Will the container be dedicated only to my goods?
Shipments are divided into three categories:
FCL or Full Container Load:
The consignee has exclusive use of a dedicated shipping container, meaning that it will only contain the client's consignment(no space sharing takes place). To warrant an FCL shipment the customer ought to be able to fill a considerable proportion of the container to make it cost effective. In most cases the goods are loaded directly at the client's address(subject to good access & parking) where the seal is placed onto the container door. Cargo exclusivity also guarantees added security.
LCL or Less than Container Load:
Various consignments will be consolidated into one single container to make the shipment viable. This option is used when the cargo volume doesn't warrant an entire shipping container. Cargo must be placed on pallets or crates, not loose. The client pays only for the space used in the container. Transit times are generally slower.
The grouping together of several consignments into full container loads, also referred to as consolidation. It is important to note that the word groupage is in reference to the service offered by a freight forwarder as opposed to when a shipping line consolidates small loads, in this case it is classed as an LCL service. Consignments don't need to be crated but a full export packing and wrapping service is still required.
How do I handle insurance for my shipment?
We arrange insurance certificates on behalf of our clients who wish to insure their cargo. The insurance premium is based on a percentage of the declared value of the goods. An excess will also be applicable. We offer our customers two types of insurance for overseas shipments:
This policy covers damage & breakage that may occur from day of packing, through transit and delivery to final destination. To subscribe to this cover the goods must be professionally packed by our company.
Total Loss cover:
This policy covers the loss of the complete cargo(i.e. sinking of the vessel, container overboard, fire, etc.) but no damages are covered. A global value must be placed on the shipment.
What am I not allowed to ship?
Unfortunately there are certain items that cannot be shipped into containers, these include:
Poisonous, flammable or corrosive items such as fuels, paints, varnishes, insecticides, bleach, oils, matches, candles, propane, butane, paint thinners, aerosol cans & cleaning chemicals, Illegal items, Perishable goods that may attract vermin such as food, Furniture that contains woodworm or termites, Firearms or ammunition, Animals, Live plants, Drugs, Jewelry and Original documents such as insurance policies, wills, birth certificates.
How do I know if I'll need a 20' or a 40' container?
Our surveyor will be able to determine this after a premove survey has been carried out but as a guide 20' containers can hold about 1100 CuFt. and are usually large enough for a 1 to 2 bedroom household or 1 vehicle with a few, small-sized household goods. While 40' containers can hold about 2300 CuFt. and are usually reserved for 3 to 5 bedroom households or 1 vehicle and a 2 bedroom household.
What do you mean by packing the goods "on site"?
It has always been our policy to export pack customers' belongings at the residence NOT at the warehouse. We believe that taking furniture back to the warehouse unpacked, ready for another team to pack defeats the object, although this practice is still quite common among some companies. With on site packing, you'll be handed a fully completed inventory on the moving day, all items will be labelled and you'll see for yourself how all the furniture and personal effects get wrapped and packed by our crew. Remember that proper packing from the beginning considerably reduces the risk of damage to your goods.
What is the bill of lading?
A bill of lading is a document which is issued by the transport carrier to the shipper acknowledging that they have received the shipment of goods and that they've been placed on board a particular vessel which is bound for a particular destination and states the terms in which these goods are to be carried. If the bill of lading is specified as being non negotiable, then the transportation carrier must deliver it only to the consignee named in the bill of lading, thus the bill of lading acts both as a receipt of goods and as an agreement to transport these goods to a specific destination and consignee in return for payment of the transportation charges.