Monday, November 24, 2014

Below Market Shipping Rates from U.K. to U.S. With Customs Clearance

Do you have freight that needs to be shipped from the U.K. to the U.S? Service Shipping Inc. offers the lowest shipping rates for LCL and full containers being imported from England into the United States. These low shipping rates can be offered because of the high volume of containers Service Shipping Inc. handles each year for imports coming from the U.K. going to the U.S. Shipping rates for freight are below market shipping rates allowing importers a chance to make a higher profit margin on goods to be resold for a profit.

Whether it is a 40ft container, 20ft container or loose freight, arranging the international shipment through Service Shipping Inc. is going to offer the lowest sea freight rates for shipments between the U.S. and England. Freight can be arranged to be delivered door to door regardless of which port it enters when it arrives in the United States. A customs clearance is required to be obtained before cargo can be delivered to its final destination within the U.S. When using a licensed customs broker and freight forwarder, the cost of a customs clearance can be included in a shipping quote. What’s nice about using one company for the entire shipping process is that the sea freight, customs clearance and trucking costs can all be included. This means importers only have to deal with one company which causes the shipping process to become easier and more cost effective. The following services are available for import shipments:

  • 20ft Containers
  • 40Ft Container
  • LCL Freight
  • Customs Clearance – All Ports Within the U.S.
  • Port to Port Delivery
  • Port to Door Delivery
  • Door to Door Delivery
  • Warehousing – Dry Goods and Perishables
  • Low Sea Freight Rates from UK to US
  • Low Air Freight Rates from UK to US

We have partnered with various logistics agencies to offer the lowest rates on LCL (less than container load) freight imported into the United States from England. This includes any port within both countries. Freight is loaded into our weekly consolidations to several major USA import gateways. This allows your cargo to go to the closest depot, not only a single consolidation to New York. This speeds the transportation of your cargo to the final USA destination.

Importers that do not have enough cargo to fill an entire container have the option to share a container with other importers for a discounted rate. Our only caution for less than container load shipments is to be aware that consolidated cargo is more likely to be examined by US Customs, and additional costs and transit time will be incurred, if your cargo is flagged for examination.
To receive shipping discounts when exporting cargo from England to the U.S., it is advisable to use a freight forwarder that specializes in volume imports and is able to provide customs clearances when cargo arrives to the U.S. such as Service Shipping, Inc.

With shipping rates from England to the U.S., our import department understands the importance of customer service due to the short transit time, and the need for communication and documents to be filed in advance of the arrival of your merchandise. This dedication to rates and service gives us the opportunity to reduce your landed costs.

In addition to the experience and expertise with commercial cargo, we are one of the few brokers that will take the time to assist personal effect importers, where others will not. The completion of Customs From 3299 (CBP3299), allows used personal effects to avoid duty and user fees. The form can be reviewed with our staff in advance to ensure compliance and no future Customs actions after review of your entry.

Our turn key operation allows you to have a single source for the foreign Ex-Works coordination of your cargo, timely filing of the required Importer Security Filing (ISF), insurance, customs clearance, and door delivery of your cargo. Whatever your needs are as dictated by your specific Incoterm, we can fulfill those requirements.

Friday, August 22, 2014

ILWU Update

Dear All,

Negotiations between the PMA and the ILWU are continuing  - topics remain
focused on healthcare at this time, with all operational and jurisdictional
issues still to be discussed.  While it may seem that the negotiations are
moving nowhere fast, we are reminded that the progress of these negotiations
are not that dissimilar from that of 2008 and 2002. 

All West Coast marine terminals remain operational with only relatively
minor local troubles which are not part of any negotiating pressure directed
by the ILWU leadership.  The one big exception is at Oakland where the local
leadership is taking matters into their own hands, causing disruptions to
further their own cause, taking advantage of the industry’s inability to
arbitrate these job actions.  PMA is closely monitoring ILWU job actions in
Oakland and is working through numerous channels to minimize the impact.
 Nevertheless, it is likely that the troubles in Oakland will continue to
disrupt operations and that operations could further deteriorate in the
weeks ahead.   We will continue to monitor and advise on this matter under
separate emails to the relevant parties.

Have a good rest of your week.

Bill Marston
Service Shipping Inc.
1550 E Higgins Road, Suite 108
Elk Grove Village IL 60007
Office: 847-427-1775
Fax: 847-427-1790

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ILWU Update

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and U.S. West Coast waterfront employers have agreed to take a 72-hour break from negotiations to allow the union to attend “an unrelated negotiation” in the Pacific Northwest.

The six-year contract, which expired July 1, was be extended during the break from 8 a.m. today and through Saturday, the ILWU and Pacific Maritime Association said in a terse statement released last night. The announcement came hours after the Teamsters union protested outside marine terminals at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, raising fears, which proved unfounded yesterday, that protestors would erect picket lines and the longshoremen would refuse to cross the lines.

The brief contract extension, "is good news, as it will continue all the terms of the existing contract, will limit the ability of any of the Locals to take their own job actions, and will allow the PMA to seek arbitration if the ILWU Local in LA seeks to honor Teamster pickets this week," Peter Friedmann, counsel to the Council of New England Companies for Trade, said in an email this morning. 

According to the statement: "The parties have agreed to take a 72-hour break from negotiations on a new coast-wide contract while the ILWU attends to an unrelated negotiation taking place in the Pacific Northwest. During this break, starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 8, through 8 a.m. on Friday, July 11, the parties have agreed to extend the previous six-year contract, which expired last week. The PMA and ILWU are negotiating a new contract covering nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports."

Cargo operations at the busiest ports in the nation continued unimpeded yesterday despite Teamsters’ threats of an “indefinite strike” against three harbor trucking companies. The Teamsters protestors distributed flyers accusing harbor trucking companies of misclassifying drivers, but they didn’t block access to the terminals.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Importing for Distributors – B2B Wholesale

It is common for distribution companies to import products into the United States. Even with the cost of shipping internationally, buying in bulk and importing is still the most cost effective way to make a profit per item sold. Businesses that import containers every month should form a relationship with a licensed customs broker. A customs broker will help obtain a customs clearance at the port of entry, sometimes even before the freight has arrived. 

Importing containers of products into the United States to resell can range from small items such as sunglasses to large machinery such as a bulldozer. Cargo is packed into a container and loaded onto a boat. Once the freight arrives into the U.S. a customs clearance will need to be obtained in order for your freight to be released from customs. Using a customs broker that is also a freight forwarder can be easier because then one company is managing the shipment door to door. The most cost effective way to import products is to ship via sea freight. It may take anywhere one to four months to receive the freight, but it costs less than shipping it via air. It has become more common for retailers to import directly from overseas manufacturers skipping the middleman distribution company. International trade websites such as and are connecting wholesalers to overseas manufacturers allowing new connections that were previously not possible.

Distribution companies that are thriving on the low cost of importing products from China and India form a relationship with a licensed customs broker that is able to obtain customs clearances at any port in the U.S. A customs clearance will be required for LTL and full containers coming into the United States. Regulations vary upon commodity, so consulting with a customs broker before scheduling your import shipment is a financially wise decision. 

Freight that has special shipping requirements can be imported with care. Perishable goods such as meat, poultry, dairy and vegetables may need refrigeration door to door along with an FDA clearance before it can be delivered. This can all be arranged ahead of time. Using an experienced freight forwarder will help cargo meet the specific shipping needs.

Importing and exporting heavy machinery to and from the U.S. is becoming more common. Overseas construction contracts often require machines such as helicopters, bulldozers, excavators, trucks, drilling rigs and cars to be imported to a job site. Each shipment will need to be managed by a customs broker that has experience shipping large equipment. Companies that specialize in importing and exporting heavy machinery will often provide the best sea freight rates because they deal with large volumes of equipment. 

For the best rates on importing and exporting freight visit

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

PMA & ILWU Begin Talks on New West Coast Waterfront Labor Pact

Contacts: Wade Gates, PMA, (415) 591-4080,
Craig Merrilees, ILWU, (415) 775-0533, ext. 113 (o), (510) 774-5325 (c) 

PMA & ILWU Begin Talks on New West Coast Waterfront Labor Pact 

SAN FRANCISCO (May 12, 2014) -- Negotiations for a new labor contract covering nearly 20,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports began this afternoon in San Francisco. 

The current contract expires at midnight on June 30, 2014. 

The contract is between employers who operate port terminals and shipping lines represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and dockworkers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The parties have negotiated a West Coast collective bargaining agreement since the 1930s.
“Dockworkers are looking forward to negotiating a fair agreement that protects the good jobs and benefits that support thousands of families and dozens of communities around west coast ports,” said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath. 

PMA President Jim McKenna said: “West Coast ports have lost significant market share in recent years, and face renewed competition from Canada, Mexico, the Panama Canal and other domestic ports for cargo that has powered job and economic growth in local port communities and beyond. With these stakes in mind, PMA and its members are focused on delivering a contract that ensures the West Coast’s standing as the gateway of choice for goods sent to and from Asia.’’ 

Talks are scheduled to continue on a daily basis in San Francisco until an agreement is reached. The site of negotiations will alternate on a weekly basis, between the ILWU and PMA offices, both of which are headquartered in San Francisco. Both sides say they expect cargo to keep moving until an agreement is reached.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to import 20’ and 40’ foot containers into the United States

It has become more and more common for businesses to buy wholesale products overseas and import them into the U.S. to resell for a profit. Due to the cost of importing a full container, it is advisable to order larger quantities of cargo and ship less frequently than it is to order less than container loads of freight and import more frequently. This is where it becomes more cost effective to import a full container load of freight.
Shipping containers vary in size giving importers a few to choose from.  They are:

·  20 FT Container
·  40 FT Container
·  40 FT High Cube Container

Importing a full container makes transportation easier because the freight does not leave the container and it stays together during transit. Since it is being shipped in a metal container, if it is packed correctly, your freight will be less likely to be damaged.

All containers will need to obtain a customs clearance before the imported freight can be released for delivery in the United States. A customs clearance at any port in the United States can be obtained by hiring a customs broker. Importers will be required to submit documentation about their freight before it is released from customs. This documentation includes:
  •      Power of Attorney 
  •      Commercial Invoice
  •      Bill of Lading
A customs broker will make sure that all imported freight meets government regulations and will take care of filing the entry into customs for a clearance. If pre-arranged trucking has not been made for the delivery of your container to its final destination, ask your customs broker for a trucking rate. Once a customs clearance has been issued, it can be immediately delivered from the port to its final destination into the U.S.

Importing perishables or foodstuffs? A FDA release will be required in order for perishable or other foodstuffs  freight to be allowed into the U.S. Unique criteria will need to be met depending on the type of commodity that is being imported. An inspection may be required prior to obtaining an FDA release which is why it is always wise to use an experienced customs broker.

Refrigerated containers can be arranged to maintain required temperatures during transit. An experienced customs broker will ensure the timely clearance and delivery of perishable cargo. The broker that you end up working with will be able to obtain FDA customs clearances at any port within the U.S. if they are a remote location filer. 

For customs clearances in Chicago and FDA clearances visit

Monday, February 24, 2014

Requirements for Export Shipments to Mexico

The following documents must be provided BEFORE The pickup of any cargo: 

  •  Commercial Invoice - Must Include all items shipped, and having individual value indicated, INCLUDING No Charge Items. If No charge, the value must be declared, and then stated that it is furnished at no charge. It Must Indicate the INCOTERMS Of sale, and the consignee name, address, contact and phone and email. The Customs Broker must be shown as the Notify Party, with their full details included. Each Item MUST have the Harmonized Classification indicated on each line item. Country of origin of each piece must be indicated. Any Freight, packing or transportation charges paid by the shipper must be included on this document. It must include a License declaration, and a Diversion Clause, signed by the preparer of the invoice.
  • Packing List – Must include individual weights and dimensions, showing each piece from the commercial invoice, and the piece number that it is loaded into.
  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin - Items that were made within the NAFTA Territories must be shown on this document, completely executed with all fields completed, and signed by the preparer. Items not made in NAFTA Countries are not to be shown on this document. Tax Identification numbers for all parties must be included. Preference Criterion must indicate the method of knowledge as per the instructions for the preparation of the form.

All Goods must be marked with the shipper’s name, consignees name, and individual items MUST be marked with the country of origin.

A copy of the Truck Bill Of Lading must be provided in advance, to allow it to be sent with the documents to the Border Broker prior to shipment. 

If Insurance is to be required, a request in writing must accompany the documents.

If any hazardous materials are included in the shipment, they must be packed, and documented in accordance with CFR49. MSDS Sheets will then also be required.

To arrange the export shipments of freight to Mexico from the United States please visit When importing and exporting freight to and from the U.S. it is advisable to consult a customs broker to ensure legal compliance and fast delivery. Legal requirements will vary from shipment to shipment.