In general, the consignee will receive an arrival notice within a maximum of five days prior to his goods reaching the port. Next, the consignee needs to speak to the local customs office about the customs clearance requirements. He also needs to arrange for payment of any fees, taxes, duties required before the goods can clear. Lastly, he needs to arrange a pick-up and delivery service to ship the goods from the port to his warehouse.
Why is cargo tracking important?
There are cases when your shipment arrives later than scheduled. This can happen due to a wide range of factors, including change of route, port congestion, bad weather, etc. However, that doesn’t change the fact that your customers are relying on you. If the cargo is delayed without notice, then this can negatively affect your relationship with your customers. As of 2015, the schedule reliability hovers at about seventy three percent among the global lines. If you want to know where your cargo is at any given time and make appropriate preparations based on its status, then you need to be able to track it.
How can you track your shipment?
Tracking a container is easy. You just need to know the container number, document number or booking number, and the shipping line used to transport it. To find this info you just have to check your bill of lading. At the top right of it you’ll find the booking number, while the container number is generally listed under the Marks and Nos item.
However, if you have the container number, than that is generally all the info you need to track your container. The container number consists of 4 letters, a 6 digits serial no. and a check digit.
Sea Freight Estimated Transit Time
ETT or the Estimated Transit Time represents the time between the ETD and the ETA. ETD stands for Estimated Time of Departure, while ETA stands for Estimated Time of Arrival.
When planning to ship sea cargo out of China, you’ll only be given an estimate. However, there may be delays of anywhere between five to ten days. The delays are influenced by various factors, including the carriers involved, loading port, destination port, etc.
Both ETAs and ETDs cannot be guaranteed by the sea carrier and they can vary quite a bit. Please be aware that before the cargo is loaded at the loading port there may be delays of up to seven days. A similar delay (of one to three days) applies at the destination port (for cargo clearance).
Ocean freight can be quite slow, so that is why it’s recommended that you plan accordingly if you want to go down this route. Therefore, try to place your order as early as you can (we recommend 90 days in advance) before you need to have your goods in your warehouse.