Shipping News

The CBM rate, also known as the cubic metre rate, is a common unit of measurement used in the shipping industry to calculate the volume or capacity of a container or shipment. The CBM rate is typically used to determine the cost of transporting goods by sea, as it allows for a more accurate estimation of the amount of space that the cargo will occupy in the vessel's hold.

To calculate the CBM rate, the length, width, and height of the cargo are measured in metres, and the resulting measurements are multiplied together to determine the total volume in cubic metres. For example, if the length of a shipment is 2 metres, the width is 1 metre, and the height is 1.5 metres, the CBM rate would be calculated as follows: 2 x 1 x 1.5 = 3 CBM.

Once the CBM rate has been determined, it can be used to calculate the cost of shipping the cargo by dividing the total CBM by the cargo's weight in kilograms. This allows for a more accurate estimation of the shipping cost, as it takes into account the volume of the cargo as well as its weight.

In addition to calculating the cost of shipping, the CBM rate is also used to determine the size and type of container that will be needed to transport the cargo. For example, if a shipment has a CBM rate of 3, it may require a 20-foot container, while a shipment with a CBM rate of 6 may require a 40-foot container.

Overall, the CBM rate is an important unit of measurement in the shipping industry, as it allows for a more accurate calculation of the cost and logistics of transporting goods by sea. By understanding and using the CBM rate, shippers and transportation providers can ensure that their cargo is transported efficiently and cost-effectively.

For more information, get in touch with ISS today!

  • 2 min read

Shipping manifests are important documents in international shipping. They list the goods that are being transported so that the cargo being shipped by a carrier can be verified. Typically, shipping manifests contain information including the number and types of shipments being transported, and the details of the consignor and consignee.

There are a number of different types of shipping manifests, each of which serve specific purposes. To find out more about the different types of shipping manifests and why they are important, read on!

Cargo Manifests

A cargo manifest lists all the cargo carried on a vessel. It contains information such as the type of cargo, quantity of cargo, destination of the shipment, and the details of the consignor and consignee.

Freight Manifests

A freight manifest lists the freight costs of each consignment carried on board the vessel, in addition to the name and weight of each item, category of the shipment, and the details of the consignor and consignee.

The freight manifest assists with the determination and collection of freight fees from shippers and the calculation of freight commission.

Out-of-Gauge Manifests

An out-of-gauge manifest is used in the shipment of overweight and/or oversized cargo. It must be completed by the shipper and include detailed information regarding the cargo’s dimensions, weight, and value.

Out-of-gauge manifests help shipping/port crew and carriers load and unload the goods safely and securely.

Reefer Manifests

Reefers are refrigerated shipping containers that are used for the transportation of perishable and temperature-sensitive goods, such as food and medicine. A reefer manifest contains information about the refrigerated containers on board the vessel, including their temperature settings, humidity settings, and other specifications.

Hazardous Cargo Manifests

Hazardous cargo is cargo that is classified as potentially harmful to people, animals, or the environment. These items must be listed on the hazardous cargo manifest with information regarding their classification, International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) codes, and Medical First Aid Guide (MFAG) details.

Export and Import Manifests

Export and import manifests are similar to cargo manifests. An export manifest is submitted to the port customs when the ship is about to leave the docks, whilst an import manifest is submitted before or as soon as the ship arrives at the port. Each port may have different criteria and requirements, however.

With so many different types of shipping manifests and documents, it can be confusing to determine which ones you do and do not need. Fortunately, ISS is here to help! With many years of experience in the industry, we will ensure you have all the documentation required for seamless, cost-effective shipping.

Call us today for more information!

  • 2 min read

The process of freight forwarding is considerably complex. It involves many different steps and stakeholders, and requires a fair amount of expertise and knowledge to ensure that the goods get from point A to point B, with minimal setbacks.

At ISS, we believe that all shippers should have at least an elementary understanding of freight forwarding and how it works. To help with this, we have put together a basic guide to the process of freight forwarding.

What is Freight Forwarding?

Freight forwarding is the process of transporting goods from one location to another. It involves picking-up, transporting, storing, and delivering freight, as well as obtaining and filing the relevant documentation required to ensure your shipment is legally compliant.

The Freight Forwarding Steps

The process of freight forwarding can be broken down into 5 basic steps.

Step 1: Establishing a Contract

The first step in freight forwarding is establishing a contract between the freight forwarder and the shipper. The contract should contain information including the scope of the services to be provided, the type of shipment, origin and destination locations, transit times, and any other additional services such as warehousing and tracking. The cost of the services, payment terms, and any additional fees and surcharges. The establishment of a contract ensures that all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities throughout the process and verify the expectations of both the shipper and the freight forwarder.

Step 2: Document Preparation

After a contract between the freight forwarder and the shipper has been established, the documents required in the shipping process will be prepared and filed. The freight forwarder will complete the paperwork required to move the goods, including customs documents, insurance certificates, etc. The freight forwarder will also provide the shipper with the documents they are responsible for. This is mainly paperwork that will ensure the shipment is legally compliant.

This step is paramount in ensuring the shipment is processed efficiently, with minimal delays.

Step 3: Picking-Up the Goods

The next step in the freight forwarding process is picking-up the goods. This is typically done by a third-party carrier, such as a trucking company, who will transport the goods from their initial position to the freight forwarder. The freight forwarder will then ensure the cargo gets to the correct port on-time.

Step 4: Transporting the Goods

Once the goods have been delivered to their origin port, they will then be loaded on the plane, ship, train, or truck, and transported to their destination port. The freight forwarder will choose the most efficient and cost-effective transportation method and route for the shipper, and work with the carrier to ensure the cargo is delivered on-time with all its relevant documentation.

Step 5: Clearance and Delivery

The final step in the freight forwarding process is clearing the goods and delivering them to their final destination. This involves obtaining the necessary paperwork for customs clearance and transporting the goods from the port to the warehouse or customer.

In order to ensure your freight forwarding process is seamless, contact the ISS team today! We have the experience and expertise to ensure that your goods get from point A to point B on-time, with no unnecessary expenses.

Call us today for more information!

  • 2 min read

Having a clear and fair returns policy is critical for all retail businesses, particularly those online. Making it easy for your customers to return faulty products or items they are not satisfied with is important in maintaining a good business reputation. According to a survey carried out by the US returns company Redbound, over 50% of customers will stop shopping with a business if they’ve had a poor returns experience.

Having an effective returns policy is paramount. Here are some tips for how to do it.

Ensure Your Policy is Flexible

Most consumers will consider your returns policy before making a purchase. Ensuring your policy is flexible and doesn’t deter customers is therefore important in securing sales.

There are a number of ways you can go about this. Firstly, you need to make sure you have a generous returns window. Most companies will opt for a window of at least 30 days. You should also offer returns for ‘change of mind’ as well as for faulty products. This will give your consumers more confidence in their purchases and create a better customer experience.

Lastly, if you can afford it, you should offer free shipping. This will be a big driver in generating sales and encouraging customers to shop with you in the future.

Make Your Returns Quick and Easy

Returning an item can be a nightmare for customers. Making it easy to lodge returns online and including pre-paid return labels with your orders can therefore make for a much more positive experience for you, your employees, and your customers.

Some businesses even offer to have couriers pick up the item from their customer’s doorstep or a post box near them so that they don’t have to make a trip to the post office.

Minimise the Occurrence of Returns

The best way to reduce the amount o f returns is to avoid them. If you’re a clothing retailer, having an accurate and clear sizing guide will help save you and many of your customers from the hassle of lodging and processing returns.

Providing as much information as possible about your products and uploading plenty of photos will ensure your products meet your customers’ expectations as closely as possible.

For help with your business's logistics, get in touch with ISS today!

  • 2 min read

Shipment tracking has become a vital component of successful supply chain management. Not only does it benefit customers, but shipment tracking is also very beneficial for businesses for a multitude of reasons.

Read on to find out ISS’s top 5 benefits of shipment tracking.

1. Reduced Costs

Although shipment tracking systems require an initial upfront payment to implement, they can significantly reduce costs in the long-term. As shipment tracking provides you with the location of the shipment, its specifications, and often the SKUs contained in it, it allows you to reduce instances of incorrect product deliveries. This in turn, can help you avoid expenses associated with re-packaging, re-warehousing, inventory storage, and fuel and other transportation related costs.

A tracking system also aids in better management of all your shipping-related activities, allowing you to reduce the occurrence of customer complaints, and be better equipped to handle them if they do occur.

2. Improved Customer Satisfaction

Shipment tracking provides customers with a real-time view of where their order is and when they can expect it. Because of its ability to provide better transparency in the supply chain, shipping tracking can drastically improve the experience your customers have with your business. This can improve customer loyalty to your business, and help you generate more sales.

3. On-Time Deliveries

Delayed shipment complaints are one of the most common complaints ecommerce businesses receive. When used effectively, shipment tracking can help improve accuracy in estimated delivery times, and give customers greater clarity about why their shipment is late in the event delays do occur.

In addition, shipment tracking allows you to communicate and collaborate more closely with distributors, warehouse managers, and couriers. This means that any sudden or unexpected changes in the supply chain will be communicated much more quickly to you and, in turn, your customers.

4. Increased Efficiency

When integrated with warehouse logistics and other business systems (such as purchase order systems), shipment tracking systems can greatly improve efficiency in the supply chain. Potential delays in deliveries can be relayed to customers more smoothly by using the information on the shipment’s progress provided by the tracking system and other logistics technologies.

In addition, business owners will obtain greater visibility over which modes or carriers are more reliable.

5. Better Communication

Last but not least, shipment tracking opens up lines of communication in your business. It allows you to more easily coordinate with inventory managers, warehouse managers, and freight carriers.

Better communication leads to more efficient processes, which leads to better service and greater customer satisfaction!

The better communication between carriers and shipping lines afforded by shipment tracking systems can also help improve business relationships with logistics companies and allow you to form partnerships with key players in the industry.

If you’re wanting to streamline your business’s shipping processes, get in touch with ISS. We can help you maximise efficiency in your supply chain and avoid unnecessary expenses!

Call us today!

  • 2 min read

The waybill and the bill of lading (BoL) are two documents that are used in shipping. Although they sound similar and are often mistakenly confused, it is important that you understand the differences between the waybill and the BoL as there are some vital differences between the two.

To find out what these differences are, read on for ISS’s guide to the difference between the waybill and the bill of lading.

The Bill of Lading

Out of all of the documents associated with shipping, BoLs are arguably the most important. The bill of lading serves three primary purposes:

  • Evidence of a contract between the shipper and carrier
  • Receipt of goods: specifies type, quantity, and final destination of the shipment
  • Document of title (ownership).

The Waybill

Waybills include much of the same information as the bill of lading, however without the legal power of a contract. A waybill is typically issued by the transporter of the goods and contains basic details such as the names and addresses of the shipper and receiver. Waybills also contain registration and identification numbers, and will typically contain a description of the goods.

What Information is Included on Both Bills of Lading and Waybills?

BoLs and waybills must both include the following information:

  • The shipper’s name
  • The shipper’s address and contact information
  • The carrier’s name
  • The carrier’s address and contact information (including identification number)
  • The consignee’s name
  • The consignee’s address and contact information
  • The port or airport of loading
  • The port or airport of unloading
  • The ship or vessel’s name and identification number
  • A description of the freight
  • The condition of the freight
  • The number of pieces, packages, or pallets of cargo
  • The length, width, height, and weight of the cargo
  • Payment information
  • The terms of contract
  • Any special handling instructions.

Although there are some noticeable similarities between the BoL and the waybill, it is important that you get them right and differentiate them sufficiently. Failure to do so can cause major delays and disruptions in your supply chain.

In order to avoid these complications, we recommend you get in touch with ISS. With many years of experience in the industry, we understand what is needed to get your freight from point A to point B efficiently and cost-effectively.

For more information, call ISS Shipping now!

  • 2 min read

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