FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions on EXPORT of Sea freight from the USA.

LCL (Less than Container Load): International shipping of boxed, crated and/or palletized cargo.

1. What is an LCL - Less Than Container Load? What can and cannot be shipped as LCL?

2. What are my options on Self-delivery and Pickup?

3. How does it work? What should I expect on my international LCL shipment step by step?

4. Why should I pay the 75% security deposit?

5. Where can I find an address for the international shipping terminal to deliver my boxes?

6. What does Sea freight Express Release Bill of Lading mean?

7. Can I amend my Sea freight Bill of Lading?

8. What is a Cubic Meter and W/M – weight or measurement?

9. Should I palletize my boxes?

10. Can I get  insurance on my goods?

11. Do you guarantee transit time on my international shipment?

12. Are there any hidden costs in your quote?

12A. What are DESTINATION CHARGES?

12B. What is SED?

13. Can I arrange an international charity shipment with an international shipping company?

14. How can I cancel my international shipment?

15. What will happen if I do not pay your invoices?

16. What international shipping documents should I submit to my export shipment?

17. I’m not in the USA. I order goods from the USA remotely. How can I complete my international shipment with you?

18. Payments by credit card online via Google Checkout or PayPal

19. Processing shipments upon a copy of check or money order

20. eBay buyers/sellers

21. More answers in the RANDOM TOPICS web-page 

 

1. What is a LCL - Less Than Container Load? What can and cannot be shipped as LCL? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL sea freight

Regarding an international shipping of sea freight, LCL is an abbreviation for "Less than Container Load". This international shipping term is commonly used in the international shipping sea freight industry and by international moving companies to describe a sea freight service that is designed for international shipping of boxed, crated or palletized cargo that CANNOT fill an entire 20 or 40 foot sea freight container. For more information refer to this link. If you are shipping from the USA household goods or personal effects, not for sale, then we recommend you reading this link as well.  

You CANNOT use LCL International Shipping Service for the following commodities:

  • Unboxed or uncrated cargo cannot be shipped as LCL.
  • Any motorized vehicles that require DMV registration (cars, motorcycles, mopeds, jet skis, ATV’s, snowmobiles etc) are NOT PERMITTED to be internationally shipped as LCL sea freight. This is due to US Customs Regulations that will not recognize any LCL warehouse as an exam site for inspection. 
    You can ship motorized vehicles using our service here,  shipping vehicles from the USA in sea freight containers or Ro-Ro. The ocean freight cost per motorized vehicle should be equal to the ocean freight cost of shipping a mid-size car, but must always be re-confirmed upon a booking request.
  • Items that will not fit into a 40 foot container (approx. 39.5'/12m in Length; 7.5'/2.36m in Width; 8'/2.26m in Height) will be considered oversized and CANNOT be shipped as LCL sea freight. 
  • Hazardous or over-length (longer than 3.65m / 12ft) and other special or irregular cargo are subject to surcharges and can be accepted for international shipment after approval and rate confirmation only. 
  • NO FOOD STUFF, WINE & DRUGS: Shipping of Food Stuffs including wine and drugs (any item that is edible), including food items, edible animal byproducts, supplements, etc, are subject to detailed regulations. Violations to these regulations can result in detention, confiscation, or destruction of cargo, as well as fines and criminal charges. Responsibility for proper documents, permits, and incurred charges are for the account of the shipper/consignee. Then we STRONGLY recommend you do not ship food, vegetable, animal products, drugs etc. Find more in this link.
  • Perishable Goods are not permitted for international shipping with us. 
  • We DO NOT ship live animals and plants.
  • Ro-Ro, bulk or charter CANNOT be considered as LCL sea freight.   

 

2. What are my options on Self-delivery and Pickup? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

International LCL sea freight service is offered for boxed, crated or palletized cargo.

With us you should be able to complete the entire international shipment online, no matter if you travel from place to place. Having access to our website is all you need to control your international shipment.

While using our online international shipping sea freight price calculator, in order to get an international shipping quote or during scheduling your shipment, you may decide to self-deliver your boxed goods to nearest international shipping terminal or request us pick it up at your door.  

If you decide to self-deliver your boxed goods to the nearest international shipping terminal, then please NOTICE THE ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGIN's INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING TERMINALS WITH OR WITHOUT ASTERISK (*) as listed in the drop-down list of ORIGIN terminals of our LCL online price calculator

  • International shipping terminals that are highlighted and WITHOUT asterisks (ATLANTA, GA for example) are direct ocean freight carrier facilities adressed as CFS - Container Freight Stations.
     
    Shipping directly from a CFS is the most economical way for internationally shipping boxed or crated cargo. There will be no additional charges to take your cargo on board a vessel.
     
    Also, charges for international shipments that are self-delivered directly to the ocean carrier's CFS are based on their size ONLY (total chargeable volume per cubic meter). WEIGHT FOR SUCH INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS IS NOT A PRICING FACTOR unless its density does not exceed the limit nominated by carrier, which is most often equal to 1654 lbs (or 750 Kilograms) per Cubic Meter. U.S. Customs asks you to provide an estimate weight for statistical purpose only. 
     
    Notice: If for some reason you CANNOT bring your boxes to an international shipping terminal, you may ask someone you know or hire a local cartage company to deliver your goods on your behalf. All he/she needs is a printed copy of the Dock Receipt that you will receive in e-mail from us. You may consider the Dock Receipt as "a ticket for your international ocean freight shipment".
  • International shipping terminals WITH asterisks in uppercase (AKRON, OH* for example) are local terminals of domestic LTL carriers. Cargo dropped off at such terminals require being line hauled to an international shipping ocean carrier's facility (CFS) and will be subject to the line haul charge on top of the ocean freight charge as from CFS.
  • Finally you will be able to request us to pick up your boxed goods at your door.
     
    We will determine pickup charges by ZIP (postal) code of your good's location entered in our online system. You will be asked to select the type of goods and the pickup location. Enter your ZIP (postal) code, valid email and submit your quote request online and you should receive our reply with a complete ocean freight quote including the cost of the pickup shortly.
     
    Having difficulties finding a U.S. ZIP (postal) code? Use ZIP Code Lookup.

International shippers should be aware that Line Haul charges and Pickup charges are based on the dimensional weight and freight class of the cargo. Find more about dim. weight and freight class in this link.

 

3. How does it work? What should I expect with my international LCL shipment step by step?Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL sea freight

Seven steps that you should be aware of: 

STEP 1 – BOOK YOUR INTERNATIONAL LCL SHIPMENT ONLINE

The first and absolutely necessary step to begin an international LCL shipment is to schedule the shipment online in our website. In order to avoid mis-interpretation, misspelling and typos we do not accept booking requests over the phone or via fax. 

Note: It is difficult to predict the precise volume and weight of an international shipment at the time of booking. The actual volume and weight of your international shipment will most likely differ from the measurements you provided in your booking request.

When you book your international LCL shipment, you may estimate your total volume and weight. The ocean freight carrier's ship terminal (CFS) will calculate the actual volume and weight of your international shipment later. See Step #4.

STEP 2 – FIRST-TIME CUSTOMERS PAY A SECURITY DEPOSIT

After submitting your booking request online you will receive our e-mail with a Customer's Reference number of your international shipment and:

  • If it is your first international shipment with us, you will receive our e-mail with a request to pay a security deposit. Typically this deposit is equal to 75% of estimated total price obtained in our website when you book your international shipment. The deposit will be applied to the final cost of your international shipment. Consider this e-mail an invoice for your deposit

We accept major credit cards online for international shipments with total costs up to US$750. We accept business and personal checks, money orders and wire transfers with no transaction limits. Please review the Payment Options and Return Policy.

  • Customers that already have an account with us should disregard this deposit request. We will send out an e-mail with international shipping instructions and our final invoice based on the actual w/m derived from the carrier's international shipping terminal (CFS).    


STEP 3 – RECEIVE OUR INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS IN E-MAIL, SUBMIT YOUR DOCUMENTS ONLINE AND DELIVER YOUR BOXES TO A SHIPPING TERMINAL or MEET OUR PICKUP DRIVER (IF A PICKUP REQUESTED)

We will need at least one business day from the day of booking and your security deposit payment confirmation (if a deposit required) in order to schedule your international LCL shipment.

  • For new customers time counts from the day of receiving funds on the security deposit request. After we receive the deposit, we send to the payer confirmation e-mail. Consider that e-mail a receipt for your paid deposit.

You will receive our e-mail with complete International Shipping Instructions generated individually for your shipment. These Shipping Instructions will contain:

  1. Our Reference No. and Carriers Booking No.;
  2. Carrier's terminal address & phone number;
  3. Sailing details on your international shipment, including:
    -- ETD - Estimated Time of Departure
    -- ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival
    -- Vessel, Voyage, Routing
  4. Link for printing your shipping labels;
  5. Links to fill out and submit your essential shipping documents online, including:
    -- Dock Receipt
    -- Valued Packing List or Commercial Invoice (applies to commercial shipments).

Follow these International Shipping Instructions. Deliver your boxed or crated cargo to the ocean freight carrier's shipping terminal OR meet our pickup driver (if pickup requested).

IMPORTANT: You MUST complete and submit all documents requested in our International Shipping Instructions before your ocean freight is delivered to the carrier's shipping terminal or tendered to the pickup.

NOTE: You do not have to pay anything to the carrier's shipping terminal or to the pickup driver. Wait for our final invoice via e-mail. The exception is if you self-deliver your boxed goods to the carrier's shipping terminal and request the shipping terminal to palletize your boxes. You should pay for the palletizing to the shipping terminal directly. Ensure a receipt is obtained. 

STEP 4 – PAY THE FINAL INVOICE AND HAVE YOUR CARGO SHIPPED TO THE DESTINATION. VOLUME AND WEIGHT.

It is difficult to predict the precise volume and weight of an international shipment at the time of booking. The actual volume and weight of your international shipment will most likely differ from the measurements you provided in your booking request.

After the shipping terminal accepts you cargo, the carrier will send to us the volume and weight verification on your cargo, i.e. the actual volume and weight on your international shipment. Based on this information we will e-mail you our final invoice with total charges on your international shipment less the security deposit that you have already paid. Typically we will e-mail you our invoice in a few business days after the ETD (Estimated Day of Departure). I.e. after your cargo is loaded in a sea freight container, passed U.S. Customs and is ready to depart from the USA to the destination.

Upon you payment we will e-mail you a confirmation of your payment. Then we will release your freight to the international ocean freight shipment and your goods should depart as scheduled.  

STEP 5  – RECEIVE YOUR SEA FREIGHT BILL OF LADING

A few days after the Estimated Day of Departure (ETD) (sometimes it takes a little longer) we will e-mail to you your carrier's Sea freight Express Release Bill of Lading (consider the B/L a title for your internationally shipped goods). This Sea freight Bill of Lading will show you complete information on your international shipment and the contact details of the carrier's destination receiving station, i.e. your destination agent.

Print the Bill of Lading and keep it in your records in order to recover your cargo at the destination. International shipments on Express Releases should be released upon providing a copy of the B/L. No originals required.

Notice: If an international shipment has been paid by a credit card(s), before issuing a Bill of Lading we may ask you for confirmation that you clearly understand that the Bill of Lading is our final document on your international seafreight shipment. It is the title on the shipped goods and the proof of transfer of the ownership to the consignee as in the Seafreight Bill of Lading (recipient of shipped goods). This will confirm that after receiving the seafreight bill of lading our service provided to you is complete as agreed. All parties involved with payment(s) of the shipment paid by a credit card(s) will consider the confirmation email the receipt of payment(s) with the payer's signature in it.

STEP 6 – MEET YOUR GOODS AT THE DESTINATION.

A few days before the ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival, the ocean freight carrier's destination agent should contact the consignee/notify party with a Notice of Arrival.

If for any reason you do not receive an Arrival Notice, we strongly recommend you contact your ocean freight carrier's destination agent on the ETA day in order to find out the status of your international shipment. You can see contact info for the destination agent in your Bill of Lading within the 'For Delivery/Pickup Please Apply To' block of your Sea freight Bill of Lading. Fax or e-mail them a copy of your Express Release Sea freight Bill of Lading and ask for recovery instructions on your international shipment. 

Note to international shipments with a trans-shipment: Your Seaf reight Bill of Lading shows that a port of discharge is different from the final destination: The ETA on international shipments with trans-shipments may not be the ETA to the final destination. Check the ETA port in your shipping documents. If it has not reached final destination, it may take an additional 15-25 days. Some trans-shipments, from Europe to Africa for example, may take longer.

Important: The ocean freight carrier's destination agent will most likely not receive any information on your international shipment until a couple days before it actually reaches the destination. If you contact them in advance, you may fax or e-mail them a copy of your Sea freight Bill of Lading, verify your contact and wait for the notice of arrival. 

STEP 7  – CARGO RECOVERY AT THE DESTINATION. DESTINATION CHARGES.

IMPORTANT!: All international shipments are subject to destination charges. In general these charges include: 1 - Destination Country Government (Customs) related charges, i.e. duty and taxes (if any), harbor fees, fee on entry filing by a destination Customs Broker etc.; 2 - Destination terminal(s) handling charges and fees (THC); 3 – Service fee from ocean freight carrier's destination agent on handling and delivery of your international shipment (if you request delivery to your door). Destination charges vary depending on destination country and carrier. Typically it is out of the control of the U.S. Freight Forwarder. The ocean freight carrier's destination agent will be responsible for guiding the importer through cargo recovery procedures. 

NOTE: You do not have to be present in order for your international shipment to be recovered at the destination. Follow the instructions from the ocean freight carrier's destination agent. Provide them with all the necessary information on your international shipment by phone, fax or e-mail; pay the destination charges in order to get release on your cargo; and, if you wish, arrange for the delivery of your goods directly to your door with either the ocean freight destination agent or any local cartage company of your choice.     

  • For commercial international shipments destination charges depend on the commodity.
  • Most countries do not charge duty or tax on personal effects shipments. For personal LCL shipments, if cargo is exempt from paying duty, the total destination charges may vary from $100 up to $300 or more. For sizable shipments 8-14+ cubic meters, these charges may be comparable to FCL (full container load) - $600-$1000 or more.

You may want to check in advance with your destination country's embassy or ask a destination country's customs broker about Government (Customs) regulations on your shipment.

Note: Partial or all destination charges may be required to be paid at a port of entree, but not at the final destination. This is to ensure Custom's release. Then your international shipment will continue to travel to the final destination cleared with the destination country's customs.   

 

4. Why should I pay the 75% security deposit?Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

We offer credit to qualified customers that: (1) have completed at least two international shipments with us, (2) have submitted our credit application and (3) been approved. This is our policy.

First-time international shippers have to provide this 75% security deposit before we proceed with the bookings on their behalf. The deposit will apply to the final cost of the international shipment. Please review our payments options and return policy.

 

5. Where can I find an address for am international shipping terminal to deliver my boxes?Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL sea freight

We work with numerous carriers, domestic (LTL) and international ocean freight carriers. Each carrier has several terminals within a city-zone. All terminals are located near ports and/or in major cities listed in our website. You should see addresses for shipping terminals in seafreight quotes obtained in our online price calculator. However, it must be re-confirmed in our email with the international shipping instructions to you.

Upon your booking request we will assign the proper carriers terminal as requested, determined by you area. Depending on the carrier and route, we will re-confirm the address of the shipping terminal and will provide it in our e-mail containing the international shipping instructions, after your booking is completed. 

Important: Each international shipment is unique. In order to eliminate any misunderstandings or mistakes, the international shipper MUST NOT accept any verbal statements as final (particularly on a shipping terminal location). All commitments and promises MUST be documented by email.

 

6. What does the International Sea freight Express Release Bill of Lading mean?Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL sea freight

By default all shipments with us go on express releases. Express = telex release = means that you do not have to provide original international Sea freight Bill of Ladings in order to recover your goods at the destination. International shipments on express release should be released at the destination upon providing a copy of the Sea freight Bill of Lading received from us in e-mail. No originals required.

Several countries around the world, particularly Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and certain countries in Africa, do not accept express releases. Carriers should specify this upon the issue of the Bill of Lading. In this case, we will mail you a set of original Bill of Ladings by USPS First Class Mail within USA/Canada for free. Expedited or international mail must be prepaid. If the shipper/receptionist require a set of original Bill of Ladings for international shipments to countries that DO accept express release, there will be a $50.00 fee and the shipper is responisible for postage.

 

7. Can I amend my international sea freight Bill of Lading?Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

Amending an international Sea freight Bill of Lading after it has been issued can become quite complex, and may not always be possible. This is true especially if the goods have already arrived at the destination. It is recommended that you take some additional time and review the information that you've entered when booking your international shipment. While submitting your international shipping documents online you will have several opportunities to verify and correct the entered info.  

After the international Sea freight  Bill of Lading is issued, any amendments to it are subject to the ocean freight carrier's amendment fees. This fee varies from $70 to $200 or more. Note: AMID's Logistics amendments processing fee up to $50 may be included to the total amendmnt fee.
 
If you need amendments, we suggest you contact your international ocean freight carrier's destination agent first. It may be possible to request a re-issue of your Bill of Lading at the destination. If this is not possible, we will attempt to work on these amendments on your behalf. There will be a fee dependent on the circumstances surrounding the amendments, along with carrier's amendment fees.

Please note that amending a Bill of Lading is not guaranteed and may take an uncertain amount of time.

LETTER OF INDEMNITY:

If during your international shipment, an original Sea freight Bill of Lading is required, but needs to be amended or has been lost, an international ocean freight carrier may request a LETTER OF INDEMNITY. Here is the link with a sample of LETTER OF INDEMNITY in regards to international shipping of ocean freight.

 

8. What is a Cubic Meter and W/M - weight or measurement?Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL sea freight 

  • A cubic meter is a measurement of volume, equal to space that is one meter wide, one meter long, and one meter high.
  • One metric meter = 3.28 metric feet.
  • ONE CUBIC METER = 35 CUBIC FEET

Find more about Cubic Meters in http://internationalshippingusa.com/Cubic_Meter_in_Ocean_Freight.aspx

W/M - weight or measurement, whichever is greater. W/M represents cargo density limit. Typically per Cubic Meter. 

Find more about W/M in http://internationalshippingusa.com/Cubic_Meter_in_Ocean_Freight.aspx#wm 

 

9. Should I palletize my shipping boxes? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

Palletized and shrink-wrapped cargo have a much higher probability of reaching their destination without damages or loss. However, additional charges for palletized cargo will appear:

  • Cost of pallet and labor
  • A charge due to extra chargeable volume for palletized cargo

Find more on this topic at http://internationalshippingusa.com/Palletizing.aspx 

 

10. Can I purchase insurance on my goods? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

Find about insurance at http://internationalshippingusa.com/Cargo_Marine_Insurance.aspx

 

11. Do you guarantee transit time on my international shipment? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

ETT - Estimated Transit Time, i.e. a time slot between ETD - Estimated Time of Departure and ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival in ocean freight quotes are not precise and should be verified upon a booking request. Additionally, transit time in booking confirmations CANNOT be guaranteed however, normally international ocean freight shipments depart and arrive as scheduled.

Notice: For international ocean freight shipments with trans-shipments  (your Bill of Lading shows that a port of discharge is different from the final destination) the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) may not be the ETA to the final destination. Check the ETA port in your international shipping documents. If it is not for the final destination, then it may take an additional 15-25 days to get cargo to the final destination. Some trans-shipments, from Europe to Africa for example, may take longer.

 

12. Are there any hidden costs in your LCL shipping quote? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

There are NO hidden costs on ocean freight shipping prices offered in LCL quotes and booking confirmations from us. Your rated international sea freight bill of lading will verify the international ocean freight carrier's ocean freight cost and surcharges on your international shipment.

NOTE: International shippers should be aware of general standards in the international sea freight shipping industry in order to understand what is covered in a price quote obtained from a freight forwarder (international shipping company: freght forwarder or NVOCC). This is why if you are a first-time international shipper and/or are not familiar with general shipping procedures regarding international ocean freight shipping, then WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND READING OUR WEBSITE'S FAQ AND REFERENCES SECTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE STARTING TO SCHEDULE YOUR INTERNATIONAL LCL OCEAN FREIGHT SHIPMENT. 

Below is a recap on charges that MAY NOT be covered in an international LCL price quote offered, based on the volume and weight information provided by you at a time you quoted or booked your international LCL sea freight shipment: 

I. PICKUP. Pickup rates depend on the type of pickup site and commodity type. When a shipper requests a quote/booking he/she must select the appropriate type of pickup site and commodity type. Incorrectly choosing the pickup site and commodity type may result in a price change.

A residential or business with limited access pickup will be a curbside-service. The pickup driver will load freight from a driveway, front porch, garage or acceptable loading area. No inside service is permitted due to liability. Some additional charges may apply if your pickup conditions or area are out of normal range. The charges will be calculated and forwarded to you in our final or separate freight invoice. The following charges may occur but are not limited to: attempted pickup, debris removal, inside pickup, waiting time etc.  

II. PRICE DIFFERENCE DUE TO DISCREPANCY ON W/M PROVIDED BY YOU IN YOUR BOOKING REQUEST AND THE ACTUAL W/M OF CARGO TENDERED TO THE SHIPMENT. It is hard to predict the precise w/m (i.e. total size and weight) of an international shipment at the time of booking. Actual w/m on your international shipment will most likely differ from those that you have provided in your booking request.

After an international ocean freight carrier's shipping terminal accepts your boxed goods, the international ocean freight carrier sends us the w/m verification on your ocean freight, i.e. the actual size and weight of your freight. Our final invoice will reflect the verified international shipping carrier's terminal's w/m.

If for some reason you disagree with the verified w/m, upon your request, we will present you with a copy of the w/m verification document. You may contact the international ocean freight carrier's shipping terminal and resolve the issue.  

III. EXTRA-VOLUME CHARGES DUE TO PALLETIZING YOUR LOOSE BOXES. If you request to have your boxes palletized at a shipping terminal, where you are dropping your cargo off, extra-volume charges will occur: (1) Cost of pallet and labor. Typically this varies from $35 to $55 per skid including the cost of the pallet. These fees should be paid directly to the shipping terminal. Ensure an invoice obtained. (2) A charge due to extra chargeable volume for palletized cargo.

IV. DIMENSIONAL WEIGHT and/or FREIGHT CLASS REASSIGNMENT BY AN LTL CARRIER (applies to shipments that require line-haul and pickups only).

Pickup and/or line-haul charges are based either on Actual or Dimensional weight of your cargo, whichever is greater. 

Our system helps you to determine freight class based on the density – the one out of four characteristics. However, the shipper must consider the rest of the characteristics and change the freight class on his/her shipment if necessary. You may also call the NMFTA direct at (703) 838-1810 in order to reconfirm the freight class on your shipment by commodity.

IMPORTANT: THE SHIPPER IS HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FREIGHT CLASS DECLARATION. OUR PICKUP/LINE HAUL PRICE QUOTES ARE BASED ON THE FREIGHT CLASS DECLARED BY THE SHIPPER. THE DECLARATION OF INCORRECT FREIGHT CLASS MAY RESULT IN PRICE SCHEDULE CHANGES.

Please find more about dim. weight and freight class in this link.

V. OPTIONAL $35 FEE FOR FILING SED (SHIPPER'S EXPORT DECLARATION). According to U.S. customs regulations, all export shipmentsMUST be declared to the U.S. Census Bureau by filing a SED in AES at www.aesdirect.gov

Exemptions from filing SED (general):

  • International shipments containing Household Goods or Personal effects not for sale of total declared value less than US$2500.
  • Domestic shipments (to Hawaii for example). However, SEDs are required for shipments between the USA and Puerto Rico as well as between the USA and Virgin Islands of the United States.

International shipments without the SED (if not exempt) cannot be released to the export.

Our online booking form provides options on filing SED:

  1. Shippers may file SED online in www.aesdirect.gov by yourself. We must receive SED's AES ITN BEFORE the cargo is delivered to the international ocean freight carrier's shipping terminal.
    OR
  2. We may file the SED on the international shippers behalf based on the commodity description provided in international shipping documents for the fee of $35 up to two Harmonized Tariff numbers. $15 per Harmonized Tariff number thereafter.

If you are requesting us to file the SED on your behalf, WE MUST HAVE:

  1. A valued packing list or commercial invoice, which contain: (1) commodity description, (2) value of your international shipment in USD, (3) estimated weight and volume. Note: With us, shippers may submit these international shipping documents online. You may try this simple form online in order to submit your valued packing list or proforma commercial invoice.
  2. U.S. federal tax ID (EIN) or for non U.S. residents, a copy of your foreign passport. 

IMPORTANT NOTE FROM U.S. CUSTOMS: Social Security Numbers (SSN) WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED as a valid USPPI ID as of December 3, 2009:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau / U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulation and per the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) Social Security Numbers (SSN) will not be accepted as a valid USPPI ID as of December 3, 2009. Any Authorized Agent that files on the behalf of customers using a SSN as the USPPI ID need to notify their customers that they need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). USPPIs can obtain an EIN by visiting www.irs.gov/businesses/small and selecting "Employer ID Numbers (EIN)".

OBTAINING THE EIN FOR SED FILINIG: We found that some of our customers that do not have an EIN obtain this for their international shipments online at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/ by requesting an EIN for the Sole Proprietors purpose, to satisfy banking requirements or local law. In this case, you may consider following the steps in this PDF file.

For more information refer to the copy of U.S. Federal Code 15 CFR Part 30 in this link 
 
VI. SET OF ORIGINAL INTERNATIONAL SEAFREIGHT BILL OF LADING IF REQUIRED. Most shipments with us go on express releases.

Express = telex release = surrender means that you do not have to provide original international sea freight Bill of Ladings in order to recover your goods at the destination. International ocean freight shipments on express release should be released at the destination upon providing a copy of the Bill of Lading received from us by e-mail. No originals required.

However, several countries around the world, particularly Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, certain countries in Africa, do not accept express release bill of ladings. International ocean freight carriers should specify upon issueing a Bill of Lading. We will mail you a set of original sea freight Bill of Ladings by USPS First Class Mail within USA/Canada for free. Expedited or international mail must be prepaid. If you request a set of original Bill of Ladings for international shipments to countries that DO accept express release, then a $50 fee will be added on top of the cost of mail.

VII. PORT OF ENTRY FEE. Most of the time this fee is associated with international shipments with transshipments, i.e. your Sea freight Bill of Lading shows that a port of discharge is different from the final destination. The fee varies from $25 to $50 and WILL be included in the carrier's bill of lading freight charges.

VIII. DESTINATION CHARGES (Do not apply on domestic shipments. Shipments to Hawaii for example). All international ocean freight shipments are subject to destination charges. In general these charges include: 1 - Destination Country Government (Customs) related charges, i.e. duty and taxes (if any), harbor fees, fee on entry filed by a destination Customs Broker etc.; 2 - Destination terminal(s) handling charges and fees (THC); 3 - Service fee from the carrier's destination agent on handling and delivery (if you are requesting a delivery to your door) of your shipment.

Destination charges vary depending on destination countries and international ocean freight carriers. Destination Charges are out of control of U.S. Freight Forwarders and payable directly to parties related to import recoveries at destinations. As U.S. Freight Forwarder AMID Logistics, LLC does not connect to destination charges in any way. Guiding the importer in the complexity of the cargo recovery procedures at the destination is responsibility of international ocean freight carrier's destination agent.

  • Commercial international shipments destination charges depend on the commodity.
  • Most countries do not charge a duty or tax on household goods and personal effects. For personal LCL shipments, if the cargo is exempt from paying duty, total destination charges may vary from $100 up to $600 or more. For sizable shipments 8-12+ cubic meters these charges may be comparable to destination charges on FCL (full container load) shipments - $600-$1000 or more.

You may want to check in advance with your destination country's embassy or ask a destination country's customs broker about Government (Customs) regulations on your international shipment.

Notice: Part of or all destination charges may be required to be paid at a port of entree, but not at the final destination. I.e. you have to obtain Customs release and pay part of THC at the port of entry, then your cargo will continue to travel to the final destination cleared with customs.   

Notice: You do not have to be present to recover your import at the destination. Follow instructions from your destination agent. Provide them all the necessary information on your international shipment by phone, fax or in e-mail; pay destination charges in order to get release on your cargo; and, if you wish, arrange delivery of your goods to your door directly with the international ocean freight carrier's destination agent or use any local cartage company of your choice.     

IX. DELIVERING GOODS TO THE CONSIGNEE AT THE DESTINATION (OPTIONAL). As an U.S. Freight Forwarder, we do not offer delivery service from a destination ocean freight carrier's shipping terminal to the consignee's door. Cleared with Customs and released by the destination terminal cargo should be self-picked. However, most ocean freight carriers destination agents offer delivery service for an additional cost. Otherwise you can hire any local cartage company in your destination country and request that they pick up your released goods and bring it to your door.

X. Depending on the commodity being shipped, international shipment's conditions, destination country customs etc other specific charges may apply on irregular international shipments.

 

13. Can I arrange an international charity shipment with an international shipping company? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

The answer is yes, you may arrange an international charity shipment with an international shipping company (freight forwarder or NVOCC). However, after your donation arrives to the destination the consignee (recipient of the donation) may be unable or may not want to pay destination charges associated with the recovery of your donation. 

Furthermore, officials in certain countries, particularly in South Africa and/or landlocked countries that receive ocean freight via South Africa may deny entry as long as the commodity is described as a charity shipment, donation, free aid, used or second hand goods etc. 

The importation of second hand clothes, books etc are prohibited in South Africa. Shippers must firstly apply for an import permit with the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) before instructing an international shipping company to ship second hand goods.

If you are still going to ship an international charity shipment (i.e. donate goods overseas including the shipping cost), then before doing so, please wisely consider the following situations on your charity shipment:

  1. The recipient (consignee) of your charity shipment may not pay destination charges even though you have already transferred to him money to pay for the release.
  2. You may be involved in a bureaucratic correspondence with the destination country's officials in order to get an approval of entry for your international charity shipment  to the destination country. Notice, you cannot avoid carrier’s storage etc fees on your international charity shipment due to delay with this entry.
  3. If you fail to have the goods released, be prepared to pay all charges and fees associated with the return of your donation back to you or charges on destruction of your charity shipment.    

Often, as soon as an ocean freight carrier has recognized that you are shipping a donation, having had bad experiences with charity shipments, they may inform you that your international charity shipment must be shipped on DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) basis with all destination charges prepaid. In this event:

  1. Commercial invoice must be presented to the ocean freight carrier’s destinations agent before your international charity shipment is tendered at the origin in order to estimate total destination charges. Notice, this takes time and may not be free of charge. 
  2. Actual destination charges may differ from the original estimate. They typically require them to be prepaid based on the estimated cost plus 15-30%. 
  3. If actual destination charges exceed the initial estimation, the consignee will be expected to pay the difference. If not paid the initial funds will be placed towrads the destruction of the international charity shipment.

In conclusion: We believe that God blesses your kindness. However, an incorrectly planned international charity shipment may result in problems for all parties involved in the shipment. Please make your donations prudently. 

 

14. How can I cancel my international shipment? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

Please refer to this link with our return policy

 

15. What will happen if I do not pay your invoices? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

If a new customer does not pay a security deposit, we will not process his/her international shipment. Clients with settled accounts as agreed in the accounts.

If the ocean freight is tendered to the international shipment, but our final invoice is not paid on the due date, a late payment fee will apply. The late payment fee is 5% per day on the total due in the invoice / $200 minimum, whichever is greater.

If it is not paid within 10 (ten) calendar days after the due date, in addition to the late fee, we may cancel the Express Release on the shipment. As a result of the express release cancellation, the consignee will not be able to recover his/her goods at the destination unless they have received a set of original Bill of Ladings from us. Expedited mail with this set of originals will cost USD$200.00 aside from other charges related to issuing the original Bill of Ladings. We will NOT take any responsibilities for any storage, demurrage and/or other charges connected to delays with the release. We will NOT take any responsibilities on any charges connected to any delay of the freight at any point on its way to the place of release. Insurance will be canceled as unpaid at the time of express release cancellation as well.

If not paid within 10 (ten) days from the day of the arrival to the destination, the international shipment will be considered abandoned, i.e. requested to be destroyed or re-consigned and re-possessed and sold on the action in order to cover expenses related to the freight, storage, demurrage etc charges. U.S. and destination security officials will be notified and additional fines levied.

 

16. What international shipping documents should I submit to my export shipment? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL sea freight

The international shipper should clearly understand that he/she is responsible for the description and legality of the commodity and sufficiency of documentation submitted to an international shipment.

The carrier's international ocean freight Bill of Lading, (the final document that acts as a title to the shipped goods) as a rule states 'SHIPPER'S LOAD AND COUNT' and 'SAID BY SHIPPER TO CONTAIN'. This means that the international ocean freight carrier (and a freight forwarder who represents this international ocean freight carrier) is not responsible for information provided by the shipper on his commodity. 

It is the international shipper's responsibility to provide all the necessary documents related to his international ocean freight shipment that will be required by origin and destination country officials.

Below is a list of commonly used documents required to be submitted to an international ocean freight shipment:

MANDATORY DOCUMENTS:

A. Bill of Lading - International ocean freight carrier's transport document. Shows cargo routing, consigner, consignee, cargo description, etc.

International ocean freight carrier's Bill of Lading will be issued to the shipper (consigner) upon full payment of the freight invoice and a few days after the ETD - Estimated Time of Departure.   

B.1. For international commercial shipments - Commercial Invoice:A complete description of commodity being shipped.

B.2. For shipping household goods and personal belongings - Valued Packing List: An inventory list with value assigned to each item being shipped.

Notice: Some courtiers require proforma commercial invoices for personal shipments as well. However, having a complete Valued Packing List submitted at origin, upon destination customs request, you easily be able to transfer your Valued Packing List into the form of proforma commercial invoice.   

In the respect of U.S. Customs, all Commercial Invoices (and Valued Packing Lists) must be in English and show:

  • Value of cargo in US Dollars (exchange rate = date of export);
  • Shippers full name and address (M.I.D. – manufacturer's identification);
  • Consignee full name and address;
  • Detailed description of cargo/freight;
  • Quantity of cargo shipped;
  • Weight of cargo shipped;
  • Cargo's Country of Origin

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS DEPENDING ON COMMODITY AND COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

D. Packing List - Breakdown description: pieces, weights and packing materials. (Examples - Wood Pallets, Skids, Crates, Boxes, Dunnage, Straw Packing, etc.)

E. Fumigation Certificate - Certification that cargo and packing materials were fumigated after cargo had been containerized and is free of Infestation.

F. Special Documents - Dependent on commodity and country of origin.

Visa
Quota
Visa/Quota
Certificate of Origin
North American Free Trade Agreement Certificate of Origin (N.A.F.T.A.)
Packing Declaration
Dangerous Goods Declaration – hazardous materials
Fish and Wildlife Declaration
Consular Legalized documents
F.D.A.
U.S.D.A.
Anti-Dumping

 

17. I’m not in the USA. I order goods from the U.S. remotely. Can I complete my international shipment with you? / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL sea freight

Yes, with us you can complete an international LCL sea freight shipment from the USA remotely. Just follow these simple instructions depending on wether your vendor (seller) provides free delivery within the USA or not:

  • If your vendor (seller) provides free delivery within the USA, then get a price quote at our website. Then schedule your international shipment as self-delivered to the ocean carrier's ship terminal, i.e. schedule your shipment online via Option A in your price quote. We will email to your vendor our dock receipt / international shipping instructions on delivery of your boxed goods to an international ocean freight carrier's shipping terminal.
     
    Besides other info our dock receipt / international shipping instructions will contain an OCEAN CARRIER SHIPPING TERMINAL ADDRESS (1) assigned to your shipment and CARRIER:S BOOKING NUMEBER (2).
     
    Ask your vendor to follow our international shipping instructions. ASK YOUR VENDOR TO PUT THE CARRIER'S BOOKING# AS A MAIN REFERENCE# ON ALL DOCUMENTS RELATED TO THE DELIVERY OF YOUR BOXED GOODS TO THE OCEAN CARRIER RECEIVING TERMINAL and proceed on delivery to the address provided. Your cargo will be recognized at the carrier's shipping terminal by the booking#, accepted and shipped to you. 
     
    NOTICE: Shipments via cities listed in our website  WITHOUT asterisk (*), Atlanta, GA for example, are the most cost-effective way to ship overseas. Shipments via terminals WITH asterisk, Akron, OH* for example, will be subject to a line-haul charge added on top of the ocean freight.
  • If your vendor (seller) DOES NOT provide free delivery within the USA, then at the time of getting a price quote on our website select YES, PICKUP REQUIRE. Then book your international shipment via our quote received in email, which will include a pickup option.  We will pick up your boxed or crated goods from your vendor and ship it to you overseas.

NOTICE: By default our system emails all information and documents to consigners (shippers). IF YOU ARE THE CONSIGNEE (RECIPIENT) AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE COPIES OF OUR EMAIL,  PLEASE NOTE THIS STATING SO IN THE 'COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS' FIELD OF OUR ONLINE BOOKING FORM (THE LAST BLOCK OF THE FORM).

Upon your authorization we may also contact your vendor on your behalf. Retrieving and providing general info is free of charge. Resolving time-consuming, more complicated issues will result in fees estimating at $60 per hour/$60 minimum

 

18. Payments by credit card online via Google Checkout or PayPal / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL seafreight

If not agreed in advance in email, payments by credit card online via Google Checkout or PayPal are limited by US$750.00 on total per entire shipment. Payments (full or partial) that exceed US$750.00 total must NOT be done by credit card, but by check, money order or wire transfer. We reserve the right to refund unauthorized payments done online via Google Checkout or PayPal back to the credit card holder less transaction fee 3.79%/$10 minimum without notice.

Payments by credit card online via Google Checkout or PayPal must pass CVV and full AVS verification. If a payment has been accepted by and settled in Google Checkout or PayPal, but the AVS did not mach and/or CVV is not passed, we reserve the right to refund the payment to the credit card holder less transaction fee 3.79%/$10 minimum without notices or request an additional confirmation(s) and/or verification on this payment.

In certain circumstances, even though an online payment had passed CVV and full AVS verification in Google Checkout or PayPal, we reserve the right to request additional confirmation(s) and/or verification on this payment.

A CONFIRMATION TOWARD CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS PAYMENTS: In order to secure funds transferred to our bank by credit or debit card via PayPal or Google checkout, if a shipment/freight has been paid by credit or debit card via PayPal or Google checkout, before issuing an ocean carriers bill of lading we may ask the credit/debit cards payer for a confirmation that the payer clearly understands that the ocean freight bill of lading is our final document on this shipment. It is the title on shipped goods and proof on transfer of the ownership on the shipped goods to the consignee in the ocean freight bill of lading (recipient of shipped goods).

This confirms that after receiving the ocean freight bill of lading our shipping service provided is completed as agreed. All parties that may connected to these payment(s) on the shipment done by credit or debit card via PayPal or Google checkout will consider this email the receipt on this payment(s) with payer's signature in it.

If for any reasons we will not receive from the credit/debit cards payer a confirmation to the statement above, then the issuing of bill of leading may be suspended for 45+ days since the last credit/debit card payment has been settled at our bank account.

 

 

 

19. Processing shipments upon a copy of check or money order / Back to FAQ on international shipping of LCL sea freight

In order to accelerate a shipment we may proceed with a shipment upon receipt via a scanned or faxed copy of check or money order. 

International shippers may fax or email the copy to us. We will confirm receipt of the copy in email. This copy can be considered to be the payer's authorization for electronic funds transfer. In the event of a delay of receiving the original check or money order in the mail, typically later than in 5 (five) calendar days after receiving the copy, we reserve the right to process the funds transfer based on the amount and the payer's bank info recieved in the copy of the check or money order.

 

20. eBay buyers/sellers

How does it work?

It is simple! Just decide whether or not your eBay seller (or you acting as the eBay seller) provides free delivery within the USA.

A. If Yes (free delivery within the USA is provided), then:

  1. Get an international shipping sea freight price quote in our website via email. Keep this email while you complete your eBay deal.
  2. Then book your eBay international sea freight shipment online via our freight quote email. We will email to you (or to your U.S. eBay seller) our Dock Receipt containing complete shipping instructions for your international sea freight shipment.
  3. Arrange your eBay purchase to be delivered to the freight terminal indicated in our shipping instructions. Next, get your ocean freight Bill of Lading and have your eBay purchase shipped overseas!

B. If Not (free delivery within the USA is NOT provided), then:

  1. At the time of getting an international shipping freight price quote from our website for your eBay sale-purchase select "YES. PICKUP IS REQUIRED".
  2. Book your international eBay sea freight shipment via our price quote email via the PICKUP option.
  3. We will send a trucker to pick up your boxed or crated eBay purchase and ship it overseas!

IMPORTANT NOTE! If you self-deliver your eBay purchase to the carrier's shipping terminal, upon receipt of our Dock Receipt/International Shipping Instructions pay extreme attention to:

  • The international ocean carrier's shipping terminal address with the contact information and;
  • The ocean freight carrier's BOOKING NUMBER

ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE PLACED THE INTERNATIONAL OCEAN FREIGHT CARRIER'S BOOKING NUMBER AS THE KEY REFERENCE NUMBER IN YOUR DELIVERY ORDER. Your eBay freight will be recognized at the international ocean freight carrier's terminal by the booking number. Then your eBay freight will be accepted by the shipping terminal to the international sea freight shipment and shipped to the destination overseas. 

Helpful tips:

Read FAQ and References question sections in our website. Particulalry this link about LCL export international shipping procedures Step by Step. Watch the VIDEO above.

If you are shipping an eBay LCL freight (Boxes, crates or pallets), the most cost-effective way is to ship your eBay freight via cities listed in our website that are highlighted, in upper cases and WITHOUT ASTERISK (*). ATLANTA, GA for example. Shipments via terminals WITH asterisks, (for example Akron, OH*), will be subject to a line-haul charge (inland transportation) in addition to your eBay international ocean freight charges. For more information please read the FAQ section in our LCL sea freight service.
 
For FCL international eBay sea freight shipments (i.e. the international shipping of an eBay freight in an entire 20', 40' etc sea freight containers) a self-delivery option may not be available. Unless you are a professional and licensed freight forwarder, for FCL sea freight shipments you always have to request an empty container delivery to your eBay freight location for the load. Use the Option B in our online FCL quotes.

International shipping cars sold/purchased on eBay (and international shipping of other types of motor vehicles sold/purchased on eBay: motorcycles, motor boats, trucks etc) is available, but always require a case by case consideration. This is due to special U.S. Customs regulations for exporting motor vehicles from the USA overseas and its titles validation.

Note: By default our automated online international shipping system emails all information and documents to consigners (shippers) as submitted in our online booking forms. IF YOU ARE A CONSIGNEE (RECIPIENT) OR A THIRD PARTY AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE COPIES OF OUR EMAIL, THEN ASK US TO DO THAT IN A SEPARATE EMAIL OR PUT A NOTE ABOUT THAT IN THE "COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS" FIELD OF OUR ONLINE BOOKING FORM (THE LAST BLOCK IN ONLINE BOOKING FORMS).

Upon your authorization we may also contact your eBay seller on your behalf. The retrieving and providing of general eBay information is free of charge. Resolving time-consuming, more complicated issues is subject to an hourly fee. This should be negotiated with us in advance and paid as agreed upon our final invoice.

 

21. More answers in the RANDOM TOPICS web-page 

Find more answers to your questions in our RANDOM TOPICS web-page 

 

 

 
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