Moving goods by sea
Over 90 percent of the world's trade is currently carried by sea, and while the freight industry was transformed in the 70s and 80s by the advent of container shipping, remains today the principal mode of transport for international trade.
If a forwarder does not do the loading, the shipper or customer is responsible for the packing and unpacking of the container.
Many commercial shippers have so-called inland container depots, which are situated, outside the ports but near to important economic centres. There the empty containers are stored to be available for loading when needed – this, of course, makes the process faster and cheaper. Normally standard or box containers are available there and can be stored there when empty. Special equipment like open top containers or cooling containers mostly has to be ordered empty from the port which takes some time that must be reckoned with.Please note that certain shippers do not provide/return containers to all of the inland depots.
Some shippers (mostly conference lines) will insist on a carrier haulage transport, meaning that the shipper sees to the transport of empty and full containers to the port himself. If the forwarder does this service you call it "merchant haulage".
Due to their quantity bulk goods (e.g. grain, sugar, steel,...) are mainly delivered by rail to and from the port. At the port, the goods are loaded directly from the freight car onto the ship and vice versa. In some ports, bulk goods may be intermediately stored in silos.
Oceans Bills of Lading:
These B/L are only valid from the port of dispatch to the port of destination. They are known by different names (Ocean B/L, Liner B/L.) and are normally issued only by shippers or their agents (freight forwarder). All B/L conditions are listed on the back, details concerning the shipper and the consignee, description of goods etc. are filled in at the front.
Banks normally require a "shipped (clean) onboard ocean Bill of Lading" with the L/C.
• Through B/L: This B/L includes the transport to/from the port and is mainly issued by forwarders. It replaces the freight bill within the transport chain and is often called "Combined Transport Bill of Lading".
• FIATA-B/L: This FIATA document is also issued by forwarders and works practically in the same way as the Through B/L.
Endorser is the person who endorses a document made negotiable by endorsement thus transferring the rights connected to the order paper to a third party
Endorsement: As in swap transactions you also need the endorsement of a B/L in order to transfer the rights arising from the B/L to a third party or to put forth the claim for delivery to the shipper. B/L that is issued to order must be endorsed on the back, either to the beneficiary or in the blank. The consignee must endorse the B/L as well, as without this legal act the B/L cannot be stamped for delivery by the shipper.
With sea cargo, there are special regulations concerning dangerous goods transports. Did you know that even PR give-away articles might belong to this category? Just think of filled gas lighters, matches, adhesives etc. Appliances may also contain dangerous goods, e.g. batteries, gas cartridges etc.
In case you are not the producer of these goods, please inform yourself very well indeed. Should there be an accident due to undeclared or wrongly declared dangerous goods, it is the sender or the customer who is liable for any damage arising. Note! - All dangerous goods must be declared as such and be packed accordingly. The appropriate instructions have to be enclosed.
New Shipping Alliances 2017
A conference is the cooperation of shippers who service special routes at standard terms and prices, following a concerted schedule. Legally speaking it is a prices, condition and market sharing cartel.
There are approx. 360 conferences worldwide and therefore as many freight tariffs. In northern Europe alone there are about sixty conference tariffs. There are closed conferences that do not take on any new shippers at all (unless there is too much competition) and open ones where any shipper can join. The American antitrust law only allows open conferences for transports to the States.
The great advantage with conference lines is, that there are hardly any delays due to the close-knit network and fixed departure schedules. That the excellent service makes freight costs far more expensive than with outsider lines is clearly a disadvantage.
Pools are a stricter form of conference – here shippers not only join up for price rigging and arrangement of terms but in order to distribute the loads beforehand and lump the takings as well. This sum then is shared out to the members according to an agreed evaluation scale.
Outsiders are shippers who do not belong to a pool or a conference but are their competitors.
As a rule, an outsider cannot offer the shipping frequency and service of a conference, so their prices are far more favourable. But with them there is always the danger of ships arriving or departing late, the reason being that outsider lines will frequently comply with the volume of transport and the overall demand and adapt their schedules accordingly.
Outsider lines are much more favourable in their pricing but mostly cannot keep up the same standard of reliability as the conference or pool lines.
What is a container?
Here the principle of line production is applied to the transport business with respect to standardization. Standard containers can be used with diverse means of transport. Container sizes are determined by the requirements of road, rail or sea transport.
So the container may be:
- Part of a truck: The container replaces the usual loading space of a truck and therefore becomes as mobile as this means of transport.
- Part of a freight car: Freight cars can transport a lot of containers from seaports to inland stations and back.
- Part of a ship: Container ships do not have 'twin decks, there are only containers which also form the ship's hold. In case of conventional ships, the containers may be transported on deck, which increases the capacity of the vessel.