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.

Global Shipping Trends: Insights for the Year Ahead

Posted on March 30th, 2021

2020 was a challenging year for the shipping industry. However, it inspired much needed change. You may notice shipping trends in 2021 that could shape the future of the industry. Most notably the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift from physical shopping to online shopping by a whopping five years according to Tech Crunch

Take a look at additional global shipping trends that you can expect to see throughout 2021 in today’s article. 

Demand for Affordable Global Shipping

Many consumers and shipping companies are looking for more affordable ways to export and import products. Global eCommerce is increasing rapidly but the demand for cost-effective shipping will increase during the year too. 

That’s because cost management is important to any business. To assist you with affordable shipping options you should consider using check freight services from W Group Worldwide so you can save on major export or import costs. With these services you’ll get the following benefits: 

  • FLC and LCL options for ocean freight
  • Insurance that protects your cargo
  • Managing your shipment with contract logistics
  • Customs brokers

Most importantly you can ship goods at a rate that’s much more affordable compared to other types of shipping services. 

Commercial Drone Deliveries 

Another trend you may notice is the use of drones for commercial deliveries. In August 2020 the Federal Aviation Administration approved drone deliveries. Commercial drones can fly over residential areas to deliver packages.

The pandemic has encouraged people to have less interaction with people to protect them from contracting the Coronavirus. Therefore, the best way to deliver goods is using drones. 

However, since drones are small there may be a major limit on item weight. The use of drones for delivery is still new but in the next coming years, merchants could also use drones for delivery. 

Shipping Goes Green

Sustainability has become a driving force for many years now to stop the effects of global warming. On the other hand, sustainable companies boost customer loyalty and growth and it’s cost-effective. 

There is an awareness that the transportation industry emits a significant amount of CO2 emissions. That’s why shipping and logistics companies are becoming more sustainable. To lower their overall carbon footprint, logistics companies are using solar-powered vehicles and they have advanced energy management. 

Final Thoughts 

Are you looking forward to all the new and exciting global shipping trends in 2021? It would seem consumers are waiting for the chance to accept packages from drones while shipping companies are looking for new and improved ways to become sustainable. 

Of course, saving on shipping rates is important for businesses that export goods to different countries. If you’re one of those businesses that are looking for affordable shipping rates then consider using services from W Group Worldwide to optimize your shipping processes and build an effective logistics strategy

We hope you found our shipping industry overview on expected trends useful to start thinking of new ways to ship goods for your business. 

Full Guide on Shipping to the United States

Posted on March 21st, 2021

Full Guide on Shipping to the United States

There are some processes before shipping to the United States that every business must adhere to. Shipping requirements such as customs clearance and various types of paperwork need to be done to ensure the safety of the crew handling packages and the people who will receive them. 

So what is required when shipping items to the USA? Find out what paperwork you need, what custom clearance is all about and what you should do before and during your shipment in today’s article. 

Understanding Paperwork and Custom Clearance 

When shipping items to the USA they must go through customs to be cleared. You’ll need a customs invoice when sending your shipment to America. This document will include the following information: 

  • The amount of tax you need to pay
  • Payment for duties 
  • Collection address
  • Delivery address
  • A summary of the goods you’re shipping
  • Total shipment value
  • The reason for export
  • Country of manufacturer 
  • Itemized value of each product in the parcel 

All details on your custom clearance invoice must be accurate. One aspect to remember is that no tax will be applied to your shipment if the total value is below a specific threshold. If your shipment has tax or duties applied to it the receiver of the items will be contacted by customs for their tax ID. 

Before Shipping to the USA

Before shipping to US states you must first check whether your list of goods aren’t banned in the country. Refer to the list of goods that are prohibited to ensure you don’t send items that are illegal to the US. If you violate regulations you can be charged a fine, detained or your goods may be confiscated. 

Next, you should research shipping costs. Whether you’re shipping from Europe to USA states or shipping from Asia to USA states the cost can be high. Take a look at a shipping service such as World Logistics Group for the best quotes on exporting goods to America.  

During the Process of Shipping to the US 

You must provide complete details of the person or company you’re shipping goods to in order to make delivery easier for the shipping company. Make sure you’ve provided the following details: 

  • Name of the receiver and his or her ID number or papers
  • The receiver’s address including house number, street name, state and zip code 
  • Phone number in case customs or the shipping company needs to phone the receiver 

You should also adhere to packaging specifications when shipping to the US. All items must be packaged in cubed or rectangular shaped boxes. Fragile items must be packed in wooden boxes with polystyrene foam. 

Final Thoughts

Follow our guide when shipping to the USA and remember to adhere to the regulations so that you don’t get fined for sending items that are banned. Make sure your customs invoice is 100% accurate and if you’re looking for additional information refer to US Customs Border Protection legislations.

Optimizing Logistics: Crafting Your Strategy – W Group

Posted on March 14th, 2021

There is more to logistics than making a few decisions about warehousing and transportation. That’s why you need to implement the best logistic strategies in 2021 so you can optimize workflow and stay ahead of your competitors. 

Supply chains are constantly evolving so you must develop an effective logistic strategy so you can save on costs and make deliveries on time. Keep reading to find out more about how you can develop a proper logistics strategy for your business.

What is Logistic Planning?  

Logistics planning is when you gather information on every component within your organization so you can put structures in place to optimize business. These strategies ensure you have the correct plans in place so you can deal with any problems or changes in the industry more effectively. 

Why You Need a Logistics Strategy 

Since the logistics industry is always changing some new processes may affect the flow of business. You must be able to adapt well to any trends introduced in the supply chain industry. The only way to be flexible is by creating a strategy. 

Logistic strategies will assist you with identifying the impact of changes on different areas of your organization. That way you can devise a plan so that you can continue offering high-quality services to clients or customers. 

Determine the Levels of Your Logistics Infrastructure 

Here are the four levels that you should consider when doing strategic logistics management. 

What’s Your Strategy? 

You must examine your company’s objectives and make sure that your services align with each other. Look at how you can improve your services by making adjustments to your processes. 

Examine Structural Issues

What does your logistics infrastructure look like and where is production slowing down? How many warehouses do you have and how does this affect your strategy? By fixing structural issues in your organization you can optimize workflow within your supply chain. 

Implementation 

To develop successful logistic strategies you must know how to implement them the correct way. It’s not ideal to make drastic changes because it will confuse your employees and there will be higher risk for errors. Slowly introduce new policies and procedures so everyone is on board. 

Functionality 

Does every component in your logistics company function correctly from sales to operations? See how you can get employees to work together to improve your organization’s functionality. 

What to Examine When Building an Effective Logistics Strategy

There are different types of logistic strategies but no matter which way you plan you must make sure every component in your business is working together. Check the following: 

  • Transportation services: Make sure your transportation strategies assist service levels. 
  • Outsourcing or partnerships: Determine whether outsourcing or partnering with a third-party organization will improve your services. 
  • Your competitors: Do research on your competitors to see what they’re offering and then make changes to your business to stay ahead of your oppositions.  
  • Data or logistics Information: Make sure all data in your logistics business is correct to eliminate errors.   
  • Your logistics system:  Ensure your current logistic systems provide the level of data that is required for checking and processing information. Check shipping app software to track shipments and to ensure deliveries are done on time. 

Final Thoughts

Don’t let your logistics business fall behind in 2021. Use the tips in our article to develop a proper strategy to ensure your logistics business is running at its full potential.

What is ISF – Required Data for Importer Security Filing

Posted on February 25th, 2021

Before any merchandise can be shipped by sea vessel an Importer Security Filing importer must submit specific cargo data electronically to the US Customs and Border Protection. This is sent in the form of an importer security file. 

ISF documentation is only required if cargo is being imported into the US via a ship. In this guide, we’ll discuss more about what ISF is and what the security filing requirements are. Keep reading to find out more.  

What is ISF? 

An ISF (Importer Security File) also known as importer security filing 10+2 is a new requirement from the United States Custom and Border Protection. This is fundamentally containerized cargo information that’s used for security purposes when importing goods into the USA via freight services

What is ISF in Shipping? 

When shipping merchandise to the US all necessary data about the cargo is sent to customs before sending the cargo through. The reason for this is so that the CBP and the Department of Homeland Security can identify whether a shipment is high-risk cargo. 

Another reason for ISF in shipping is to prevent smuggling merchandise into the country illegally and to improve cargo safety and security. 

Importer Security Filing Requirements

There must be eight data elements sent to the CBP no later than 24 hours before the cargo is loaded onto a vessel. The data required for ISF shipping include the following: 

  • Who the seller is 
  • The buyer of the cargo 
  • A record number of the importer or the FTZ applicant ID number 
  • Information on the manufacturer or the supplier 
  • The consignee numbers
  • Country of origin 
  • The HTSUS number 
  • Ship to party  

Failing to submit proper ISF to the CBP can result in a $5000 fine for the following: 

  • Inaccurate information 
  • Failing to submit the importer security filing on time
  • Incomplete filing 

Additional Data Requirements for Importer Security Filing 

There are other data elements when importing goods that must also be submitted no later than 24 hours before the cargo is loaded and shipped. You must have information on container stuffing location and the consolidator. 

Requirements for Transit Cargo 

The TE, IE and FROB will require importer security filing that has five data elements which include the following: 

  • The booking party 
  • Place of delivery 
  • Commodity HTSUS  number 
  • Ship to party 
  • Foreign port of unlading

What is an ISF Bond?  

An importer security bond is a surety that the importer will abide by the laws and legislations that govern imports coming into America. This bond protects the citizens and the US government. 

Final Thoughts 

The purpose of the importer security filing is to give the US border a heads up if there’s high-risk cargo on its way. As a result, the US border can take the necessary precautions to ensure no one get’s injured when offloading the cargo. All filing is done and sent electronically so that information can be sent and received quickly.

How Data-Driven Planning and Logistics Help Businesses – W Group

Posted on February 18th, 2021

Data-driven analysis helps businesses to make strategic decisions. By interpreting and using this data effectively, companies are able to support their customers more efficiently. We, at W Group, understand the value of data-driven logistics planning and offer services to support logistic managers.

What is Logistical Planning?

Logistical planning entails gathering information and putting structures in place to ensure operations run with minimal disruptions. A logistics plan is most effective when conditions indicate fluctuations and disruptions to both supply chain and transport functions.

By understanding the logistics planning definition, a business is able to integrate a better response when operations could be dealing with possible changes caused by adverse conditions.

Efficient data-driven logistics planning ensures all processes are suitable for the organization, on all levels. It’s especially useful when identifying all future needs of the business including management and supply coordination and control while factoring in potential volatility typical of a changing environment.

What is the Logistic Planning Process?

Logistic planning is influenced by three types of logistics namely:

  • Inbound logistics
  • Outbound logistics
  • Reverse logistics

Understanding these three directions is essential when designing the logistic planning processes. The processes incorporate the following elements:

  • Storage and warehouse handling
  • Handling of all materials
  • Packaging and unitization of products
  • Inventory management
  • Shipping and transport methods
  • Implementing an informational system

What is a Logistics Plan?

A logistic plan is a framework put in place to handle all the processes of logistics planning. It integrates all the elements of the three types of logistics. A well-structured logistics plan is data-driven and its aim is to deliver the products to the customer, on time, with minimal costs.

A logistics plan is a strategic response to ensuring all operations run as smoothly as possible despite potential fluctuations or disruptions. And, it focuses on meeting the objectives set out by the company.

What Logistics Help Business?

Businesses who rely on the data-driven approach are using analysis and interpretation of data to develop an effective and strategic logistics plan. By examining and gathering data information, a business is better-placed to serve and support their customers more professionally.

At W Group, we offer our clients a freight app for logistic services. Tools such as this app help businesses to improve their logistics planning processes. Logistic services supports the logistic manager in minimizing investment costs, ensuring that the logistic plan stays on track, and builds on the original plan which can be practically followed at all times.

Logistics planning help businesses to minimize the many risks associated with a changing environment especially during challenging times. By anticipating change, a business is equipped to implement a strategy that is flexible to any market change.

Final Thoughts

Planning and logistics driven by data allows a business to work with the latest trends. An effective logistics plan incorporates all stages of the planning process, presenting a strategy to handle any disruptions or changes while minimizing risks.

Businesses benefit from logistics planning and at W Group we go out of our way to find logistic solutions for global freight needs. Make sure you get the right support when developing a logistics plan to help your business.  

The Main Supply Chain Trends and Challenges in 2021

Posted on February 11th, 2021

We, at W Group, are always keeping an eye on the latest main supply chain trends and challenges. This way we’re keeping our freight forwarding services up-to-date and can offer the best possible services to our clients. 

But what are some of the trends coming to the fore for supply chain operations this year? What we do know is that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a number of challenges for supply chains in the past year. 

Read on to find out what are some of the main trends for supply chain operations and some of the major supply chain challenges for 2021.

Trend#1: Adapting to Automation and Artificial Intelligence

With the market changing all the time, even more so in the past year, supply chain operations will be using automation and AI systems to further enhance the supply chain’s reliability, efficiency, and profitability. This year, as businesses continue to deal with the pandemic, the focus will be on becoming more adaptable to both AI technology and automation. 

Trend#2: Utilizing Third-Party Logistics

Companies who make use of third-party logistics (3PLs) are reaping the benefits and this is one of the main trends we can expect happening more often in 2021. Supply chain operations are outsourcing more to people like us to help them with their shipping functions. This gives them more time to focus on other critical aspects of their business and alleviate any supply chain management problems.

Trend#3: Emphasis on End-to-End Tracking 

Supply chain managers are always looking for ways to improve the way they operate. With IoT enable devices, they’re able to have better transparency over the operations from start to end. The W Group team value this aspect and ensure we can meet these requirements by offering tracking services while shipping consignments. 

Trend#4: Making Use of Smart Contracts and Automated Communication

Shipping companies are taking note of trends that help the supply chain manager improve on their efficiency throughout the process. Sending automated contracts, invoices, and emails simplifies the supply chain manager’s job while knowing what is happening along the shipping line. This includes having a grasp of the shipping timeline in the supply chain.  

Understanding Supply Chain Challenges

The pandemic has highlighted many challenges that have faced supply chains for some time. In 2021, these problems include:

  • Less resilience in supply chain risk management: In other words, changing from a lean supply chain means increasing resilience which can mean taking more risks which can be costly.
  • Ongoing disruptions to the supply chain: With ongoing uncertainty in the global economy, supply chains can expect more disruptions. More flexibility will be required in order to operate in an unsettled economy.
  • Upgrading to the latest smart technology: While automation and AI technology trends are not new, many supply chain operations are still lagging behind when it comes to digital data analysis.

Final Thoughts 

Keeping up with the latest supply chain management trends means anyone involved in the process can find ways of improving operations. Taking into account the challenges facing supply chains also means more effort can be applied to making the process as smooth as possible. 

The W Group team understands shipping plays a crucial role in the supply chain and that we can only benefit from incorporating the latest trends to help supply chains deal with the challenges of 2021.

LCL vs FCL – Choosing Your Container Load

Posted on February 4th, 2021

One thing you’re going to notice when shipping your goods is a load of shipping terms. While you may be familiar with some of them, you may come across acronyms that seem confusing. When discussing container loads with your freight forwarder they will ask you if you’re shipping LCL vs FCL? Or, FCL vs LCL? 

What exactly do these abbreviations stand for and what do they mean for you as an international shipper?

What is LCL Shipping?

When the LCL shipping term is used it’s referring to shipments or goods that take up less than a full container. The LCL shipping definition is “less than a container load”. When your goods don’t fill up a standard shipping container, they get grouped with other consignments.

This consignment may also be referred to as groupage shipments. This method of shipping does give you more flexibility when shipping smaller quantities or low-volume products. However, it may be the costly option as it requires the freight forwarder to handle more logistics.

What is FCL Shipping?

The FCL shipping definition is “full container load”. This means you’re shipping enough goods to fully load a container. The FCL shipping term may also be known as CY which stands for “container yard”. It refers to a full container load being shipped from its origin to its destination. These terms are often used interchangeably. 

A FCL shipment is owned by one group or company as opposed to LCL shipments which are grouped with other shippers’ goods. FCL shipping is the perfect solution to companies managing large volumes products or are shipping bulk items. 

Choosing Your Container Load

We, at W Group, are always looking for logistical solutions to your shipping needs. Selecting between a full container load and a less than container load is determined by the size of your products’ inventory and the volume you need to ship in one shipment. 

LCL shipping is suitable for goods using anything between 2 to 13 cubic meters. FCL loads need to be more than 10 standard pallets or occupying more than 14 cubic meters. 

If your freight forwarder is able to handle a variety of cargo sizes, you’ll be in a better position to choosing your container load and asking for competitive shipping prices. So, make sure your selected freight forwarder is able to offer LCL vs FCL shipping services

Whether you go with LCL shipping or FCL shipping, always make sure you get the same tracking and other services offered for all shipments. Whether your load is grouped with other shippers’ consignments or you’re shipping a full container, you still want to ensure your goods arrive at their destination safely. 

Final Thoughts

Shipping terms are commonly used in the freight forwarding business. Choosing your container load is defined by whether you’re shipping a full container or less than a container load. FCL vs LCL shipping is handled differently. 

LCL means your goods will be bundled with other shippers’ merchandise. FCL means your goods will be packed into their own container. You can also expect the costings to vary between the different cargo sizes.

 But, having the option to ship various cargo sizes means you can still benefit from international shipping. Speak to us, at W group, today to discuss the right container load for your business.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Import Goods in 2021

Posted on January 27th, 2021

If you’re new to international shipping you’re going to realize early on it can get complicated. Importing goods involves following an import process step-by-step. This process includes a lot of players from the supplier to the freight forwarder to customs and more. How to import goods in 2021 has also been affected by the global economy and the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand the import path so you can get the ball rolling once your supplies are ready to be shipped.

1. Ensure All Arrangements With Your Supplier Are in Order

You’ll need to make all arrangements with your supplier such as who handles the transportation of the goods from the place of manufacturing. The Intercoms document clearly defines the roles of the importer and the exporter. Refer to it when drawing up the agreement between yourself and your supplier. 

Once you take responsibility for your goods, then you need to make arrangements with a shipping company. Depending on the import process and where you’re transporting your goods, find a company who offers global freight services to save you time and money.

2. Understand What is Required for Import Duties and Taxes

You’ll need to calculate your import tax depending on which country you’re importing to. Importing to India will have a different code and duty rate as opposed to a country such as China. The CBS site will help you determine the coding for your products. 

Import taxes are variable and is not only dependent on the product you’re importing. It also depends on the country of origin, quota controls and more. The declared value of the product will determine the percentage of the import tax.

3. Ensure You Are Compliant With All Government Regulations

Each country has its own set of regulations for importing goods. You need to ensure you’re compliant with these requirements. For example, if you’re importing into the U.S, your products will need to comply with all U.S. federal organizations such as the FDA, CPSC, DOT, and others.

Importing procedures for 2021 has changed for importers and exporters moving goods between Great Britain and EU countries. Make sure you’re well-informed of all government regulations. 

4. Have All Your Custom Papers in Order for Customs Clearance

Prepare all the documents required for customs clearance. If you’re dealing with a freight forwarding company, make sure they offer custom brokerage services. We, at W Group, are equipped to handle customs clearance and can ensure your goods are cleared with minimal fuss. 

Read our article about importing goods from China to give you more information about the documents required for customs clearance. Once your goods are through customs, you’re ready to receive them.

Final Thoughts

International shipping involves following certain importing procedures. While the steps should be logical, they can still become complicated. For a successful and smooth freighting experience, it helps to work closely with the experts in the field. This way, you can relax knowing your imported goods will arrive safely and on time. 

The importation procedure can seem daunting if you’re new to the game. We, at W Group, make it our mission to help both exporters and importers with their international shipping needs.