Once the order is ready for shipment, freight forwarders should be review all documents to ensure that everything is in order. This is of particular importance with letter of credit payment terms. They may also prepare the bill of lading and any special required documentation. After shipment, they can route the documents to the seller, the buyer, or to a paying bank. Freight forwarders can also make arrangements with customs brokers overseas to ensure that the goods comply with customs export documentation regulations. A customs broker is an individual or company that is licensed to transact customs business on behalf of others. Customs business is limited to those activities involving transactions related to the entry and admissibility of merchandise; its classification and valuation; the payment of duties, taxes, or other charges assessed or collected; or the refund, rebate, or drawback thereof.
PackingA�- Overseas Shipping
Exporters should be aware of the demands that international shipping puts on packaged goods. Exporters should jeep four potential problems in mind when designing an export shipping crate: breakage, moisture, pilferage and excess weight.
Generally, cargo is carried in containers, but sometimes it is still shipped as breakbulk cargo. Besides the normal handling encountered in domestic transportation, a breakbulk shipment transported by ocean freight may be loaded aboard vessels in a net or by a sling, conveyor, or chute, that puts an added strain on the package. During the voyage, goods may be stacked on top of or come into violent contact with other goods. Overseas, handling facilities may be less sophisticated than in the United States and the cargo could be dragged, pushed, rolled, or dropped during unloading, while moving through customs, or in transit to the final destination.
PackagingA�- Overseas Shipping
Packages should be clearly marked to prevent misunderstandings and delays in shipping. Letters are generally stenciled onto packages and containers in waterproof ink. Markings should appear on three faces of the container, preferably on the top and on the two ends or the two sides. Ant old markings must be completely removed from previously used packaging.
In addition to the port marks, the customer identification code, and an indication of origin, the marks should include the package number, gross and net weights, and dimensions. If more than one package is being shipped, the total number of packages in the shipment should be included in the markings. The exporter should also add any special handling instructions. It is a good idea to repeat these instructions in the language of the country of destination. and use standard international shipping and handling symbols.
DocumentationA�- Overseas Shipping
Documentation must be precise because slight discrepancies or omissions may prevent merchandise from being exported, result in nonpayment, or even result in the seizure of the exporter’s goods by U.S. or foreign government customs. Collection documents are subject to precise time limits and may not be honored by a bank if the time has expired. Most documentation is routine for freight forwarders and customs brokers, but the exporter is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of its documents