Do you know?

When charging a finance fee based on prime plus an additional percentage, what are the two most important dates to consider? ANSWER. The date of expected payment and the date when the first disbursement is made


Do you know?

What C-PAT and AEO stand for? ANSWER. The USA’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and the EU’s Authorized Economic C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security. C-TPAT recognized that U.S. Customs and Border Protection can provide the highest level of cargo security only through close cooperation with the ultimate owners of the international supply chain such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers.




How often do you use the word “can’t”?

When you next use it, ask yourself if you actually mean you “won’t”!That is resistence of the mind!


Do you Know?

Every shipping line can set its own time bar rules.

A typical condition is “the carrier shall be discharged of all liability whatsoever in respect of the goods, if suit is brought and notice thereof given within nine months after delivery of the goods, or, if the goods are totally lost, ten months after the date of issue of this bill of lading”.


Do you know?

In addition to cargo loss and damage, what other risk is covered by the IATA conditions of carriage

by air? The ANSWER is “delay”! can you believe it?


Do you know?

Myanmar is the name of the country previously known as Burma. The capital of Burma was known as Rangoon – now known as Yangon.


This is a little like saying that the real objective of the forwarding function is the delivery of goods, not the many activities that take place for this to happen.


Do you know?

One metric ton = 2 204.6 pounds

The long ton – a UK measure = 2 240 pounds

The short ton – a US measure = 2 000 pounds


Do you know?

Under the DAT Incoterm, the seller is responsible for getting the goods to the terminal. The buyer is responsible for Customs clearance. If you were a seller, and there was a chance of port storage penalties arising as a result of late customs clearance, would you want to contract on a DAT basis?

The fear we have in freight forwarding is the loss of an account, or a complaint about poor service.

We must not let these challenges get the better of us. Keep the client informed – the good and bad news, and he or she will soon see the good intent in your actions.


Do you know?

What is the time difference between Johannesburg and Sydney, Australia right now? Email me the answer.


Do you know?

What is an SEZ? It is a Special Economic Zone. It is like an IDZ – Industrial Development Zone – but different. The Department of Trade and Industry wants the SEZ to play a part in developing our economy. SEZs may be created anywhere, not like the IDZ which had to be close to an airport or port.


Do you know?

Who sets the conditions of a letter of credit? Is it the issuing bank, the confirming bank, the supplier of the goods or the beneficiary of the letter of credit? ANSWER The applicant, who is the beneficiary, completes the form at his bank, and in this form the bank asks what conditions are to apply. These conditions include latest date of shipment, the documents the supplier must present before payment is released, and the expiry date of the credit.


Do you know?

The principle of an AEO is that it (the international trader) has been declared risk free – or is considered to maintain a behviour reflecting adherence to the rules of international trade, and to the laws of the importing and exporting countries. It is similar, in a way, to an importer which has been accredited by our Customs administration. Customs have looked at the concept, and it is not yet known if the modernisation program will ultimately create the environment for AEOs in this country.

But imagine this. Imagine a company like Bayer, the German producer of chemicals, shipping container loads from its factory in Leverkusen which are not ever stopped by a Customs official for any reason? Can it happen?

“Keep your thoughts positive, they become your words. Keep your words positive, they become your behaviours. Keep your behaviours positive, they become your habits. Keep your habits positive, they become your values.” Wise words from Mahatma Ghandi


Did you know?

The air cargo industry is seriously pursuing a new era of paperless “contracts of carriage” or, put another way, the elimination of waybills. Certain airlines on certain routes have adopted this paradigm which is being sponsored and pushed by IATA. Sometime in the future, there will not be a hard copy air waybill issued or received in South Africa. This will have implications on customs procedures, and also on the controls required of freight forwarders.

Spike Milligan: “Money can’t buy you happiness. But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery”.


Did you know?

A high cube container adds around 30cm to the inside height of a standard container. This would make the internal dimensions of a 20 foot high cube container – 5.9m x 2.35m x 2.697m. The internal cubic capacity of a high cube standard container is therefore 37.34 cubic metres.

What industry do you think is the most traditional in its out look? Banking would be a good answer. Motor vehicle sales might be another. And what about the hardware store? But would you say to freight forwarding? Many things have changed – types of ships and aircraft; rates; documents; procedures; communication methods. Can you say the same of management?

Mark Twain: “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it”.


Do you know?

Terminal Handling Charges (the THC) are the same, per container, for imports and exports”.


Do you know?

Cargo Dues charged by the National Ports Authority (NPA) are raised per container. The rates for export containers are lower than the rates for import containers.


Did you know?

The agent’s finance or facility fee covers the cost of borrowing funds from the bank, i.e. interest and other bank charges. But it also covers the credit risk associated with credit lines; credit bureaux charges; debtor insurance; costs associated with the Customs deferment scheme; costs related to surety bonds with Customs, Transnet, IATA etc; and the cost of operating a fully fledged credit control department. Now you can answer a client’s objection to paying this fee.

Abraham Lincoln

“Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built”.


Do you know?

What does the abbreviation “CITES” stands for? ANSWER “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.


Do you know?

Customs issue a licence on condition that a permanent employee of the licensee / agent must have sufficient knowledge of Customs and Excise laws to ensure that all Customs and Excise work is carried out in compliance with the Act and Rules. Applicants actually state that they do when they complete the form. Is your company compliant? Do your Customs Affairs employees know the Act and the Rules?

Freight Forwarding and customs broking are pretty traditional businesses, although customs modernisation, new banking laws, and containerisation have changed its face substantisally over the past 40 years.

Mark Twain said this. “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it”.


Did you know?

What is a registered agent.

A registered agent is – “an agent of a foreign principal who is located in the Republic and is registered in terms of the Rules to the Customs Act”.

In practice, what the Rules relating to a foreign principal and registered agent mean is that an exporter or importer, not resident in the Republic, must make use of the services of a registered agent to perfrom the functions governed by the Customs Act.


Do you know?

There is an official definition of a “foreign principal”. It means a registered importer, exporter or licensed remover in bond not located in the Republic.

A foreign principal must apply for registration on a DA185; nominate a registered agent; and be represented by a registered agent in the performance of any function regulated by the Act.

Wise words from Winston Churchill:

“The inherent vice of capitilism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”


Do you know?

Drayage is a term used mainly these days in the USA but you will also come across it in some countries in the East.

In the shipping industry and logistics, drayage is the transport of goods a short distance, often as part of a longer overall move.

In international commerce, the term drayage is also used to describe the fee for transporting containers from ship’s side to another place.

“There are some people so addicted to exaggeration that they can’t tell the truth without lying”.


Do you know?

It can become a pain having to remember what initials stand for. FOB, CIF and DDP have become part of a forwarder’s vocabulary, with constant reminders in the FTW and from other sources of the importance of Incoterms. But what do IPPC and FAO have to do with us?

IPPC is the abbreviated term for the International Plant Protection Convention which has been signed by 177 countries.

FAO is the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Boths bodies have an influence on the transport of flora and the product of fauna.


Do you know?


It is the “Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade”. Revision 15 was made in 2009. Hence you see the term “ISPM 15”.

The difference between an experienced person and an educated person is: an educated person recognises his mistakes, then he makes them again!


Do you know?

If you are forced to trade using a letter of credit (documentary credit), and you have to make payment before the bank will release the original bills of lading to you, what could you do to make sure that the supplier has loaded the correct goods into the container? ANSWER You could stipulate that one of the documents that must be presented to the bank with the bills of lading is a pre-shipment inspection certificate issued by a reputable agency. The certificate should describe the goods and record the container number and the seal number.

Jonathan Swift’s wise words: “he who expects nothing will never be disappointed”


Do you know?

IATA is the International Air Transport Association

SAASOA is the South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents.


Do you know?

What would be the time difference between two people standing on either side of the international date line, holding hands? CALL ME IF YOU DON’T KNOW. 082 417 5357


Do you Know?

Shipping Lines demand security for the use of their containers. If you look at the MSC container Utilisation Tariff you will see an example of a letter of indemnity applicable to container movements to countries north of South Africa’s borders. In some countries money deposits are made. In Malaysia freiight forwarders no longer provide indemnity letters or deposits.


Do you know?

MSC, as an example, distinguishes between light and heavy containers for railage purposes under carrier haulage. Their tariff classifies a light 20 foot container to be 0 to 13 metric tons, andheavy 20 foot container to be 13 to 26 metric tons. There are light and heavy weight breaks for 40 foot containers as well. The weights refer to the gross mass of the cargo being carried in the container.

The “storage free” period that Transnet Port Terminals allows for import containers in the Durban Container Terminal starts from one minute past midnight on the day the vessel completes discharge and is supposed to be 3.25 days. (Read their Tariff Book) If the vessel completes discharge at 11.59pm on a particular day. it means that one whole day is lost. The moral of the story for seafreight channel and forwarding controllers is to work together to ensure customs clearance is achieved before the vessel docks. Storage per day increases dramatically form Day 4 to Day 6 and onwards.


Did you know?

Every forwarder should be proficient in Geography. What is the name of the latest country to obtain nationhood in Africa? Southern Sudan. Its capital city is Juba.

Heard this on the golf course but it applies to all walks of life – “everyday is not a good day but there is good in every day” – so enjoy the good that comes your way and have a great week.


Do you know?

That a SDR is a Special Drawing Right and it is used to give a value to the liability that air and sea carriers assume for loss of and damage to cargo. The SDR is made up of a basket of currencies and its value can be linked directly to other currencies. Its value changes day by day. One SDR is currently equal to about R220.

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted”. Is it only the older guys who understnd this?


Do you know?

That the FIATA Multimodal bill of lading (FBL) is specially designed for forwarders to use as house bills of lading. The key benefit to the forwarder’s client is that there is an undertaking to deliver the goods to the destination point named in the bill of lading. Not many house bills have this feature.

What exporter would not want his forwarder to use the FBL?

IATA airlines accept liability for delays, as well as loss of and damage to cargo. There is a limit of 17 SDRs per kg to this liability. Shipping lines do not accept liability for any delay.


If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed – Mark Twain.


Do you know?

Exporters wishing to zero rate their commercial invoices can opt to do so when they select the air and sea modes of carriage. All they have to do is to ensure that they can produce proof of export – which is principally the bill of lading or air waybill. And if the arrangements are done with co-operative parties, the terms of sale can be ex-works or FCA