Shipping News

Shipping perishable goods is far from straightforward. These products are extremely temperature and time-sensitive, so ensuring they are packaged and transported effectively is a must.

Here are ISS’ 4 best practices for shipping perishables and frozen foods.

1. Establish Specific Shipping Rules in Your Business

Creating and enforcing rules surrounding the maximum time in transit, product weight, origin, destination, etc, will help you get your food and beverages to your customers quickly and damage-free.

2. Use Dimensional Packing

Instead of getting shipping rates based on the weight of your packages, use dimensional packing to determine the dimensional weight of them for more accurate rates. Be sure to account for product and material weight for the most accurate dimensional weight measurements.

3. Let Your Customers Choose the Delivery Date and Time

Give customers the choice to select when their package gets delivered, right down to the hour of the day. With this feature, you can automatically account for factors like lead times and cut off dates, showing customers accurate delivery dates to eliminate confusion.

4. Employ Multi-Origin Shipping

If you’ve got inventory in more than one location, it’s vital that you ship from the closest store, warehouse, fulfilment centre, or drop shipper to your customer. Automate the process to ensure that every order comes from the most efficient location possible, even if it requires split shipping.

The process of shipping perishables is complex and requires a well-thought-out shipping strategy. These tips can help prevent product damage and melting, however it is strongly advised that you seek the assistance of a shipping services provider prior to exporting your cargo.

For more information, call ISS today.

  • 2 min read

A cargo manifest is a document that lists all of the goods comprising the cargo on board a vessel. It contains information regarding the contents of all bills of lading issued at the port(s) of shipment.

Typical Contents of a Cargo Manifest

Most cargo manifests will contain the following information:

  • Name of the vessel and its voyage number,
  • Names of consignors and consignees,
  • Descriptions of goods,
  • Document or bill of lading numbers,
  • Shipping route,
  • Agreed method of payment for the freight.

Uses of the Cargo Manifest

While the cargo manifest is important for shippers and all other parties concerned with the cargo carried on the vessel, it is of particular importance for the port customs who require the document to allow the ship to unload its cargo on the port. Most of the time, the chief officer of the ship is responsible for submitting the cargo manifest to the port customs.

Can the Cargo Manifest be Changed?

Generally, the cargo manifest cannot be changed once it is submitted. This is because changes to certain details often result in changes needing to be made to custom duties and other fees.

In some instances, changes may be permitted, however customs authorities will often issue a fine.

Cargo Manifest VS Bill of Lading

The cargo manifest is often confused with the bill of lading. Although both documents are concerned with the type and quantity of goods, there are some important differences between the two. A cargo manifest is a single consolidated list of all bills of lading on board the vessel, and details of the cargo that are listed on them. A bill of lading, on the other hand, usually only contains details about the cargo of one particular shipper.

With numerous documents required for the shipment of goods, understanding which ones are and are not your responsibility can be confusing. Because of this, we recommend all shippers get in contact with ISS. We will ensure you have all the correct documentation accurately filled out to get your freight from point A to point B seamlessly and cost-effectively.

Don’t stress, use ISS!

  • 2 min read

Customs clearance can be a very stressful and strenuous process. It requires shippers to collate numerous documents and certificates, and follow many strict rules and regulations, many of which differ from country to country.

There are some things you can do prior to your goods departing their origin country and after they arrive at your destination country to ensure a seamless, hassle-free customs clearance. Read on to find out more.

Pre-Departure Procedures

Step 1: Get Import/Export Ready

Before you ship your goods, you will need to register with the customs department of your country and obtain all required import and/or export documents outlined here.

Step 2: Fill Out the Shipping Bill

After registering with the customs department, you will need t o fill out the shipping bill. To do this, you’ll require information such as the HS code, monetary value, weight, and country of origin of your goods, as well as the duty due on them. This will allow you to determine whether your cargo qualifies as dangerous or restricted goods, and whether it is allowed by the destination country.

Step 3: Export Customs Clearance

After the shipping bill is complete, your goods will need to go through customs. Here, they will verify details on your shipping bill, and ensure all other accompanying documents are correct. If everything is in order, your goods will be cleared for shipping. If there are any inaccuracies or missing details, your shipment may require further inspection, examination, and scanning, after which customs will either clear, detain, or reject your shipment.

This is why providing detailed and accurate information is critical!

Post-Arrival Procedures

Step 1: Fill Out the Bill of Entry

Once your shipment has arrived in its destination country, you will need to file the bill of entry.

Step 2: Import Customs Clearance

After the bill of entry has been filed, your goods will need to be cleared by customs again. This will follow a similar process as the export customs clearance. If everything is valid and in order, your bill of entry may be endorsed with a Pass Out Order, which will allow your shipment to be passed on to the consignee after the applicable duty has been paid.

Although this process may seem fairly straightforward, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Because of this, many businesses choose to employ third - party shipping providers, such as ISS, to organise and execute their international shipping processes.

To find out how ISS can help you successfully ship internationally and avoid unnecessary duties and taxes, call us today!

  • 2 min read

Shipping dangerous goods can be difficult. There is a lot of preparation that must be done and a lot of documentation that must be obtained to ensure your dangerous goods get from point A to point B safely and legally.

Fortunately, ISS is here to help with our top 5 tips for seamless dangerous goods shipping.

1. Familiarise Yourself with Regulations

Being aware of and following all relevant regulations sufficiently is critical in transporting your goods safely. The regulations that you need to follow will change with the types of dangerous goods you ship, so it’s important that you do your research.

2. Classify Your Goods Correctly

As a shipper, you are responsible for labelling your goods. If you are shipping dangerous goods, you must label them with all required packaging information so those handling your cargo can do so safely.

3. Pack Your Shipment Properly

Packing shipments correctly is a must, especially if you are transporting dangerous goods. You should avoid overstuffing your shipping containers and ensure all identifying labels are displayed clearly.

4. Obtain the Right Documentation

Shipping dangerous goods requires a considerable amount of documentation. You need to determine what documents you need for your goods specifically, and ensure they are filled out correctly and accurately.

5. Find the Right Container

Last but not least, you will need to ensure you ship your dangerous goods in the right container. Dangerous goods cannot be shipped in standard shipping containers. They must be shipped in tank containers.

There are many things to keep in mind when shipping dangerous goods. It’s not always easy to get right and there are many things that can go wrong. Because of this, we always recommend you give us a call prior to shipping your goods. We will be able to ensure your dangerous goods get to their destination safely, legally, and hassle-free.

Contact ISS for more information.

  • 2 min read

If you’re setting up an online retail business, you’ll need to determine how much you will charge for shipping and what shipping methods you will employ. The first step in doing this is to understand how your shipping costs are calculated.

Shipping costs are determined based on a number of factors including you/your customers’ desired service and speed, the dimensions and weights of your products, your product’s destination, and your shipping volume.

Service and Speed

In order to generate sales and stay competitive, many businesses offer free and fast shipping. Although this is a great way of boosting sales, it can be expensive as the more you expedite a shipping service, the higher your shipping rate will be.

Prior to deciding how much you charge for shipping, or if you charge for shipping, you’ll need to decide the shipping methods you’ll offer your clients (standard, express, same-day, etc.). From here, you’ll be able to get shipping quotes and determine whether you can afford to offer free or low-cost shipping.

Dimensions and Weight

The larger and heavier your products are, the more costly they will be to ship.

Every carrier company has a different method for determining shipping costs based on size and weight. Most carriers charge based on dimensional weight (DIM).

Dimensional weight is based on the package size rather than its actual weight. This means you’ll be charged more for large light parcels and less for smaller, heavier parcels.

You can calculate DIM by following this equation: (Length x Width x Height) / Divisor.

The value of the Divisor differs among shipping companies. You can expect it to be between 139-166. The higher the Divisor is, the lower the price will be.

Most major carriers also offer some kind of standardised, flat rate shipping.

With this option, you’ll select a carrier-provided, standard packaging. You’ll pay the same rate, regardless of weight and destination. Keep in kind, this usually only applies for domestic shipments.


The destination of your shipments also impacts shipping price. Not surprisingly, the greater the distance between your shipments’ origin and destination, the greater the shipping cost.

If you’re shipping internationally, you’ll also need to consider costs associated with customs clearance, additional taxes and duties, and tariffs. These differ from country to country, so make sure you’re on top of these costs prior to dispatching your shipments.


Last but not least, the volume in which you ship can affect shipping costs.

Many carriers offer discounts for large shipping volumes. This can lead to significant price reductions in the cost of shipping per individual product. Many businesses seek to benefit from these discounts by setting up warehousing and distribution processes so they can ship in bulk and store as required.

Estimating your shipping costs is a difficult process that requires the consideration of numerous factors. Your best bet in getting an accurate shipping quote is to get in touch with ISS. Our experienced logistics professionals will be able to give you an accurate quote for the shipment of your goods. Through our extensive network of shipping providers, we can also offer very competitive rates for shipping across the globe.

For more information, contact ISS today.

  • 2 min read

If you’re wanting to find a way to save money on shipping and boost efficiency in your supply chain, freight consolidation may be a good option for you.

Freight consolidation involves merging multiple smaller shipments traveling to nearby regions into one shipment that will eventually be broken down and transported to their final destination.

Although consolidating your shipping requires a bit of time, effort, and industry knowledge, it can present many benefits for your business. Read on for ISS’ top 4.

1. Cost-Effective

The main reason many businesses choose to optimise their shipments is because it can be a much more cost-effective approach to shipping. Transporting a full-load of cargo rather than multiple partial-loads will save you a lot of money in the long run.

2. More Secure

Unfortunately, missing and damaged cargo during shipping is not an uncommon occurrence. Consolidating your cargo can, however, help minimise the risk of damages and losses occurring during the supply chain. This is because consolidated shipping reduces the amount of transfers required during transit, and hence reduces handling requirements. As a result, there is less opportunity for goods to get damaged or go missing.

As consolidated shipping usually involves more experienced carriers, your shipments will generally be in safer, more-experienced hands, too.

3. Happier Customers

Providing your customers with quick delivery and lower shipping costs will boost customer satisfaction. As consolidating freight can reduce transit times and help you lower your shipping expenses, it can greatly improve satisfaction amongst your customers. This means that your customers will be much more likely to buy from you again.

In addition, consolidating your shipments can make shipping more secure and reliable. This means that your customers are less likely to experience delayed deliveries or receive broken orders.

4. Boosts Relationships

Last but not least, consolidated shipping can improve relationships between you, carriers, and customers. As you will have to work closely with carriers to establish your consolidated shipping strategy, you will likely form consistent and loyal relationships with carrier companies which may lead to better pricing in the future.

In addition, your customers will appreciate the effort you’ve gone to to lower costs and help them get their orders faster. This will greatly improve relationships between your business and your customers.

Consolidating freight can be invaluable for many businesses. However, it is not always easy to pull off. Consolidating shipments requires a lot of time and effort initially, as well as a solid understanding of the shipping industry.

If you’re wanting to consolidate your shipments, we recommend you talk to ISS. With our years of industry experience and extensive network of carriers and shipping providers, we will be able to help establish a consolidated shipping strategy that works for you.

Call ISS today for more information.

  • 2 min read

Did you know that ISS Shipping has a YouTube channel? Our channel features a range of videos on a variety of topics, including shipping market wraps, ISS staff interviews, and client stories from some of our valued customers.

Market Wraps

In our shipping market wraps, ISS Managing Director, Zoran Ilic, provides valuable insights into the climate of the shipping industry. Zoran describes shipping prices, supply and demand levels, the influence of current world events on the industry, potential areas of di sruption, and advice on how businesses can navigate the market. He also shares exciting news and developments within the ISS Shipping Group.

Staff Interviews

Get to know the ISS team with full-length staff interviews. In these interviews, we discuss the roles of each team member, what they bring to ISS, what ISS brings to its clients, and what they are most looking forward to in ISS’s future. We also talk about how ISS came to be and any plans for further developments of the business.

Client Stories

Learn about our customers and what ISS does for them with full-length client interviews. We interview a range of ISS customers to find out what they do, how long they have worked with ISS, the services ISS provides them, and the competitive advantages ISS offers. We also talk to Zoran about the relationship between ISS and each of its clients and how ISS is able to act as an extension of their businesses.

To view our exclusive content and stay up to date with ISS, join our YouTube community today! Check out our page and subscribe here: .

  • 1 min read

Shipping can be an expensive process for businesses, particularly for those that are small and newly established. Fortunately, there are ways that you can minimise your shipping expenses and save money.

1. Research Different Carriers

Different carriers have different rates, fees, and discounts. Taking the time to research different carriers, their prices, and whether they offer discounts will cut your shipping expenses greatly.

Alternatively, outsourcing to a third-party logistics company is another option for guaranteeing the best shipping rates. Although there may be greater upfront cost, most 3PL companies will have long-standing relationships with carriers and will therefore have access to lower rates and greater discounts. This will help save you money in the long-run.

2. Automate Your Shipping Processes

Automating your shipping processes as much as possible will save you time and money. It will also reduce the occurrence of human error and the amount of employees required to oversee orders and shipments.

3. Offer Free Shipping for a Minimum Expenditure

It is unrealistic for small businesses to offer free shipping on all orders. However, they should consider offering free shipping for minimum orders. Not only will this incentivise your customers, but it will also drive sales.

4. Encourage Sustainability

Implementing sustainable business shipping practices will not only save you money, but will also boost your business’ corporate social responsibility. Simply minimising packaging, reusing packaging from returned orders, and encouraging your customers to recycle their shipping materials will go a long way in improving your business’ reputation and decreasing its carbon footprint. You will also save money on packaging costs, so it’s a win-win for all.

5. Call ISS!

Last but not least, call ISS. Our team of experienced Customs Brokers and Shipping Specialists will help you cut shipping costs by determining the best way to pack and transport your goods and informing you of how you can avoid unnecessary expenses.

We also have long-standing and well-established relationships with carriers and transport providers around the world. This allows us to get the best rates and exclusive discounts and deals for our clients.

  • 2 min read

Container rollovers occur when a container doesn’t get loaded onto its intended vessel. It can occur for a number of reasons such as late gate in, incorrect or missing documentation, vessel overbooking, and port omission.

When a rollover occurs, the container is usually loaded onto the next available vessel, shipped through an alternative route, or changed to another carrier. This can cause considerable delays and, in some cases, additional fees.

Fortunately, there are ways shippers can reduce the chances of container rollover occurring. Read on for ISS’s top 4.

1. Place Advanced Bookings

Placing bookings in advance will greatly increase the chances of getting space on a vessel and decrease the risk of containers getting rolled over. Carriers publish schedules regularly, which are accessible online. Shippers should check these regularly and book as far in advance as possible.

2. Make Sure Shipping Documents are Correct

Ensuring all shipping documents contain the right information, are accurate, and comply with relevant regulations will reduce the chances of containers being rolled over as a result of insufficient or inaccurate documentation.

Ensuring that the shipping documents are correct is the responsibility of the shipper and should therefore be prioritised.

3. Split Shipments

Shipping large shipments that have a few containers can result in the entire shipment being rolled, even if there is only an issue with one container. Because of this, shippers should consider splitting shipments into multiple bills of lading. Do keep in mind, however, that this may incur additional shipping costs.

4. Avoid Transshipments

Transshipments typically have a higher container rollover rate compared to direct sailings. As a result, shippers should aim to ship directly as much as possible, particularly when shipping urgent cargo.

Following these tips will help you avoid container rollover. The best way to prevent delays and ship your goods seamlessly, however, is to use ISS! Our dedicated team of shipping professionals are highly experienced in getting goods from point A to point B without hassle and without container rollover.

Call us today for more information!

  • 2 min read

The process of customs clearance can be daunting to many business owners, particularly if you’re new to international shipping. Importing your goods into different countries requires a fair amount of time, research, and preparation.

Because of this, ISS has put together a quick guide to help you navigate customs clearance and avoid complications. Read on for ISS’s complete guide to customs clearance.

Key Factors Impacting Customs Clearance

There are a number of factors that can impact customs clearance . These are outlined below.

Nature of Your Goods

Customs clearance can be a slightly more strenuous process if your goods are classified as either dangerous or restricted. Dangerous goods (such as explosives, toxic materials, firearms, etc) will require additional documents including a Dangerous Goods Declaration. Perishable items, particularly food and agricultural produce will require quality and safety certification.

To find out whether your goods require additional documentation or certification, you should consult the government website of your destination country.

Free Trade Agreements

Importing to a country that has a free trade agreement in place with your origin country may mean that you are eligible for tariff reductions. You will need to ensure that your products are eligible for such reductions, and provide a certificate of origin if it is. In addition, you will need to look up the correct Harmonised System (HS) code of your product, include it in your shipping documents, and check the destination country’s tariff schedule for the applicable customs duty.

Digital Customs

More and more countries are opting for digital customs processes. Because of this, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the platform your destination country uses for customs clearance procedures and the processes that can only be done through these platforms.

Failure to declare your goods correctly and on time either digitally or physically will lead to clearance delays.

Key Documents in Customs Clearance

Customs clearance is a very document-heavy process. You will find that you’ll need to provide a wide range of detailed and accurate licences and certificates. Here are the key documents that you will need:

Shipping Bill

This is also called a bill of export. You can't export cargo by sea, air, or road without this document.

Commercial Invoice

The commercial invoice is a contract of sale between the shipper and receiver.

Packing List

The packing list contains details about the shipment including a description, quantity of goods, and weight.

Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is a contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier, a receipt of shipped goods, and document of ownership of the cargo.

Import/Export Licences

Certain goods cannot be imported or exported without a licence issued by the relevant authority of a country. These licences are called import or export licences.

Certificate of Origin

The certificate of origin certifies that a product was manufactured, produced, and/or acquired in a particular country. Many countries will require a certificate of origin to clear your goods.

Health Certificates

Health certificates certify that consumable goods are fit for human consumption and meet all required safety and quality standards. A health certificate will typically be required for food and drink products.

Insurance Certificates

Insurance certificates are provided by insurance companies to confirm that goods are covered for any losses/damages during transit. This certificate helps determine the applicable duties.

The exact rules and documentation requirements for the exportation and importation of your goods will differ from country to country. Your best bet in ensuring you have everything you need for hassle-free customs clearance is to contact the ISS team.

Our experienced Customs Brokers will not only ensure that your shipments are cleared quickly and seamlessly, but will also help you to avoid paying unnecessary duties and expenses throughout the process.

Call ISS today for more information!

  • 3 min read

Less than container load (LCL) shipments refer to shipments that involve the sharing of containers with other shippers.

Since you don’t know what type of cargo will be packed with your cargo in LCL shipments, you should pack your goods in such a way that will minimise the occurrence of damage to your products and to your container-mates’ products. To do this, follow the following tips.

1. Use Strong and Sturdy Boxes

Packaging your goods in strong and sturdy boxes will prevent breakage during the handling and transport processes.

2. Use Double-Walled Boxes

Double walled boxes are simply heavy-duty cardboard boxes created with two layers of stacked corrugated cardboard. They are commonly used for transportation when added protection is necessary.

These boxes are strong enough to be stacked and will provide the best protection for your goods.

3. Tape-Up!

Unless you are shipping via reefer container, the container your goods are shipped in will go through extreme temperature changes. You should therefore ensure your products are taped sufficiently with good-quality tape to prevent your cargo from being damaged as a result of changes in temperature and humidity.

Lesser quality tape has a tendency to lose its ‘stickiness’ during transit, thus increasing the chances of your boxes collapsing.

4. Think About Your Wrapping

When wrapping your cargo, wrap in black shrink wrap to conceal the nature of your cargo (in case somebody nearby has the urge to steal it).

Wrap tightly and from bottom to top to avoid movement during transit.

5. Always Label Your Cargo

Label your cargo clearly and as required for the type of cargo you are sending. If your cargo is fragile or top load only, clearly mark these details on the packaging.

Doing this minimises the risk of your cargo being handled incorrectly, and ultimately reduces the chance of your cargo being damaged.

It will also prevent your cargo from being mixed up with your container-mates’ cargo when unloading and distributing.

Following these tips will help protect your LCL cargo during its transit.

If you have any additional questions or want to know what shipping method is best for you, get in touch with ISS today! 

  • 2 min read

The bill of lading is arguably the most important document in the shipping industry. It’s a legally binding document that provides the carrier with all the details needed to process the freight shipment correctly.

The bill of lading is important for several reasons.

Evidence of Contract of Carriage

A common misconception about the bill of lading is that it is a contract between the buyer and seller or the contract between the carrier and shipper. Technically speaking, the document is not a contract, however it is evidence of the contract of carriage entered into between the carrier and the shipper in order to carry out the transportation of the freight as per the contract between the buyer and the seller.

Receipt of Goods

A bill of lading is issued by the carrier or their third party logistics provider to the shipper or 3PL in exchange for the receipt of the freight. The issuance of the bill of lading is proof that the carrier has received the goods from the shipper or their 3PL in good condition, as handed over by the shipper.

Title of the Goods in Shipment

Whoever holds the bill of lading at any time throughout the shipping process, holds the title to the goods. This title does, however, vary according to the way in which the bill of lading has been consigned.

For these reasons, it is very important that you make sure you get your bill of lading right.

Fortunately, ISS is here to help. Our team of shipping professionals are highly experienced in the freight industry and have an abundance of experience dealing with our clients’ bills of lading.

For more information, get in touch with the ISS team today!

  • 2 min read