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Frequently Asked Questions

This is a short list of our most frequently asked questions

What advantages does The Freight Forwarding Company offer when it comes to international shipping?

When it comes to international shipping, DOF Cargo provides a gateway to a private global network of offices around the world that can assist you in providing door-to-door service for your shipments. One of the strongest international shipping advantages we provide is that of a privately owned international forwarding company with an established global presence and local expertise in key centers around the world. We continually invest in the latest technology and training for our staff enabling us to provide cargo visibility, order execution and data management resulting in supply chain process improvement for our customers. We will analyze your international shipping requirements and determine the type of equipment required to handle your cargo and then negotiate competitive freight rates with one of our experienced certified partners. We will then prepare all necessary international shipping documentation (ie. customs certificates, bank drafts, and negotiate letters of credit) and advise you on how to protect your receivables. And, if required, we can also set up marine cargo insurance. DOF Cargo offers a complete logistics solution to your international shipping program and we’ll manage your cargo with a very high level of customer service.

What information should I have available to discuss my shipment with a Freight Agent at DOF Cargo?

To be able to give you a quoted rate, we will need the origin city of your shipment with the zip code and the destination city with the zip code. Do we need to have a forklift for delivery or pick up? Is there a dock on either end? What is the weight and dimensions of the shipment. Are there any time constraints ? This will help the Freight Agent determine the mode of transportation to meet your deadlines. There might be documents needed from the consignor, we can let you know if that is necessary. You will also need to let us know how many pieces are in the shipment and the type of packaging. All of this information gives us the ability to quote you a rate that will make our commitment to you a success. Contact DOF Cargo and speak to a Freight Agent to help with any other specific information you will need.

What are the usual methods of freight payment?

Most freight payments are done with a Company check. However you can also pay with wire transfer or credit card (subject to administrative fee). Payment is sent right around the time the freight is ready to be shipped.

What special international shipping forms are needed most often when exporting?

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I have a technical problem or support issue I need resolved, who do I email?

An exporter is responsible for several documents. Some freight forwarders (including us) will do much of the paperwork for a customer, but the shipper is ultimately responsible for making sure the documents are correct. The forms most commonly required for an export shipment include: Shipper's Export Declaration (SED) (this form is for US Exporters only), Commerce Form 7525-V: Used for compiling the official U.S. export statistics and for export control purposes. It must be prepared and submitted to a customs agent for shipments by mail valued at more than $500 and all other shipments by any other means valued at more than $2,500. The form includes details on the company exporting the product, the company receiving the goods, the product being shipped, and its value. The SED can be completed electronically by the exporter. The SED can also be completed by a freight forwarder for the exporter. Privately printed SEDs must conform in every respect to the official form. The SED can also be downloaded from the U.S. Census Bureau and printed on buff (yellow) or goldenrod colored paper. Customs will not accept SEDs on white paper. Bill of lading: Represents a contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier. There are two types: a straight bill of lading, which is non-negotiable, and the negotiable/shipper's order bill of lading, which can be bought, sold, or traded while goods are in transit and is used for letter-of-credit transactions. The customer usually needs a copy as proof of ownership to take possession of the goods. Certificate of origin: Signed by the exporter and witnessed by a semi-official agency, like a Chamber of Commerce, indicates that the goods were truly produced in the country claimed by the exporter. There's no hard and fast worldwide rule as to when a certificate of origin is required or what it must contain. Each country sets its own rules. Proof of origin is critically important when countries have reciprocal trade agreements that grant lower tariff rates to products coming from certain locations. Canada, Mexico, and the United States have agreed upon a common form and set of rules for a NAFTA Certificate of Origin. Commercial invoice: As in domestic transactions, this invoice represents a bill for the goods issued by the seller. A commercial invoice should include a description of the goods, addresses of the shipper and seller, and the delivery and payment terms. The buyer needs the invoice to prove ownership and arrange payment. Some government agencies use the invoice to assess customs duties. Export packing list: Itemizes the material in each individual package, and shows the individual net, legal, tare and gross weights in U.S. and metric values. Package markings should be shown along with the shipper's and buyer's references. The packing list attaches to the outside of the package in a clearly marked waterproof envelope. The list can be used to determine the total shipment weight and whether the correct cargo is being shipped. Customs officials may use it to check the cargo at inspection points. Consular invoice: Required by some countries to identify and track goods shipped to their countries. Exporters purchase the invoice from the consulates of the countries requiring the invoices. It must be prepared in the languages of those countries. Your company's freight forwarder should be able to tell you which countries require consular invoices. Certificate of inspection: Some purchasers and countries may require these forms, attesting to the specifications of the goods shipped. Inspections are usually performed by a third party and obtained from independent testing organizations. Phytosanitary inspection certificate: This is a formal document issued by an exporting country's agricultural authorities to verify a shipment has been inspected and is free from harmful pests and plant diseases. Insurance certificate: State the type and amount of coverage.

What overseas shipping services does the DOF Cargo offer?

Through our partners, there are a number of overseas shipping services that DOF Cargo offers. We can first evaluate the type of equipment required to move your cargo. We can arrange 20’ standard containers, 40’ standards or 40’ high cube containers. And if your overseas shipping needs specialized equipment, we can arrange a variety of containers as required such as flat racks and open top containers. We can also arrange refrigerated equipment for more delicate cargo that needs temperature control for overseas shipping. Services can also be arranged if you have large, heavy or oversized project cargo. We can furnish any heavy haul equipment or machines that might be required to handle special cargo via break bulk. If needed, we can also supply Ro/Ro service, which utilizes specialized roll on, roll off ships. These special vessels allow vehicles and heavy machinery to be driven on and off for overseas shipping. Services requiring any special permits to move your cargo to the port, would be obtained by the carrier who we would contract to ship your goods. When needed, DOF Cargo can arrange to have your cargo loaded and secured by a professional packer who would ensure your load would not shift to help eliminate the possibility of damages. We partner with a number of LCL (Less Than Container Load) consolidators for smaller cargo. Price, service and your delivery needs are taken into consideration when deciding which consolidator to use. Overseas shipping services such as export packing and container loading can be arranged. If your overseas shipping entails the movement of hazardous cargo, we negotiate on your behalf with the SS shipping line to confirm their acceptance of your cargo. In order to determine this, you would need to supply us with the UN#, the Class# and the IMDG Code and Packing Group. In the case of hazardous shipments, the shipper is responsible by law to complete a Hazardous Declaration.