Importing doesn’t always include actually importing.
Most people, when they think of the term, “import,” they think of goods coming into the US from other countries. And although that isn’t incorrect, it misses a significant portion of you, because many are moving products from one country to the next, without any stops in the US.
This is a story of about how we coordinated an import from Italy to Kuwait, 100% orchestrated by a US-based company and their freight forwarder (us).
It’s a SWEEP!
We work with a US-based company that buys and sells street sweepers, and recently moved 6 of them from Italy to Kuwait. We were tasked through our Italian agent to receive the street sweepers, manifest them in our warehouse, as well as retrieve 40’ containers after a booking is made with the carrier.
Then, as the international forwarder, we load, block, & brace securely each street sweeper, which 2 of them fit into 1×40’ high cube (HQ) ocean container.
The bill of lading:
We had 6 street sweepers loaded into 3×40’ HQ ocean containers under one bill of lading destined to Kuwait.
As the forwarder, we designated our agent to provide the customs clearance.
In the United States
As the licensed forwarder, we prepared the documents to meet the requirements of a letter of credit, which was presented by us to the designated bank for funding. This process, if done correctly, takes about 10 days. Letter of credits vary, but, universally, they all request complete shipping documents, commercial invoices, & packing lists.
All of the documents must be prepared with precision for funding to follow. Kuwait customs may require consular work, inspection certificates, etc.
By the way, if you’re struggling with some of the terms on any of your documents, check out this Incoterms 2010 quick reference guide.
Whether the cargo is involving a US port, or it is routed completely outside the US between two foreign countries, international shipping requires extensive knowledge of the different laws and challenges, and the best way to feel confident that yours will go off with minimal issues, is to bring a deeply networked freight forwarder.
We were able to handle it, because we have affiliates in every country on the planet, which even the huge conglomerates struggle with.
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