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When the deal isn't as good as it seemed

Jan 26 2015

If you are buying goods from China it can often seem like a very attractive deal when your Chinese supplier offers to pay sea freight costs to the UK port (CPT Incoterms). However watch out for the unknown handling charges you might face when goods arrive at Southampton, Felixstowe, London Gateway etc. particularly for part-load (lcl) sea freight shipments. Often what happens is that the Chinese supplier gets a great deal from the Chinese freight agent for paying the sea freight costs up to the UK port. However sometimes the deal is just too good and extra revenue is recouped from the UK importer through charges such as “emergency exchange rate” costs or higher than expected port handling fees. As an importer you will probably have no knowledge of these charges until an arrival notice/invoice turns up from the UK receiving agent. Suddenly what seemed like a good deal turns out not to be. We would recommend buying under FOB terms when shipping goods from China via part-load sea freight services (lcl). This way you can take control of the shipping process and obtain shipping rates from UK freight agents so you know exactly what you are going to pay for moving the goods from A to B. It’s a service we can assist with here at Cargocall.

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