New to importing

New to importing? Worried about importing cargo overseas for the 1st time? We ensure the process involved for your shipment is made as easy and hassle free as possible.  We chat to you to ensure you get the right shipping service for your cargo.  We explain all the processes involved and how they affect you and your liabilities.  We give you complete all-in shipping import costs with no hidden extras at the end based on the terms of your shipment.


We import to the UK from all over the world but popular importing countries are China, India, Vietnam and the USA. We import anything from small cartons to full containers loads, whether by sea freight or air freight.  We offer a tailored shipping solution to meet your requirements. If you are importing to sell on popular online market places, we have some specific advice on our blog.


The best methods of shipment for your goods


As a freight forwarder, we offer air freight, sea freight or road freight for your imported goods depending on your requirements.


In simple terms, more time critical items are best to go by air freight but this is more expensive. Sea freight is cheaper but comes with longer transit times. We can also arrange transport by road to the UK from Europe, Middle East and North Africa.


We offer prices for LCL (less than container loads or space in a container) and FCL (full container loads) for your imported goods.  Our in-house rule is once your goods start to total 15-20 cubic meters that’s when it could be worth considering using Full Containers loads instead of less than container loads. For more information on LCL and FCL see our blog post on the subject.


Whether you’re trying to save money or time or both we’ll always offer a complete tailored freight solution that meet your requirements


Customs Clearance for your imports


If you are looking to import/export cargo to/from a non-EU country, you will need to find a UK customs clearance agent that can process your imports and exports with HMRC.We can provide a customs clearance service for imports and exports via sea, air or road. Find out more about customs clearance for importers on our blog.

Customs Charges


Customs charges are unfortunately never straightforward, but we can help you plan by estimating what they’ll be as accurately as we can. We can also advise how and when they should be paid.


If you’re importing for the 1st time you’ll need to apply via HMRC for an EORI number.  This application will take about 3-5 days but it's imperative you have one before your goods arrive to avoid any delays and extra costs. If your business is are registered for VAT, your EORI number should be linked to your VAT registration number. HMRC should be able to advise.

Importing terms for your shipment – Incoterms


When your sellers give you a quotation for your goods they will advise what the shipping terms are, for example – FOB Shanghai, FCA Hong Kong or even CIF Felixstowe – these are called INCOTERMS.


We can advise you what these terms mean and what the cost implications are for you and your shipment.


In our experience, we find importing on FOB terms tends to be the most cost effective and less risky as you then know what shipping costs you will pay in advance.


When importing on CFR and CIF terms the seller arranges shipment to the 1st port/airport of arrival in the UK but there are additional costs to pay on arrival in the UK that can't always be determined before the shipment leaves the seller's country.


More information on incoterms


Classification of your goods for import with HMRC


What will the Import vat and duty be?  As shipping and freight forwarding agent we are more than familiar with the best way to correctly classify your goods with HMRC as well as understanding what the correct import vat and duty levels will be for your goods.  Just ask us if you’re unsure.


Import licensing


Some specialist goods, such as heavy machinery, may require an import license. We will advise our customers if this is the case.


Insurance for importing


When shipping by sea, air or road your goods are not covered to their full value so if you are importing high value goods it's worth taking out extra cover to insure against loss, damage and theft.


Please contact us to discuss your import requirements and feel free to ask us anything.