A Guide to International Shipping – Part I

When you are in the market for international shipping, knowing what to know goes a long way. In this guide to international shipping, we look at the various parties and points that make up the process, the steps and players at each step and more.

The Shipper – This is the person who is carrying out the shipment that is the one with the need to ship, i.e., you! Often you are also referred to as “The Exporter”, as the person who is exporting goods from the origin country, or even “The Importer”, as the person who is importing goods into the destination country.  By being “The Shipper” you are accepting responsibility for the legal concerns of the cargo being shipped. This is very important in international shipping as it also includes import duties, paperwork, and any charges that may come up expectantly. You are always advised to know the rules and regulations of the country you are dealing with to avoid any issues, and set aside your budget for unforeseen circumstances or delays.

The International Shipping Company – The shipping company may undertake variety of functions, from overseeing the shipment, whereby the shipper will sign with and whom you will be billed by for the international shipment. In the event of any damages, updates or questions with regards to your cargo for international shipping, you will speak to the International Shipping Company. It should also be noted that, your International Shipping Company will more often than not also be your Origin Agent, Freight Forwarder, or Destination Agent in most cases.

The Origin Agent – The Origin Agent will perform the visual survey whereby they will send a representative to assess the shipment and thereby give you, the Shipper, a quote for the cargo for international shipping. You may also have the Origin Agent pack and load the shipment for international shipping as well. In the case of Transco Cargo, and to make it clear in this Guide to International Shipping, Transco Cargo will be both the International Shipping Company and the Origin Agent for ease and transparency.

The Freight Forwarder – This party will handle and arrange all pertaining to the ocean freight involved in international shipping, and not to mention will also undertake and carry out all export documentation on your behalf, including the Bill of Lading which is the document that lists all information pertaining to the shipment under your name. Transco Cargo will also be the Freight Forwarding to make things clear in this Guide to International Shipping.

The Consolidating Warehouse – In the event that you are not opting for a FCL (full container load) which means that you do not have an exclusive container to hold all your cargo for international shipping.  The basis on either opting for FCL or LCL (less than container load) is based on the volume you intend on sending shipping and also the distance between the point of origin and port of origin. In the event your cargo needs to be consolidated, it will be stored in a consolidating warehouse until enough cargo is collected for one shipment. For transparency in this Guide to International Shipping, it should be noted that Transco Cargo also possesses Bonded Warehouses and will be the Consolidating Warehouse party.