He should not depend too much on the C&F Agent, who should be entrusted with getting the documents processed and shipment only.
Export cargo can be dispatched to the overseas buyer by Sea, Air, Post, Land, River, etc. Shipment by sea is however, the most popular and generally resorted to as it is comparatively cheaper besides the ship’s capacity is unlimited and can carry any quantity of cargo.
Nevertheless the other modes of conveyance, particularly air are being increasingly utilised as they are quicker and safer though expensive. But export by land or river is limited to neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan or even Afghanistan.
For smooth and timely shipment of goods, the exporter must appoint a suitable Clearing and Forwarding Agent who is able to, inter alia, provide the following services: Essential
(i) Warehousing facilities before the goods are transported to docks.
(ii) Transportation of goods to docks and arrangement of warehousing at port.
(iii) Booking of shipping space or air freighting, and advice on relative cost of sending goods by Sea and Air.
(iv) Arrangement for shipment to be on board.
(v) Equipped with/can provide information on shipping lines and freight to different destinations, and various charges payable by exporters.
(vi) Obtaining Marine Insurance Policies.
(vii) Preparation and processing of shipping documents, Bills of Lading, Dock Receipt, Export Declarations, Consular Invoices, Certificate of Origin, etc.
(viii) Forwarding of banking collection papers.
(ix) Storage facilities abroad, at least in major international markets, to warehouse the goods, in case the importer refuses to take delivery on any account.
(x) Can trace the goods, if shipment goes astray, through his international connections.
(xi) Arrangement for assessing the damage to shipment en route.
Reservation of Shipping Space
Reservation can be done either through a formal letter or even by conveying necessary information on phone. A formal letter known as Booking Memo/Note should contain the following information:
(i) Name and address of the shipper (exporter)
(ii) Details of cargo i.e. the product, weight/volume, number of cases, etc.
(iii) Port of loading and destination
(iv) Date of loading
On reservation of shipping space, the concerned company issues a document known as Shipping Order. While its original copy is sent to the exporter, its duplicate is meant for the Commanding Officer of the ship for receiving on board the ship and the cargo specified therein.
It contains details regarding the cargo, name of the broker if any and shipper, expected date of loading and freight rate.
Transport to Port:
On getting the shipping space reserved, exporter should take steps to transport the goods from factory/warehouse to the port of loading either by road transport or rail. Normally rail transportation may be resorted to on account of the priority given in cargo movement.