Essential Documents for Smooth International Shipping – W Group

Posted on April 29th, 2021

Whether you’re exporting or importing goods internationally, accurate paperwork is key to your goods arriving timeously, with minimal hassles. The most important shipment documents need to be in order before shipping even takes place. With the right documentation, your goods will arrive at its destination with very little delay at customs. 

To ensure you know what is required, we’ve listed which international shipping documents are mandatory before you ship your goods. 

International Shipping Requirements: Export and Import 

In most cases, your supplier will handle the shipping documents for export. All you need to do is focus on the international shipping requirements for importing your goods. The crucial documents for import include:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of Lading

No importing process can take place without these three shipping documents for import in place.

Commercial Invoice

The commercial invoice is compulsory for all international shipping. Details such as the value of the order, the type of products being shipped, and the consignee are all included on this invoice. 

Customs will ask for this document and use it to determine the value of custom duties for your goods. Other information such as the marine insurance, purchase order number, and payment information can be included in the commercial invoice. 

Packing List

Mandatory shipment documentation required for international shipping also includes the packing list. Not only is this list useful for your freight forwarder when compiling a bill of lading but customs will also demand to see this list. 

The packing list details the volume specifics of the cargo being shipped as well as the type of products. The dimensions of the products are specified and the quantity of each product type. This document becomes useful for the recipient of the goods when checking that all goods indicated on the bill of lading is actually being delivered. 

Bill of Lading

The bill of lading documents are those used for inland transport, ocean shipping, and air freight. These bills of ladings are needed by your carrier of choice and can be used as:

  • A contract of carriage
  • A document of title for the cargo being shipped

An ocean waybill can be a straight bill of lading which is assigned to a specific consignee and can’t be negotiated at any point. The signed bill of lading is presented to the carrier handling the shipment. A negotiated bill of lading is another type of document used in ocean shipping and is consigned to and signed by the shipper. 

An air bill of lading is non-negotiable and becomes the contract of carriage between the carrier and the shipper. 

Final Thoughts

Without the three most important shipping documents mentioned above, you’ll not be able to import your goods internationally. You may also be asked to arrange paperwork such as a certificate of origin, bank drafts, dangerous goods forms and a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction. 

Speak to our global freight services department at WGroup. We’ll gladly assist you in preparing all the types of shipping documents and paperwork required for your next international shipment. 

Ocean Market Outlook for 2021 – The Future of Ocean Shipping

Posted on April 15th, 2021

2020 was a difficult year for everyone including freight services. The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on logistic services. But now many want to know what the ocean market outlook is for 2021 and what the trends are in the industry. Find out what the future of ocean shipping is by reading today’s article.

Shipping Container News 

There have been reports that the Suez Canal in Egypt has been blocked in both directions since 23 of March 2021. Additionally, the Ever Given which is the world’s largest shipping container was pushed off course by strong winds on its journey from Asia to Europe. 

The container ship was turned on its side and as a result, it blocked all shipping traffic in the canal. On March 29th the container was moved and taken to Great Bitter Lake for inspections on safety. 

There were also reports that heavy port congestion in Europe is expected to cause constraints. Ships aren’t rotating which is causing the empty equipment problem to worsen. At this time the shipping industry is under pressure because of port congestion. 

Will There Be an Increase in Freight Rates? 

Ocean freight rates are always changing. But the reasons behind these changes are different. The reduction of shipping capacity, as well as equipment storage, can affect ocean market shipping rates. At the beginning of March 2021, the industry saw an increase in rates because of low vessel capacity. 

Large ports such as JNPT and Mundra increased rates of up to 25%. However, India isn’t the only country to increase its freight rates. Containers from the United Arab Emirates and Shanghai with routes to Africa have also seen a heavy increase in freight rates. 

That’s why businesses need to select ocean freight services such as World Logistics Group that have premium rates so you can save on shipping costs. 

How the Chinese New Year Affects Business

The Chinese New Year is a public holiday which is a great way for China to celebrate its culture. But this is also a time when factories close and shipping comes to a standstill. Heavy volumes go to port before the holidays and only a limited amount of ships can travel. This factor also increases shipping rates. 

Imports are Up and Exports are Down

Currently, the imports are up in the US and exports are down. During 2020 people were still ordering goods and shipping services were keeping up with the demands. But now there is a need for containers because ports didn’t wait for US exporters to load their goods. 

The situation doesn’t seem to be improving in 2021. Some carriers are shipping 75% of empty containers back to Asia to ensure they get there quicker. As a result, exporters are still struggling to find equipment.  

Final Thoughts

On a lighter note, the future of ocean shipping will see cleaner more sustainable freight services and better management of carrier capacities. One of the ocean shipping tips we can give you is if you’re looking for shipping services that can deliver fast and at affordable costs then World Logistics Group is here to assist you.