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Category Archives: Freight Forwarding

Two of the Most Important Organizations in International Shipping

Who Are IMO and IATA?

most important organizations in international shipping
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The fact is that the world of today could not exist without International shipping and knowing the regulations and the processes that are involved in the shipping of goods around the world is of vital importance. There are two very important organizations that have been and are of major support to the shipping industry: IMO and IATA.

Who Governs Safety and Security in International Shipping?

The IMO and the IATA are two major organizations that set the rules and standards for safety and security in international transportation. They each play their own significant role in helping to regulate ocean and air shipping standards.

IMO – International Maritime Organization

The responsibility of maritime safety and security of the seas lies with the IMO, or the International Maritime Organization. This entity also aids in preventing the pollution of the seas, get involved in legal international affairs, trainings, conferences, etc.

As an agency of the United Nations, the IMO is “the global standard-setting authority” in charge of regulating the safety and environmental performance of all international shipments. The main role of the I.M.O. is to develop a framework for the shipping industry that can be used universally and offers an equally fair standard that all import and export companies can easily follow.

Since the shipping industry is of a true international nature, and cannot be regulated by any one country or government, it requires a regulatory entity to set the standards and then implement the rules worldwide. When it comes to ocean shipping, the IMO is the governing power that develops, enforces, and maintains maritime regulations. Their first conference took place in 1960, which led to the creation of the International Convention on Safety and Life at Sea (or SOLAS) treaty. As a result, more conventions and international conferences took place and continue throughout the years.

One of the many responsibilities of IMO is also maritime security, which became a top priority following the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, in 1985. The organization took necessary strides to implement security guidelines that would help prevent future unlawful acts against passengers and crew members aboard ships.

Another area the IMO is responsible for is pollution and environmental issues related to the sea. To accomplish this mission they work to develop universally understood guidelines, like sustainable maritime transportation concepts, and international codes, like the Code of Safety Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code), or the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

IATA – International Air Transport Association

As the name suggests, the IATA is the global authority on the world’s air transportation, representing 82% of the world’s aviation traffic. The association was founded in 1945, in Havana, Cuba, and today it extends to some 280 members from 120 nations around the world. The IATA is a conduit for inter-airline collaborations, helping to promote safe, secure, and economical air services since its inception. Reliability is paramount when coordinating airline transportation, so it is a fundamental priority of the IATA to ensure global standards for airlines, both passenger and cargo.

Aside from helping to ensure the welfare of any person aboard any aircraft, as well as the integrity of any merchandise, the IATA helps create regulations that make the transportation of goods by air safe and straightforward. For example, IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) is the trusted source for correctly preparing, handling, and accepting dangerous goods shipments by air.

The IATA’s support to airline industries is vast and entails duties like being responsible for the creation of identification codes for the airlines – which are essential for identification of an airline, destinations, and essential documents – as well as codes for international airports that are used to help develop Air Traffic Management technology.

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We Can Help Educate You on Import and Export Regulations

At Promptus LLC, we recognize the importance of these organizations, and we strive to uphold and abide by their guidelines and rules. Our dedicated team works closely with all clients to ensure that they are familiar with the various organizations, laws, regulations, and applicable duties that might be necessary for a successful shipment. With over 15 years of freight forwarding experience under our belt, we can help you sort through any complicated documents or shipping routes while helping you understand every step of the process. Contact us today to help you evaluate your shipping needs.

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10 Important Questions to Ask Your Freight Forwarder

Staying Informed Can Help You Pick The Best Logistics Service

10 questions to ask freight forwarder

Cargo shipping and transport is a valuable service, utilized by countless industries worldwide. However, not everyone knows exactly what they need or how to facilitate the import or export of goods. That’s where a 3PL comes in, also known as a third-party logistics company.

Freight forwarding companies can help you coordinate shipments both domestic and international. Ideally, you can find a company that offers full-scale services to help you with every aspect of the process. Finding the right one can take some time, therefore ask questions so that you can be sure they can take care of your shipping needs. Here’s a list of vital questions you should ask and know their answers before moving forward with a freight forwarding company.

Before Hiring, Be Sure to Ask

1. Are You Licensed?

Before you go anywhere in the hiring process, be sure to find out if a valid licensing agency has certified the freight forwarder you are interviewing. This will validate that they have been adequately screened and that they met all the necessary licensing requirements. Our company, for example, has the following credentials:

  • Licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) as a Freight Forwarder and as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)
  • Our Customs Brokers are licensed by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • Certified as an Indirect Air Carrier (IAC) by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA)
  • In-Bond Export Consolidation (IBEC) and Container Freight Station (CFS) credentials, licensed by the CBP
  • Certified by CBP under their security program, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)
  • Certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to handle dangerous goods

2. Do You Provide Cargo Insurance?

In many cases, importers and exporters make the mistake of assuming that the carrier automatically provides insurance that will cover the cargo. Unfortunately, however, this is false. Unless the company issues you an insurance certificate your shipment is uninsured by the carrier, and it will be under your responsibility. We highly recommend that you ask your potential Freight Forwarder if they offer cargo insurance and their rates.

3. Can You Help Me Clear My Shipment Through Customs?

Unless you are working with a freight company that is also a Licensed US Customs Broker, your logistics company will leave clearing shipments and submitting paperwork to the US Customs and Border Protection agency entirely up to you. The trouble is, this is an essential service in the supply chain and it can disrupt the process of getting your cargo to its final destination within the designated time frame.

Additionally, if your freight forwarder does not offer customs brokerage, you’ll have to find a separate company to handle the clearance of your import shipment. Promptus is Licensed by the US Customs and Border Protection agency to offer Customs Brokerage services in any port or airport in the United States.

4. What Does Your Rate Include?

As with any service you hire, you deserve to know exactly what you are paying for. Some freight forwarders may choose to present their rates as a lump sum or a totaled amount, which can work well if they detail their services in the quote. If the services are not transparent, be sure to ask. There are many fees involved in a simple transaction that companies might present in their own way. Here’s an example. Let’s say you need an LCL import shipment, your logistics bill might include the freight from origin to port of destination, but you might incur additional fees with the handling and storing charges of the deconsolidation warehouse at the arrival point.

5. What Are the Costs at the Destination (When Exporting)?

Here’s one you might not always think to ask. There will be costs at the destination, but these will vary depending on the carrier, the port, and the country of destination, etc. In many cases, the forwarder arranging the shipment can help give you an estimate of these costs, which you or the consignee of the shipment will have to pay at destination.

6. Are There Any Requirements to Be Aware of When Shipping to The Country of Destination?

Before arranging a shipment to any country, you should first find out if there are any specific regulations or requirements you need to be aware of to export your goods. Your logistics team or any freight forwarder you are considering should be able to inform you. Typically, the requirements are related to the type of cargo you are shipping.

For example, certain food products require a phytosanitary certificate, which must be issued by the US Department of Agriculture. Some countries will not accept your cargo unless the appropriate document has been issued by the proper entity in the country of origin. In cases like this, our team will guide you through the process.

7. Do You Have a Tracking System?

Tracking is an essential tool in today’s logistics world. For safety and security reasons, more and more customers are requesting real-time information and increased visibility on their cargo. Having this information gives customers peace of mind. Promptus uses a powerful transportation management system (TMS) that gives clients instant information for any shipments that we are assisting with. Our company provides access to documents, packing lists, commercial invoices, and will even provide pictures of your cargo if we receive it in our warehouse.

8. Do You Operate Your Warehouse?

While you might think this a given for a logistics company, with the ever-changing technologies in today’s virtual world, some freight forwarder can outsource their services. Be wary in these cases, as these companies might operate under the guise that their warehouse or services are under their direct supervision and control, even though this is untrue. While outsourced logistics certainly have their place, you have a right to know exactly who is handling your cargo. A freight forwarder that operates their own warehouse can be beneficial for you, as it allows you more control and flexibility over what happens with your goods.

9. How Quickly Can You Provide A Quote?

At Promptus, we believe that it shouldn’t take longer than 24-48 hours to deliver a quote, though some cases may require more time than others. The response time for a freight forwarding quote can vary based on the type of equipment, the country of origin, the kind of cargo, and other factors. At Promptus we will always tell the customer upfront the estimated time when they will receive our rates proposals.

10. What Options Do You Offer For Assisting With Import and Export Compliance?

As an importer or exporter, you are expected to comply with specific regulations and responsibilities. This is a crucial part of executing a successful transaction. Promptus takes pride in their experience and knowledge in the area of import and export compliance. Our goal is to guide you and simplify the process. We will also advise you of any responsibilities you should be aware of, such as declaring the cargo correctly, having the proper import permits or export licenses, paying any necessary duties and taxes to CBP, and more. Our team of experts has over 15 years of experience and is fully prepared to help you every step of the way.

Don’t Hesitate To Ask the Experts

Do you have more questions you’d like to ask to determine exactly what type of freight forwarding assistance you need? Promptus is happy to help! We specialize in a number of services, including ocean shipping, Customs Brokerage, and warehousing & distribution. We own our own facility, which is licensed as a Container Freight Station & IBEC to consolidate and deconsolidating import cargo, as well as to handle cargo in transit. Contact us today! We’d be happy to answer any additional questions and provide you with a Free Quote for your global logistics needs.

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How is Oversized Cargo Transported Overseas?

Extra Large Shipment? Learn About Your Ocean Transport Options

how is oversized cargo transported overseas

Do you have a large amount of cargo that you need to ship internationally? Are you having trouble finding options to transport your merchandise? Promptus, LLC is here to assist. Instead of worrying about the logistics of exporting your goods and wondering whether it is too large or will incur additional fees, trust in our professionals. We offer freight forwarding services to help you coordinate shipments both big and small, which leaves you free to take care of business.

First, let’s define what exactly is considered oversized, heavy cargo.

How To Tell If Your Shipment Is Oversized

Generally, oversized cargo has a different definition based on the mode of transportation you are using. For over-the-road trucking, oversized goods are defined as any load whose dimensions exceed 8.5 ft in width and 13.5-14.5 ft in length, however for ocean transportation any piece of cargo that does not fit in one 40’ or 45’ container is considered oversized.

The weight of the cargo, on the other hand, does not have strict parameters that specify whether it is considered “heavy” or not. However, when organizing the transport of cargo by land or sea, there are limits on how much weight a particular equipment can carry. Countries and states can also dictate weight limits.

How Heavy Cargo Gets Transported

Every day thousands of oversized and heavy pieces of cargo are transported via land and sea worldwide. But exactly how do they make it overseas? How does the Megabus from Germany make its way to highways in the United States? Or how does the giant dump truck made in Peoria, Illinois end up in the mines of Peru?

Using specialized equipment and vessels that have become useful when moving oversized goods, companies can transport items virtually anywhere there is an applicable port.

Roll On/Roll Off Carriers

These carriers are the best option when it comes to the transportation of large cargo shipments. The below deck warehouse featured on the ‘roll on/roll off’ carriers is favorite among transporting motor vehicles like dump trucks, back and front loaders, motorhomes, buses, and other similar large automobiles. This is because this option offers ease of access, unlike other transportation options. Typically, these vehicles are driven straight into the hull of the vessel, where workers secure them for travel.

Other types of cargo – for example, items that can’t be driven or propelled – are loaded onto the roll on/roll off carriers using a MAFI trailer, which is a rolling platform that can be towed or pushed by a tractor. Using the MAFI, the cargo can be loaded on an off the ship quickly.

Flat Rack

The flat rack is another tool that logistics companies use to load oversized cargo onto a vessel. It is, as the name describes a flat surface without any walls or roof, which allows the necessary flexibility required to move goods that have a height or width that extends beyond conventional container capacities. These flat racks can be driven directly into the hull of the vessel, as well.

Load-on Lift-off (LOLO)

Not all heavy and oversized cargo is shipped using roll on/roll off vessels, some freight is even too large to fit on these, or the cost of accommodating them is just too high. That doesn’t mean there is no way to transport them, but rather than you must use a different method. Typically, cargo that is too large for even the roll on/roll off vessels can be loaded using the LOLO method. The term refers to ships with onboard cranes that are used to, quite literally, lift the cargo from the holding area and load it onto the vessel’s deck.

Need A Hand? Promptus Can Help

It can be difficult to arrange a shipment that has oversized cargo. If you don’t find the best shipping method, you may end up spending an exponential amount on transportation – or worse, on fees. Instead, trust the experts. Our team of freight forwarders has over 15 years of experience that can help you import or export your items internationally. We also offer Customs Brokerage to assure all of your paperwork and documentation is accurate before shipping it off. For help navigating massive shipments, contact us today to receive a Free Quote!

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OTR (over the road) and Intermodal Transportation

Discover the Benefits of Both and How They Differ

When it comes to transporting goods, there are a number of different methods you can use to ship merchandise from point A to point B. The question is, which do you choose? Which is going to be the most cost-efficient while ensuring that your items arrive safely to their destination?
There are two essential modes of land transportation: OTR (over the road) and Intermodal (combination of rail and truck). Both are commonly used, but then the question remains, should you opt for an OTR shipment or coordinate intermodal transportation?

What Is OTR and Intermodal Transportation?

If you are unfamiliar with these terms, we can break them down for you. Intermodal refers to goods that are transported using more than one mode of transportation, normally trucking and a train; on the other hand, OTR or over-the-road is when cargo is moved a long distance (long haul) normally by truck.

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When To Choose OTR

OTR can be handy for full truckload (FTL) or less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. Typically, these options allow the ability to move a wider range of products across long distances. If your shipment meets any of the following criteria, you might want to opt for an OTR shipment:

  • Any order ranging from a single pallet to a full trailer load
  • Time-sensitive, or expedited shipments
  • High-value or fragile items
  • Temperature-controlled items

Pros and Cons of OTR Transport

Pros:

  • Flexible, Fast Delivery: since truck drivers aren’t stuck following a particular schedule, like trains, you can schedule a shipment to fit the timeframe you need. This method is especially useful for short-notice or expedited shipments.
  • Larger orders: OTR transportation typically works for high volume shipments.
  • Security: shippers feel more confident transporting high-value goods on a truck with a driver.

Cons:

  • High Demand: With diminishing numbers of truck drivers and increasingly high volumes of OTR shipments being scheduled, it might prove challenging to find a quality trucking company to meet your needs.
  • Traffic Congestion: While trains are the only ones on the tracks, trucks must share the road with cars, other trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. In the event of closures, traffic jams, or accidents, your shipment may run into delays.
  • Higher Potential for Damage: OTR shipments tend to be handled multiple times during its travel especially LTL cargo, which increases the risk of damage to your packages.
  • Carbon Emissions: With the ever-increasing importance of environmental sustainability, shippers are opting for more green solutions. The transportation industry is responsible for creating around ⅓ of all carbon emissions, and electric semi-trucks are still slightly out of budget for many companies.

Intermodal Transportation

Intermodal transportation is widely regarded as the better option, but that may not be true for everyone. Since rail transportation is essential in an intermodal move, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst things about rail shipping:

Pros:

  • Infrastructure: The rail network in the United States is immense, and it is expanding more and more each year. More than $600 billion has gone into our freight railroads since the 1980s, which correlates to the massive expansions being made to rail transport all over the country. Developments are slated to continue well into 2020.
  • Reduced Risk of Damage: Rail transport requires containers to be stacked carefully and secured onto flatcars where they remain untouched until they are unloaded. This dramatically reduces the chance of them shifting in transit.
  • Reliability: Trains run on a set schedule, and they are governed by major transit laws, rather than individual trucking companies. They are also less impacted by poor weather, which means your items arrive at the scheduled time.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Trains have a significantly smaller carbon footprint than cars or trucks do. When you opt for an intermodal shipping method, you could cut your carbon emissions up to 75%.
  • Cost: Generally speaking, the cost of shipping a container or a pallet of goods is lower when traveling by rail.

Cons:

  • Longer Transit Time: As you can imagine, transporting something via train can take longer than a truck. Since rail systems work on dedicated tracks and may make multiple stops before reaching your destination. If you are on a tight deadline, rail transport may not be your best bet.
  • Additional Services Needed: If you opt for intermodal transportation, you will also need drayage service. This means coordinating another service, scheduling an appointment, and staying on top of another step before your goods can arrive at their destination.
  • Not Available Everywhere: While infrastructure is continually evolving, there are still some places that do not have a ramp set-up for rail transportation. Currently, Class I freight railroads are only available in 44 out of 50 states.

Choosing the Right Option

Still not sure the route to take? Promptus LLC offers expert freight forwarding services from our team, who has over 15 years of experience with global logistics. We can help you figure whether on-the-road or intermodal shipping is better for you, and then we can coordinate an LTL, FTL, or even small package shipments anywhere in the country. Call us today at 305-687-1405 for a free quote!

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The Difference Between Gross and Dimensional Weight

How to Calculate Costs In Air Freight

difference between gross and dimensional weight

Source

What is Gross and Dimensional Weight?

When it comes to shipping goods anywhere the weight and dimensions (among others) are important variables that will influence a great deal in the cost of the transportation service being provided.

When moving cargo, they may charge you based on the “dimensional weight” of your shipment rather than the actual weight (gross weight). By using a “weight equivalent” conversion formula based on the dimensions of the cargo, carriers will determine the dimensional weight and this becomes the chargeable weight if it is greater than the gross weight.

This is to ensure that the carrier gets paid fairly for the space being utilized. So, if you are shipping one ton of feathers, it may cost more than transporting one ton of books – assuming the packaging for the feathers takes more room.

Calculating Dimensional Weight for Air Shipments

In air shipments, due to the fact that the aircraft needs to adhere to strict weight restrictions, you
need both gross and chargeable weight on the AWB (Airway Bill) and you will be charged for
whichever amount is more.

To calculate the dimensional weight, you must first calculate the cubic inches of your cargo then divide this total by a factor of 166 to obtain dimensional weight in pounds (for air shipments). To obtain the dimensional weight in kilos the factor to use is 366.

So, in conclusion:

  • Chargeable weight, is the weight the carrier uses to charge you. This will be determined by which one of the weights (the gross or the dimensional) yields the higher amount.

International Air Freight Experts

Struggling to understand the way dimensional and gross weight work? Not a problem – we are here to assist you. Our expert freight forwarders can help you understand why chargeable weight is used in air shipments, and assist you in calculating the cost and determining the most cost-effective way to ship your goods. With over 15 years of global logistics experience, our team is knowledgeable and dedicated to providing top customer service to all of our clients. Plus, we offer customs brokerage to help navigate CBP requirements and fees. Contact us today at (305) 687-1405 for a Free Quote for our services!

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Major Container Ports Around the World

Learn More About the Top 10 International Import/Export Ports

ports around the world
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Every year, hundreds of container ports throughout the world receive merchandise at their docks. Some maintain a regular influx of goods annually, where others surpass “regular” and go straight for extraordinary. The average ship makes about two port calls a week, with easily over 9,000 occurring in a single year. For high-traffic ports, workers can easily unload over 10,000 linear ships in a single week.

What Is a Container Port

A container port is a facility where containerships and cargo containers are handled and sorted while they await different transport vehicles. The goods that pass through these ports often use intermodal containers to get them safely to their destination. The process requires a drop-off point where an inspection may take place before loading the cargo onto a truck or similar transportation.

There are two types of container ports:

  • A maritime container port, which handles transshipments between ocean shipping vessels and land delivery trucks
  • An inland container port, which handles transshipments between land vehicles, such as trains and trucks.
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Both types of these ports have space to house loaded containers awaiting further transportation and empty containers that need to be loaded. To be considered a major port, the facility must have the capabilities to discharge 100,000 tons of cargo monthly.

How Much Cargo Moves Through A Container Port?

In 2010, the Shanghai, China port took its title as the largest container port in the world. Since then, it has held its place at the top, going as far as to make history in 2014. Just how many TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) did they handle that year? A record-setting 35-million.

For a better idea of exactly how much traffic major container ports see annually, take a look at the numbers from the top 10 container ports in 2017 and previous years.

As you can tell, Asia seems to dominate the market, which is no surprise considering how much merchandise they produce on a day-to-day basis. The United States didn’t make the Top 10, but major ports on both the east and west coast managed to make the Top 25. For even more information on container ports around the world, see the full list of the Top 50 Container Ports of 2016.

Looking To Coordinate A Major Port Shipment?

One of the most significant advantages of utilizing a major port is the confidence of knowing that they have the space, skills, and ability to process your merchandise correctly. If you are unsure of where to start or how to handle shipping to a major port, contact Promptus, LLC today. We can help with all of your freight forwarding needs, including ocean shipping and warehousing. Give us a call at 1-877-776-6799 to get a Free Quote for our services!

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How Does Your Cargo Move When in the Air?

Discover How Your Merchandise Travels To Its Destination

how cargo moves in air

Over the course of one calendar year, airline transports report over 52 million metric tons of goods being shipped through their airlines annually. Cargo averages about 9% of airline revenue.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) deduces that, in 2018, the value of merchandise carried by air transport will exceed over $6.2 trillion. As a whole, this represents about 35% of global trade by value, though it still accounts for less than 1% of world trade by volume. Overall, this equals around $6.8 trillion worth of merchandise being shipped in the sky every year. That’s $18.6 billion being shipped via air freight a day!

Cargo Units of Measurement

To understand how your cargo moves once it leaves your facility, you must also understand the terminology freight forwarders use. When moving cargo in the air, the shipment is measured and transferred using a “unit load device,” more commonly known as just a ULD. This is just a pallet or container that can be used to physically move cargo onto either a wide-body or narrow-body aircraft. It is a tool used to help move large amounts of luggage, freight, or mail and consolidate it into one easily transportable unit.

As of today, there are roughly 900,000 ULDs in play that makes numerous trips all over the world every year. With just under a million of these moving from one end of the globe to another at any given time, it’s no wonder that fast delivery services are becoming increasingly popular with consumers.

Since ULDs are removable parts, they are subject to strict civil aviation requirements from authorities in the areas of operations, design, production, testing, repair, and maintenance. For a ULD to be considered airworthy, it must pass many tests that determine whether it is capable of safely restraining the cargo loads without damaging the interior or exterior of the aircraft during flight. Many unregulated hands handle the ULD, as well, as they are often outsourced to 3PLs. Because of this, there have been increasing challenges with how airlines supervise and keep control over ULD operations.

The Process of Moving Cargo By Air

As a whole, the concept of airline transport is self-explanatory; airfreight refers to cargo that is transported by aircraft. It is by far the fastest shipping option, in addition to being more reliable and more flexible than other shipping options. Because you can get your merchandise to its destination in just a few days, versus a few weeks or months as with ground or sea transport, you can reduce the possibility of something going wrong. Even more so, you can offer your customers and clientele an option that reduces the amount of time between making a payment and receiving their goods. It’s an excellent option for anyone who needs to send time-sensitive materials, such as foods or pharmaceuticals.

Unfortunately, it also happens to be the most expensive method of transport for goods. You can expect to pay for things like fuel surcharge, container freight station fees, airline terminal handling fees, and more – all on top of the base cost. However, with a little care and effort, you can maximize this shipping option and reduce extra costs. The trick is to incorporate airfreight as an intermodal shipping option.

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Typically, the process works like this:

  1. Your warehouse/company/online shop fulfills an order for a client.
  2. A trucking company is sent to your warehouse to pick up the merchandise you scheduled for shipment.
  3. It is taken to an airfreight location, typically local to the area, where it is then fitted onto the appropriate ULD and loaded on the freight plane.
  4. It flies to its destination, where it usually arrives at a sorting facility or warehouse. Then, someone sorts the merchandise for immediate pick-up and delivery, or it is deferred for later delivery.
  5. Once more the item is loaded onto a truck, then delivered to the consumer’s home, business, storefront, etc.

At some point, if the merchandise is coming from overseas, it may be subject to inspection by Customs and Border Protection agents. To avoid any delays or additional fees, be sure to have all the necessary paperwork and duties taken care of ahead of time.

Types of ULD Used

A few different ULDs are used every day to facilitate air freight transport. Here is a brief overview of the container types and what their most common uses are:

cargo-moves-in-air
  • Demi: A half pallet contoured container that is ideal for use on the main deck.
  • HMA stall: A typical flat pallet configured into a stall for horses. Can be used on the main deck.
  • LD-1: Similar to the demi, this is a half pallet with lower hold capabilities and one angled side.
cargo-moves-in-air2
  • LD-11: This full-sized pallet container is intended for lower hold and has a canvas door. Also comes in refrigerated version (with a sold door).
  • LD-2: A half-sized pallet with an angled side. The door can be canvas or solid, depending on your needs. This container is intended for lower hold.
  • LD-26: Full-sized lower hold pallet with two angled sides and a canvas door, secured with net door straps.
cargo-moves-in-air3
  • LD-29: This container is similar to the LD-26, just larger.
  • LD-29 Reefer: This container has the same spec as the LD-29, but it sports a solid door.
  • LD-3: This square, half-sized pallet has a canvas door and an angled side. It is intended for lower deck storage.
cargo-moves-in-air4
  • LD-3 Reefer: Much like the LD-3 model, this container is half-sized with the difference of a solid door.
  • LD-39: This container looks very much like the LD-29, with similar specs. It is ideal for lower hold on a 747.
  • LD-4: This is a full-sized lower hold rectangular container with canvas doors, secured with built-in door straps.
cargo-moves-in-air5
  • LD-6: Full-sized pallet with two angled ends and a canvas door with built-in straps. Intended for lower hold storage.
  • LD-7: All-purpose pallet with a net to hold in place. It is flat and can be used with lower holds or on the main deck.
  • LD-7 with Angled Wings: The same as the LD-7, except with two angled wings that extend from either side to hold the cargo in place.
cargo-moves-in-air6
  • LD-7 with Folding Wings: Another flat, full-sized pallet with wings on either side that fold to compensate for overhang. Can be used with lower holds.
  • LD-8: A full-sized container with a canvas door, built-in door straps, and two angled sides. Intended for lower hold storage.
  • LD-9: A simple, rectangular container for general use storage, fitted to a P1P base. The door can either be solid or canvas with built-in straps. Lower hold use.
cargo-moves-in-air7
  • LD-9 Reefer: This container is insulated for items that are temperature-sensitive. It has a solid door and is intended for lower hold storage.
  • M-1: This rectangular pallet has a canvas door with built-in straps, and is intended for center loading on the main deck only.
  • M-1H: Similar specs to the M-1 with an angled top.
cargo-moves-in-air8
  • M-2: This box container looks very similar to traditional freight containers, with a solid door. Main-deck center load only.
  • M-6: 20-foot-long flat pallet with a net attached for secure holding. Main-deck use.
  • M-6 (118” H): Exactly like the M-6, but slightly taller at 118” high.
cargo-moves-in-air9
  • M-6 Twin Car Rack: This particular flat pallet is set up to support a twin carrack attachment. Intended for main-deck storage.
  • MDP: Simple, 16-foot-long flat pallet with a net to secure goods. Main-deck use.
  • PLA Half Pallet: A half-sized contoured pallet suitable for both lower hold and main deck use.
cargo-moves-in-air10
  • PMC/P6P Pallet: 10-foot-long flat pallet with a built-in net for general use. Can be used in lower holds and on the main deck.
  • PNA Half Pallet: Half-sized square flat pallet with a built-in net. Recommended for 767 lower hold use.
  • Type A Pen: A pen used to house farm animals, typically sheep and goat. Has a built-in net on the top and sits on a P1P base. Main deck use.

Promptus LLC Can Help You Get the Best Deal

Not sure how to start implementing airfreight services without breaking the bank? Don’t worry – Promptus LLC has you covered! We offer full-scale freight forwarding services, including Customs Brokerage, and a variety of transportation options. Contact us at 1-877-776-6799 for a free quote today!

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Less-Than-Load Shipping: What Is It and When Should I Use It?

Discover the Advantage of LTL Shipping and How It Can Maximize Efficiency

What is LTL Freight Shipping?

If you are regularly shipping cargo, whether it is domestically or internationally, you will likely come across many shipping terms with which you may be unfamiliar. Whether you have heard it before or not, if you are planning on shipping cargo between 150 lbs – 15,000 lbs, you will likely come across the term “less-than-truckload” when reviewing your transport options. Commonly stylized as LTL, this term refers to cargo that is too small or does not weigh enough to fill up an entire shipping truck trailer.

When Should You Consider LTL Shipping?

As mentioned, companies use LTL shipping when they have cargo shipments that won’t fill out an entire shipping trailer. When you opt for LTL freight service, the seller (or shipper) won’t be responsible for paying the cost of using a whole container. Instead, the shipper pays only for space they are using with the truck. The shipping company will typically fill their load with different cargo shipments from various companies, so they will all split the cost. This ensures that all parties involved on pay for what they are using and the trucking company still sees adequate payment for their trucking and fuel costs.

What Are The Advantages of LTL Shipping?

One of the main reason for companies to utilize LTL shipping is lower costs. You don’t spend any money on space in the trailer that you won’t be using, which means you can put in towards shipping more goods. However, some other reasons why companies opt for LTL shipping is:

  • Security Increase. In many cases, your items will ship on a pallet, which can help to boost the integrity of the cargo and help minimize any loss or destruction to the shipment.
  • Tracking. The majority of LTL carriers offer tracking numbers, which is a popular option among customers who like to know where their merchandise is. The tracking number is usually available via the PRO number, Straight Bill of Lading number, PO number, or something similar.
  • Flexibility. With LTL shipments, you have more delivery options for your cargo. You can select services that would not be otherwise included, like expedited shipping, liftgates, and inside delivery.
  • Environmentally Friendly. When you utilize one truck for multiple shipments, it can not only save money, but it can help to reduce the carbon footprint made by the shipping company!

Calculating and Preparing LTL Shipments

LTL shipments operate on a hub and spoke model. This means there is main distribution centers, the hubs, and the smaller, regional terminals are the spokes. The local terminals use freight from regional shipping and trucking companies as their outbound trailers. Goods arrive at the primary distribution centers – typically, there are a few located throughout the country – where they are then sorted and delivered or consolidated to then await further transportation.

Consumers may recognize names like UPS or FedEx as companies that offer LTL shipping options. But how do even the big names know how to calculate costs for both consumers and sellers accurately? Numerous factors are taken into consideration when determining LTL shipping rates, such as:

  • Distance: The closer the shipping destination is from the seller’s point of origin, the cheaper the shipment will ultimately be.
  • Dimensions: The weight, volume, and density of the cargo will play a big part in determining how much it will cost to ship. After all, the size of your shipment will ultimately determine how much space you take up in the LTL truck.
  • Classification of Freight: This goes hand in hand with the dimensions. Once you have weighed and measured your cargo, you can specify the freight class. The freight class is customarily used to calculate the cost of shipping.
  • Accessorials: These are charges for any additional services that you requested or are required to complete the shipment successfully. This can include but is not limited to, things like fuel surcharges, oversized items, residential pickups, hazardous or perishable materials, and anything outside the base cost for shipping.

Top 25 LTL Carriers in 2017

In 2017, the top 25 LTL freight carriers made a combined total of $34.4B. The SJ Consulting Group prepared the following numbers, which help to give an overview of annual revenue for LTL companies. By the looks of it, the freight market of 2017-2018 will be at an absolute high.

Expert 3PL Services From A Premier Logistics Provider

Looking for a freight forwarding company to manage all your shipping and handling needs? Promptus LLC has been in business since 2001, helping importers and exporters of all kinds with all distribution and transportation needs. We have Licensed Customs Brokers available to help you sort through any paperwork, as well as fully stocked warehousing for housing and sorting. Call us at 1-877-776-6799 to get a free quote on our services today!

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Do You Know How Your Cargo Moves Overseas?

Learn More About The Movements of Your Liner Shipping Containers During Transit

A liner ship, if you are unfamiliar with the term, refers to a cargo ship that has the capability of transporting warehouses (yes, plural!) of merchandise. The goal is to maximize efficiency when transporting goods by using one ship for a myriad of companies. Currently, there are over 6,000 containerships in play, with about 400 companies offering liner services around the world. Many of these ships were built in 1980 and will travel the distance from earth to the moon practically ten times! That’s nearly 2 million miles!

The Breakdown of a Liner Cargo Ship

Liner shipping focuses primarily on high-capacity ships that operate via fixed routes and schedules. These sea-based ships carry about 60% of all goods moved internationally every year. Most of them are outfitted to securely accommodate commonly used 20-foot and 40-foot, plus 45-foot and 48-foot containers. Some ships fit freight containers up to 53-feet long.

 You May Also Like: “Do You Know The Right Marine Freight Container For Your Shipping Needs?” 

These enormous ships have only gotten bigger over the last 50 years. In that time, they have gone from carrying just 1,500 TEU to carrying over 12,000 TEU today. The picture below depicts the 1,200% capacity growth since 1968.

Some of the biggest container ships in the world today are a whopping 1,300 feet long and 180 feet wide! In addition to being outfitted to carry more goods in one trip, including shipments from different companies, they are more fuel efficient! In fact, a recent study by Lloyd’s Register discovered that, in 23 years (from 1985 to 2008), fuel efficiency increase by 35%.

How Linear Shipping Works

Think about the fixed schedule of a train route or a bus line. This system is very similar to the regular service scheduled on liner containerships. Ultimately, the concept of shipping is simple: the manufacturer sends the goods over via a transit system – in this case, ocean shipping – and they travel on a designated route until they arrive at the destination port. But actually, there is so much more to the transit story of how your favorite pair of shoes makes it way to your local retailer.

So what really happens from beginning to end throughout the overseas shipping itinerary? This step-by-step guide illustrates each stage of transport:

  1. You, the consumer, has demanded an increase in the latest style of tennis shoe. In response, your local retailer places an order from the manufacturer in China. They arrange a shipment of 500 brand new tennis shoes to be brought over via a freight forwarder.
  2. As per the instruction of the freight forwarder, a trucking company will arrive at the Chinese factory. Here, they load up the order of 500 new shoes, along with any other orders placed by other retailers. They are loaded into the freight containers and sealed with heavy duty locks.
  3. The freight forwarding company directs the trucking to delivery the container to a port in China, where workers load it onto a shipping line. Here, transport documents will be requested by the government to ensure everything is legitimate.
  4. Once safely loaded on the container ship, the cargo heads towards its destination port. Upon arrival, the vessel will present the necessary information to receive clearance to dock. Once it has arrived, dock workers will assist with unloading the containers that have the shoes.
  5. If Customs selects the cargo for inspection, it will open and thoroughly check it to ensure nothing is wrong. Once cleared, they will load it onto the next mode of transport, usually a trailer truck. Now the tennis shoes have officially arrived in the country and are on their way to you.
  6. The container with the shoes arrives at an import distribution center, typically located nearby, where the cargo will be unloaded and prepared. Once they are good to go, the 500 brand new tennis shoes will arrive at the retailer.

How Your Cargo Moves Is Important

At Promptus LLC, we offer full-scale logistics services that will help you every step of the way. Our team of air & ocean freight forwarders can help transport your merchandise worldwide, even if it is a multimodal shipment. We are C-TPAT certified and have a number of resources available to help with international import/export services. Call us at 1-877-776-6799 to get a Free Quote today!

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Most Important Documents for the Transport of Cargo

Import/Export Services Require Appropriate Transport Documents

important transport documents
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Behind all international import/export transactions are important documents that detail all the information relevant to the parties involved, including the terms of the transport for cargo. One important group of these documents is known as the transport documents. The company organizing the transport, such as a shipping line, air cargo carrier, trucking company, or freight forwarder, typically issues this paperwork.

Types of Documents Required for Transport of Cargo

The bill of lading has always been the key transport document and this might be issued in various forms, depending on the type of transport being used and the scope of the journey.

The general definition of the Bill of Lading is: document used by a carrier to a shipper, signed by the captain, agent, or owner of a vessel, furnishing written evidence regarding receipt of the goods (cargo), the conditions on which transportation is made (contract of carriage), and the engagement to deliver foods at the prescribed port of destination to the lawful holder of the bill of lading.

The Bill of Lading is therefore, both a receipt for merchandise and a contract to deliver it as freight. There are a number of different types of bills of ladings, which we will detail below.

Straight Bill of Lading

A bill of lading (B/L) is typically a transferable document that serves the following purposes:

  • As receipt that the goods have been loaded
  • Documents the terms of the contract of carriage
  • Proof of agreement of the terms of delivery for the goods

However, in the case of a straight bill of lading, the buyer has typically already made their payment in advance of shipment and thus needs a carrier to simply deliver the goods to the consignee. The buyer needs only show proof of their identity to receive the goods. It is also used when goods are shipped on an open account. This type of bill of lading is non-negotiable and non-transferrable; it does not act as the title of the goods, as with traditional bill of ladings.

Ocean Bill of Lading

A Marine/Ocean/Port-to-Port Bill of Lading is specifically designed to cover port-to-port shipments and should be used only when the mode of transportation is strictly ocean shipping.

This paperwork will contain vital information to the transaction that will include details specific to the vessel being used. If the merchandise was received at a port other than the one specified by the buyer, there must be an “on-board” notation indicating the accurate port of loading. These are typically negotiable and can, therefore, be endorsed and transferred to a third party as necessary, even while the goods are still in transit.

Non-Negotiable Sea Waybill

This document is very similar to the ocean bill of lading; however, a non-negotiable sea waybill is just that – non-negotiable. Rather than acting as the title for the goods on board, it is simply a proof of the transaction and all the encompassing information.

This helps to reduce fraud in transactions and can offer more flexibility for the parties involved. These sea waybills are recommended for shipments between allied companies, goods purchased in advance or with a line of credit, or merchandise that will not be transferred while in transit. Ultimately, there must be a degree of mutual trust before considering this option.

Multimodal/Combined Transport Document

If you plan to use more than one method of transport to ship your goods to their destination, you will need, what is known, as a multimodal bill of lading. However, unlike a traditional B/L, the carrier will take full responsibility for the goods while they are in transit. Normally this document will contain key information such as: Place of Receipt, which may be different from the place of actual loading. Many multimodal bills of ladings will also include the ‘Place of Delivery by On-Carrier’, which might be different from the place of discharge.

Air Transport Document

Also known as an air waybill, which is a non-negotiable document that indicates the acceptance of the goods for transport. The air waybill must name a consignee (who can be the buyer), and should not be issued ‘to order’ and/or ‘to be endorsed’. Since it is non-negotiable, and does not provide evidence title to the goods — in order to maintain some control of the goods not paid for by cash in advance, sellers often consign air shipments to their sales agents, or to freight forwarders’ agents in the buyer’s country.

Important definitions:

  • Master Air Waybill: A shipper’s contract of carriage with an airline
  • House Air Waybill: A shipper’s contract of carriage with a logistics firm

Concerned that you may not have all the required paperwork? Our freight forwarding services can ensure that your merchandise travels to its destination safely, whether it is domestic or international. Contact us today at 1-877-776-6799 to get a free quote for our services!

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