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Units 5 & 6 Alliance,
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+44 (0) 247 6343 037
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.

Who should be responsible for tariff codes also known as commodity codes and HS codes at Import?

Who should be responsible for tariff codes also known as commodity codes and HS codes at Import?

Who should be responsible for HS codes at Import?

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

The answer is normally you as the importer of record.

Unfortunately, some customers often assume wrongly that their supplier is responsible for ensuring the correct HS code is declared at import and that the Freight Forwarder/Customs Broker should then use this information to clear the goods. Although the supplier may play an important role in helping to determine the correct code and as the freight forwarder we will always check this to see if it looks incorrect – it can be quite dangerous to assume that your supplier is using the correct code.

HS Codes are grouped into 97 “product” chapters and the commodity code that relates to your imported goods determines the following:

  • The rate of import duty and VAT to be paid
  • Information for trade statistics
  • import restrictions on the goods
  • preferential trade agreement
  • Whether there are any trade policy measures affecting the import of the goods, e.g. ADD, Tariff Quotas (TQ), etc.

Each product has its own unique tariff code and this is harmonised throughout the world, however, only the first 6 digits of the code are actually ‘harmonised’. The last 4 digits will be unique to each country or in our case currently the EU. Therefore we will often find that a supplier will use their 10 digit code on the paperwork especially on shipments imported from the USA which might be different to the 10 digit code used in the EU/UK Tariff. This can lead to goods being incorrectly classified.

Therefore we recommend that customers carry out a regular review of the codes they are using at import and have some kind of system to indicate how they have arrived at these codes as HMRC will want to see evidence should they carry out and Customs Audit.

As a valued customer of ours, we are always happy to help you check your codes and to ensure that these are communicated to us correctly.

If you would like to discuss your codes with us then please do not hesitate to contact us as this will become even more important in the future post Brexit regardless of what Brexit actually looks like!

For more information on this please do not hesitate to contact us on 02476 343037.

International holidays that affect your supply chain

International holidays that affect your supply chain

International holidays that affect your supply chain

By Jenny Hooper, May 8, 2019, Category: General News

When focusing on the small details of freight shipping, it can be easy to sometimes forget about upcoming international holidays that can affect your supply chain. A reliable freight forwarding company should be aware of the below holidays and how/if they will affect the freight services they can provide.

1. Labour day

Labour day is a holiday celebrated by many international countries including America, Slovenia, Russia and Switzerland. The exact date of the holiday differs between countries, in America, it takes place on the first day of September while for the majority of European counties, such as Slovenia, the holiday takes place on the 1st and 2nd of May.

2. Summer bank holidays

Freight shipping usually peaks during mid-August to mid-October and during this time the demand for shipping is incredibly high as consumers prepare for their summer holidays and begin Christmas shopping. August 28th is a bank holiday in both Canada and the UK and must be remembered when organising freight shipping during this busy period.

3. Independence days

If you are not a resident of a country it can be hard to remember when or if it has an independence day. For example, the 4th of July weekend in the United States is a big independence day holiday and could cause delays in a supply chain, other large independence day holidays include the Indian independence day on August 1st, Chinese independence day on October 1st and June 12th for the Philippines independence day.

To avoid such holiday days affecting your supply chains, it is important to work with a knowledgeable and expert freight forwarding company like Independent Freight. For more information on freight services, contact a member of Independent Freight now!

How to Prepare Your Business for Brexit

How to Prepare Your Business for Brexit

How to Prepare Your Business for Brexit

By Jenny Hooper, March 3, 2019, Category: General News

With a lot of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, small British businesses are worried about the massive risks it entails. While waiting for the negotiations to resolve, preparing a plan can ensure that your business will be able to cope with the effects of Brexit, especially when it comes to international trade.

Changing trade rules

If Britain decides to leave the European Union without a deal, the expected two-year transition will be lost and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules will be applied. Currently, imports and exports between the UK and EU do not require inspection at the border and no tariffs are being imposed. However, if WTO rules are executed, goods transferred through freight shipping will be subject to custom checks and taxes, resulting in additional costs and prolonging the process times at the border. To manage the increased costs, make sure to update your pricing structure and to streamline your operations for greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Review your supply chain

With the fluctuating sterling, the supply chains of most UK businesses become more expensive, especially those who have suppliers based in the EU. To reduce the costs and to minimise disruption in your business, consider sourcing products within the UK. Paying in one currency can reduce the risk of uncertainty. However, if outsourcing is necessary, try to strengthen your relationship with your existing suppliers to negotiate terms that will be beneficial to your business.

Non-EU Markets

We have always specialised in shipping to Non-EU countries and have over the last 15 years supported a range of businesses with complex customs procedures to many markets including USA, the Middle East, India, China and any other destinations. So, if your business is looking to develop new markets outside of the EU then we can offer support in this area in terms of both Sea and Air Freight.

Independent Freight are an HMRC Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) in both Customs and Security offering affordable logistics management solutions. We assure that our customs controls and procedures are highly efficient, accurate and fully compliant. For more details about our services, contact us today on +44(0) 2476 343037 or email us at jenny@independent-freight.com.

Imports and Exports After Brexit: What is UK’s Trade Strategy?

Imports and Exports After Brexit: What is UK’s Trade Strategy?

Imports and Exports After Brexit: What is UK’s Trade Strategy?

By Jenny Hooper, Jan 30, 2019, Category: General News

Here is the deal: over half of the UK’s imports come from the other 27 nations in the EU, whereas almost half of the UK’s exports go to the EU. Predictably, by the end of 2020 when Brexit finally takes effect, this will all be up for an unpleasant renegotiation.

Small and medium-sized businesses in the UK have long since warned that they expect trade to be reduced when Brexit finally pushes through. This prospect was supported by the most obvious and immediate effect of the referendum result, which was the lowered value of the pound. It’s worth noting that a currency’s value can be an immense reflection of the general consensus on its economic future, thus, experts believe that Brexit means a slowing economy. Simply put, those businesses that depend on imported goods and raw materials from outside the UK face an increase in the cost of doing business.

The customs union

Britain is also a part of the customs union, which means that it enjoys the advantages of trade liberalisation or the easy transit of goods across national borders. The thing is, UK’s separation to the customs union may also be another outcome once Brexit takes hold. This would result in the UK losing the benefits of free trade and suffering a much harder process for goods to travel.

Especially for SMEs with complex supply chains, trading will likely involve a great deal more paperwork, making it almost impossible to do business.

UK’s Trade Strategy

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) continues to encourage its members to be ‘more proactive’. Additionally, it is advised that as a general approach to trade, retaining the current trade engagements could serve as a useful principle after Brexit for the UK. This means that since all of the UK’s trade agreements are via the EU, maintaining all of its current FTAs would mean that there would be no change in this respect as all existing trade arrangements would remain in place.

While this strategy is unlikely to be that easy to achieve, there is the possibility that some of the other nations could find it easier to do a trade deal with the UK since it does not represent 28 different national interests.

Independent Freight Solutions Ltd is an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO). We are part of an internationally recognised quality mark that indicates our control and procedures for both Customs and Security are secure, highly efficient, accurate and fully compliant. To know more about services, feel free to give us a call on +44(0)2476 343037 or email us at jenny@independent-freight.com.