Generally, all shipments are executed as per the following pattern:
-> you inquire a freight quote
-> we offer a rate and advise schedules
-> you assign us with your shipment
-> we book the shipment and confirm the booking to you
-> the customs document is being prepared by you or by us
-> we pick up the cargo/position the container or you deliver the shipment to the port
-> your send us the commercial invoice, packing list, B/L instructions and p.r.n. the customs
-> we send a bill of lading draft to you
-> in case any changes need to be made, you inform us within 24h of these changes
-> once vessel has departed, we receive the original B/L and issue our invoice to you
-> depending on our agreement, the B/L is sent to you after advance payment or on terms of
However, a few details need to be considered:
There are different kinds of container positionings:
2 hours chassis loading
This is the "regular" positioning kind, and also the cheapest one. The Container is brought to the loading place on a regular truck, and customer has 2 hours for loading - after that, waiting time will be charged. For loading, a ramp and/or forklift is necessary, as the chassis is 1,20-1,50m high.
weekend loading/weekday loading (with unhitching)
The chassis will be unhitched from the truck and left at the loading place. Very popular for weekends, but also possible throughout the week. However, every full weekday the chassis stays at the loading place costs chassis rent. A weekend loading will be arranged from Friday afternoon until Monday morning, and no chassis rent is applicable.
Still, this kind of positioning is more expensive than the 2 hours loading because the truck needs a second journey to pick up the chassis.
A ramp/forklift is needed, just like for the 2 hours loading.
side loader positioning
The side loader is a special kind of truck that can crane the container onto the ground and back onto the truck again. Therefore, no ramp is needed. The container can also be loaded for a longer period as no chassis rent applies.
The downside is the high cost of side loader transports. Also, side loaders are not available in all areas of Germany/Europe.
Caution: a side loader needs a lot more space than a regular truck and surfaced, even ground to operate.
Every export cargo has to be declared to customs. For cargo from the European Union, usually a "Ausfuhrbescheinigung" (ABD = export accompanying document) will be issued. There are also some special cases such as transit cargo, temporary import or export, etc. that need special documentation to which we will gladly advise you personally. For all export trades, an EORI-number is mandatory nowadays. The number can be applied for without cost. Here you can find the application form (no. 0870) and here is further information on the subject.
There are several kinds of ABD:
two level application, inspection beyond the customs office (type c)
A 2-hours timeframe is granted to customs for inspection of the cargo at its place of loading, which customs may or may not make use of. The declaration to customs has to be submitted latest 24h before inspection date (= ideally loading date), so we need the packing list/Commercial invoice well in advance.
Customs will Charge a small fee for the inspection, but only if they actually inspected the cargo.
two level application, inspection at the customs office (type a)
After loading, the cargo is positioned at the local customs office for inspection. Not suitable for containers that are fully stuffed or messy.
Costs arise for the multistop of the truck.
one level application (type g)
Only applicable for cargo with a value less than € 3.000,--. No inspection necessary during loading, no extra costs. For cargo with a value less than € 1.000,--, no customs declaration needs to be issued.
However, both of these options have a higher risk of the consignment being stopped by customs for inspection at the port, which results in high costs and a delay in shipping. We therefore advise to choose one of the other types.
Essentially, there are two types of B/Ls:
3 original B/Ls and several copies are being issued by the shipping line. The consignment will only be released against presentation of one of the originals.
Advantages: the B/L can be transferred to another consignee by endorsement, shipper can hold back the B/L if cargo has not been paid yet
Disadvantages: courier costs, big Problems arise if all originals are lost
No originals are being issued, but only a copy that can be sent via email. The shipment will be released to the consignee mentioned in the B/L.
Advantages: quick & easy handling, no courier charges, risk of loss is eliminated
Disadvantages: sender cannot access cargo once it is shipped, consignee's details on B/L have to be exactly correct
If necessary, a telex release can be arranged for original B/Ls. All 3 originals have to be returned to the shipping line which will then release the cargo to the consignee.
No original is needed for pickup any more, the consignee only has to prove his identity.
Advantages: faster than courier, risk of loss is reduced
Disadvantages: shipping lines charge a fee for this service, consignee's details have to be exactly correct