Every day, thousands of ships sail across the oceans of the world hauling all sorts of goods from one point to another. Hundreds of ports on every coastline are active, and right now countless workers and machines are loading containers in vessels in order to ship them around the globe. We are so used to international shipping that we rarely stop to think about it. How many "made in China" items do you own or have you seen in your life? How many times have you checked for "shipping fees" while shopping online?
Most things you have right now can only be there thanks to the extensive network of maritime routes that allow the transportation of goods to and from all ports or the world. Overseas haulage has existed for thousands of years, and the advancement of shipping technology has allowed us to increase the speed of transportation as well as the success rate. Now, if you want to ship goods anywhere in the world, all you need to do is find a company that will do it for you - a very simple task in the UK -, agree and pay for the service. If everything goes smoothly, next thing you'll know is that your parcels are piled up in the country of destination.
Some people recur to international shipping for personal purposes. Mostly, removals. In these cases, the purpose of transportation isn't commercial, so they must take different things in account. Some are the same, like priorizing quicker shipment or lower costs. In there cases, it is best to compare different companies and pick the one that provides the best service. Personal recommendation is a good source of information, but there are also independent websites that will offer reviews on shipping companies as well as a quote comparison service that will very often be for free. You should compare at the very least three different quotations in order to get an idea on what you should expect to pay for international shipping.
In the case of removals, something that will require your attention is the packing method. You can pack yourself, which will consume a lot of your time and energy but might help you save quite much in your costs. However, many companies won't offer insurance of your goods unless they can verify that they have been properly packed, and for this you will usually need to demonstrate that the packing was handled professionally by a trusted company. Insurance is something you should take because many things can happen to a container during their journey, and its contents could become damaged due to hits, sudden shaking, weather conditions and other possible situations.
What you will need to do if you want to ship goods internationally, whether it is for personal purposes or business purposes, is to learn about and understand all the legal and economical implications of the route of your choice. You will have to deal for import and export regulations, which are different from one country to another. In example, if you want to ship a container to Germany, you will need to learn about the German laws for bringing goods into the country, which could include permits required, restrictions, taxes and fees, paperwork and other things of the like. You aren't likely to learn this by yourself, but your Haulage firm should be able to inform you of all these aspects of shipping and give you advice on which options to pick in order to avoid hassle and keep costs low.
Learn all this in advance and have all paperwork needed at hand when your container arrives to the country of destination. A good container transport haulage company will instruct you to be present, or at least at reach, when your container makes it to the port, since there is where inspectors will check on it and require all paperwork and fees. If you fail to comply with their requirements, you could have trouble and, in the worst of scenarios, you could see your container shipped back to its point of origin. If you follow instructions and are correctly advised, you should have no problems.
Regulations change from time to time and new laws and arrangements could drastically change your route of convenience and paperwork required. For this reason, if you plan to ship soon, or are a regular trader, we suggest that you stay informed by suscribing to reliable sources of information on international shipping, such as Lloyds information or other websites or magazines of the like.
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