There are multiple ways of transporting cargo. Each varying in price, reliability and transport time. These include methods such as air freight, ocean freight, rail freight and road freight. It’s important to research how your goods will fare with each of these methods before settling on one. Other factors, such as tracking your goods, import and export laws, and customs regulations will also have an influence in your decision.

Since it’s the transportation hub of this day and age, let’s take China for example.

It’s important to remember that shipment from China will rarely be a one-way travel. The freight is likely to make multiple stops at the ports along the Chinese coast before crossing the Indian Ocean to Durban. As such, shipment by sea – which is the most common method – is likely to take an average of 25 days. Alternatively, a quicker but more costly method is air travel, which on average takes approximately 3 days.

Factors that affect the cost regardless of the method you choose, is the capacity of the shipping container, the currency rate and the fuel cost at the time, and the distance between the two ports. Other factors also play a role, such as the choice of port. For example, the Durban port is the most preferred port in South Africa and considered, by many other countries, to be Africa’s entry port.

This is how it works:

The first step of the transportation process is export haulage. This entails the transmission from the shipper’s premises to that of the forwarder. From here, the goods would move on to a truck, a train or a combination. From there, the goods are subject to export customs clearance, where the required documents (invoice, certificate of origin and relevant permits) are submitted to authorities and they validate that the shipment adheres to the regulatory requirements. This procedure needs to be completed before the cargo can leave the country of origin, and is usually conducted either by the freight forwarder themselves if they have a valid permit, or an agent appointed by them.

Origin handling is the next step, and covers all the handling/inspection of the cargo until it’s loaded into a container and onto a ship.

The freight forwarder then determines a shipping line to perform the ocean freight from origin (Port of Load) to destination (Port of Discharge), and a contract of carriage for the container is drawn up (Bill of Lading).

Upon arrival in the destination country, the goods are subject to import customs clearance, where the aforementioned relevant documents are submitted to the authorities for validation, and must be completed before leaving the customs bonded area in the destination country.

Similarly, destination handling is then conducted by the freight forwarder or an appointed agent before being delivered to the customer at their delivery address.

Lastly, import haulage is the actual delivery of the goods to the customer, and can be performed either by the freight forwarder, or a local transportation company appointed by the receiver of the goods. The import haulage does cover the transportation to the specified address, but not the unloading of the truck.

Dedicated Freight is capable of handling your shipment from the factory floor to your delivery address. We oversee all the steps and procedures in between, leaving you with peace of mind, knowing that you – and your cargo – are in good hands.