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.