipment is met by customs and released when duty and taxes are paid.
  • Goods are delivered to your business.

When you work with Supreme you will be working with a reputable, cost effective shipping company who will ensure that the process runs smoothly. Planning and organisation will be key as shipments can take a long time to reach their final destinations especially if delays occur. To discuss your sea freight needs or any other freight requirements contact the expert team at Supreme Freight on +44 (0)23 8033 7778.

golden week

ALERT: Golden week and the implications for shippers

As part of celebrations for golden week, also called National Day, a major holiday is coming up in China from Saturday 1st October for a week, officially ending on the 7th but with effects lasting until the 10th.

It has been celebrated in mainland China and Hong Kong since 2000. The holiday was implemented by the Government to encourage domestic tourism and allow families to make long distance trips. This means that businesses come to a standstill.

All businesses will be closed, cargo flights are cancelled and ports operate on basic crews. Shipping quotes will be hard to obtain as nothing moves in or out.  Vessels are usually under capacity at this time so don’t sail.

Our advice is plan ahead! Contact us as soon as possible for rates and availability to secure your shipment in time. Please also be advised that there will be a back log of orders and freight after golden week which will mean that space will be at a premium.  If a shipment is time critical it is important to be organised before next week.

You can submit an enquiry through our website, send us an email or call us on 02380 337778.

We look forward to hearing from you.

china uk

6 Top Tips for importing goods from China

In the current economic climate post Brexit, leaving the EU means that foreign relations have become more important than ever. Here are our 6 top tips for importing goods from China…

1. Ensure that the goods are permitted in your country, and that they are correctly classified. International trade is heavily regulated, and Supreme Freight can make sure that all your goods have the correct classifications, such as CFSP, IPR, OPR and warehousing entries, not forgetting BTI classification.

2. Do you need an import license? Do you need to pay VAT and Duty? This is dependent on the classification of the goods. Here at Supreme we can give expert advice to help simplify the process for you to make sure that the correct documentation is in place for your shipment.

3. Choose the right method of transportation. When importing from China the usual methods are either sea or air freight. If there are no time restraints and larger quantities, then sea freight may be preferable. If you would like your goods quicker and with higher levels of security, then air freight would be recommend. If you choose sea, then we can handle all types of cargo including full container load (FCL), less container load (LCL) and NVOCC groupie shipments. If air is your preference our team at Heathrow Airport offer a range of direct and indirect shipment services. Choice and flexibility are paramount and we work closely with both our client and supplier to design a schedule and transit time that will suit your requirements.

4. Track your cargo. Make sure you choose a forwarder who can track your goods. Our tacking page offers detailed information and insight to the status and progress of your shipment, for both sea and air freight. [link to tracking page]

5. Arrange collection of your shipment. We offer a door to door service if required which is convenient and flexible, and also offer container and cargo storage which is a crucial aspect of the supply chain.

6. Don’t forget the Chinese New Year! How can you avoid delays?! By making sure that your order is placed in plenty of time, November at the latest.

Happy importing!
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