Being a reliable sender will help you to reduce delays and reduce transit time, but also to give a good picture of how you handle and manage your business.
Discuss during your sales negotiations and signature of the contract about the terms of delivery. Most commonly and even more in the case of international sales these terms are discussed using Incoterms contracts.
The responsibility of the sender will depend on the incoterms chosen during the contract. The sender will have less responsibility to take when the contract is signed under EXW-terms, while the most responsibility at his charges will be included under incoterm DDP.
It could seem best to sell all goods under a basic EXW contract, but don’t forget that if you use a DDP f.e, you include the transport costs in your final selling price, and using the correct freight forwarder you can reduce costs, risks, and hassles than if you would take care yourself of the transport. It is also a good competitive advantage and marketing point to offer goods ready and delivered at your customer’s door.
Shipper has the responsibility to supply all necessary information for the transporter to pick up the goods, such as the place and time when the goods will be available for pickup, but also all the documents necessary for the transport. It is his responsibility to make the goods ready and available when the transporter comes to pick them up, or some fees could be applied. This means that goods need to be packed and all documents ready.
We can split the preparation of sending the goods into 4 main steps:
Step 1: Plan the timing of sending the goods:
As explained earlier, it is important that goods are ready when the transporter arrives, in order to do so it is important to know the capacity of your production line and warehouse organization. Knowing that will allow you to plan and even give way in advance a specific hour for the transporter to come and pick up the good; this will let the time for the truck be on time and reduce standby/ transit times for your goods. You can also easily point out the location of the goods when you have a dedicated area in your warehouse called a “shipping area or loading dock.
Having this information earlier will give you enough time to contact the carrier and organize calmly the transport with them. The use of urgent transportation presents most of the time extra costs.
Step 2: Packing the goods:
The sender also must ensure that the packaging of the goods is solid enough to protect the goods for the designated transport. For example, the packaging of wine bottles will be different from the one for newspapers. First one needs to absorb shock efficiently while the other needs to be waterproof in case of a water leak. According to most transport contracts, the packaging of the goods needs to protect them from normal transport conditions and permit that they can be loaded in a safe condition, but also that they reach the place of delivery in good conditions and can be safely unloaded there.
it is also important to check that all the order is packed, it would be unfortunate to send only a partial order to your customer, with some parts left in your warehouse. The use of an internal packing list can be useful.
The identification of the shipment is also a very important part, as wrong information could get your package to get lost, wrongly routed, and delayed. The sender must mark and label properly the packages with his own information (Name, address, contact) the final receiver information (Name, address, contact), and the total number of packages (for example if several: 1/10; 2/10; ….; 10/10). Also, some handling precautions can be added, such as Fragile mention, Up and Down arrows, or other marks depending on the nature of your goods. In the case of transport of dangerous goods, a specific marking is requested on the shipment following ADR regulations.
Checking that all documents are attached to the shipment; you can find a non-exhaustive list below.
Step 3: Preparing all the transport Documents
The documents necessary for transport vary depending on the nature of the goods transported, the county of origin, and the country of destination, but also the incoterms used.
Using the services of a freight forwarder with high customer service as Beweship will help you to establish the documents and will permit you to make sure you have all the correct documents on time and that your goods are ready for transport.
The basics document necessary for international transport outside Europe are:
- The commercial invoice with price, quantity, and description of the goods, this invoice is proof of sales and describes what has been sold.
- Certificates of origin, to prove the origin of the goods for customs purposes.
- A packing list can be included to specify the dimensions and weight of the shipment and what it contains. It is not necessary if the shipment is only one package.
- Certificate of inspection / Veterinary control, if imported products are food products, it shows to Ruokavirasto in Finland the hygienic procedure and quality of the products.
- Third territory Customs clarification document, to prove that the goods have been declared exported from the third territory. It shows that goods have been exported legally and facilitate the work of customs in Finland.
- Waybill or House Bill is a document issued by a freight forwarder giving details and instructions relating to the shipment of a consignment of goods. It typically contains at least the conditions of the contract of carriage, consignor, and consignee details, but also the point of origin and destination.
- CMR / Kotimaanrahtikirja : Regarding the road transport in Finland from the entry point in the territory to the final customer. This document concerns the transport contract by road.
- SAD: Single Administrative Document, which can be issued by the freight forwarder in relation to the Finnish customs, this document shows that necessary actions have been taken with the domestic customs to declare the import of the document on the territory. Now the physical document is not necessary if the freight forwarder has done procedures over the online automated system.
It is also in the shipper’s point to ensure that goods transported, and their documents follow the rules of origin and destination country as well. Especially it’s important to double or triple check in case of transport of dangerous goods as they require specific documentation.
Depending on the incoterm, it is possible that the sender must cover the customs clearance of the transport, and the calculation of customs fees, but also the VAT fees due to the importing territory.
Step 4: Contact the logistics partner
When your goods are ready or almost ready to be transported you can contact the carrier and arrange the loading and transport of your goods. With all the important information the freight forwarder can schedule the logistic route of your goods and contact the logistics partners of the transport chain. Usually, for partial load with a pickup at the door, a truck will need to be directed to collect at your warehouse among other loading places. To reduce cost and gas emissions the carrier will plan an efficient route, that respects customers’ timing and geographical position.