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A beginners guide to sea freight

A beginners guide to sea freight

Whether your UK business is importing or exporting goods, it’s important to research the most cost-effective shipping methods. In most cases, sea freight will be far more affordable than air freight, however, time constraints can be a drawback and it’s also not the most cost-effective method of shipping smaller packages.

That said, here are the Independent Freight guidelines to sea freight shipping for your information.

Different types of sea freight

You can choose a range of solutions when you send goods by sea. These include:

– Full container load shipments where all your goods are loaded into one container (these can be varying lengths).

– Shared container shipments, known as less than container load, which can be arranged by your freight forwarding company.

– Roll on and roll off shipments, which as the name suggests relate to lorry loads which can be driven onto the cargo ship and then driven off at the arrival port.

– Dry bulk shipping is reserved for dry materials, like aggregates and metals which can simply be poured into the hold of the cargo ship, then offloaded at arrival ports.

Benefits of sea freight

One of the main advantages of sea freight is that it’s so cost-efficient for transporting larger quantities and heavier loads over long distances. When you shop around you will find that sea freight can be up to six times cheaper than air freight. Many countries apply lower duties to goods arriving by sea, as these are often calculated as a percentage total cost of goods. In addition, from an environmental perspective sea freight is far less harmful to the planet.

If you would like to learn more about sea freight into or out of the UK, why not speak to the experts here at Independent Freight? We also offer a Customs Clearance Service and a Brokerage Service. Get in touch today to find out more!

Urgent shipments? We have the solution!

Urgent shipments? We have the solution!

No matter what time of day, when you have urgent shipments to organise you can rely on Independent Freight to provide the best possible, hassle-free, and speedy service. We’re your “go-to” forwarding company, based in Nuneaton, in the very heart of the UK. Whether you’re overseas and need to arrange UK freight forwarding or you’re in the UK and desperately need to get your sea freight to its final destination, the experts here at Independent Freight will handle your logistics problem swiftly and without any fuss.

What we do

Our logistics service includes:

– Customs clearance
– Speedy courier services
– Road freight throughout the UK and Europe
– Air freight and sea freight
– Warehouse and storage

Customs clearance for air cargo and sea freight is a breeze when you use Independent Freight

Many UK businesses are struggling with the sort of customs clearance issues they will face following any potential No Deal Brexit, but when you opt for our services you can rely on us to ensure your freight arrives at European destinations on time. We’re also happy to expedite your European freight into the UK, in the same effective manner, and can provide storage facilities if needed.

We also handle freight forwarding to any global destination, whether you need air or sea cargo, and are happy to deal with all associated customs clearance administration on your behalf.

Why choose us for your urgent shipments?

We’re proud of our fantastic reputation as one of the best freight forwarders in the UK, and offer all customers the same courteous service. No matter whether you’re an e-commerce startup needing to send a couple of packages overseas each month or a larger organisation with more complex freight shipping requirements, the experts at Independent Freight can deliver on every logistics problem.

Get in touch today to find out more!

10 things you need to know about the customs clearance process

10 things you need to know about the customs clearance process

10 things you need to know about the customs clearance process

By Jenny Hooper, June 28, 2019, Category: General News

Customs can be a confusing process for those who have never shipped goods before. If you’re looking to send goods overseas or you’re importing goods into the UK, here are 10 things you need to know:

1. Customs clearance is complex

The customs clearance process involves more than simply passing goods across borders – the preparation and submission of documentation is required to facilitate exports and imports.

2. There’s a lot of documentation to consider

Common export and import documentation includes a Certificate of Origin, a sales invoice, a packing list, a shipping bill, insurance, an Airway Bill, a Bill of Lading and much more.

3. Your cargo will go through customs in every country around the world

Every country has its own customs clearance process, and the rules, laws and regulations will vary. Therefore, you will need to do your research before shipping your goods.

4. Customs will request payment of taxes and duties

If these haven’t been paid when the shipment arrives, customs will forward the package to an independent customs broker. This can get very expensive, so pay all charges before sending your shipment.

5. The time it takes varies from shipment to shipment

There’s no set time limit – the process is very much dependent on what goods are entering the country.

6. Customs charges in the UK are calculated using three variables

These are UK Duty, UK VAT and any additional costs like testing, storage and x-rays.

7. All goods are subject to Trading Standards

There are certain items that will attract more attention than others, such as lithium batteries, toys and electronics.

8. Certain items will need an import licence

Items which require a licence are often dangerous or require heavier regulation. Examples include drugs, fur, livestock and nuclear materials.

9. Properly loaded shipping containers can ease the process

Improper loading can lead to extensive searches of shipments, which can result in delays and more expenses.

10. It’s best left to a freight forwarding company

If the wrong person handles your customs brokerage, you could face a number of issues. A freight forwarder will be able to manage all your clearance requirements, including any documentation.

To find out more about Independent Freight’s air cargo and sea freight options, get in touch with a member of our team today.

Improved Routes to China for UK!

Improved Routes to China for UK!

How Heathrow are spearheading the development of the routes to China for the UK

By Jenny Hooper, June 13, 2019, Category: General News

Great news for customers who are regular exports to China or looking to export to China in the future!

Heathrow will now offer a new service to Chengdu the 12th Chinese route on the airports network. By identifying efficiencies and gaps in schedules, Heathrow has been able to accommodate new routes to China.

Expansion of Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport and biggest port by value, will allow Britain the opportunity to build and maintain the vitally important trade connections to China the country needs, especially with a future outside the EU.

Research carried out by the CEBR has showed that there has been a remarkable rise in the value of Chinese exports via Heathrow and China is now the third most valuable export destination from the Airport.

Air China will use an A330-200 aircraft which can facilitate 3744 tonnes of cargo between China and the UK. Heathrow’s Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker commented on the historic expansion: “Each plane flown from Heathrow to China not only carries passengers, but also the best of UK fashion, art and industry exports in its bellyhold. As we plan for a future outside of the EU, growing connections from Heathrow, the UK’s biggest port by value, to cities like Chengdu, is essential to keep our country an outward-looking trading nation.” (Source: TravelPRnews, 2019)

If you are interested in finding out more about this service which can be booked via our Team or any other Chinese destination then please do not hesitate to contact us at +44(0)2476 343037. We also offer import services from most major Chinese Airport back to the UK

Shipments that are appropriate for road freight

Shipments that are appropriate for road freight

Shipments that are appropriate for road freight

By Jenny Hooper, May 27, 2019, Category: General News

Are you looking to transport goods around the UK and Europe? If so, road freight might be the best option for you. With a number of solutions available, including pallet and out-of-gauge equipment, read on to find out the most appropriate shipments for road freight.


This type of shipping involves grouping your goods together with other similar items that are travelling to the same place. Often the cheapest and most efficient way to transport goods in the UK, it’s also known as consolidation of freight. If you can’t make up a full container, you simply need to ask your freight forwarding company to send your shipment via groupage shipping.

Full load road freight

Essentially the opposite of groupage, full load road freight is a type of shipping that sees a truck carry just one dedicated container. If you have a shipment that is large enough to fill a single container, this option is usually cheaper. With full loads, you will also find you aren’t as restricted when it comes to the size and weight of the shipment.


The best option for time restricted transport and valuable shipments, dedicated road freight ensures the same driver and truck is used throughout, making the whole process more secure. The driver is also reachable during the journey. Although similar to full load road freight, the main difference is that full load allows for different trucks and drivers to handle sections of the delivery.

Contact Independent Freight today to learn more about their road freight solutions. As well as road freight, we offer sea freight and air freight services to destinations around the world.