Shipping News

International shipping is a complex process that involves numerous procedures and regulations to ensure the safe delivery of goods. Keeping track of shipping terminology used to define these procedures and regulations is therefore important in understanding the shipping process and minimising mishaps and errors along the way.

Read on for some of the most commonly used international shipping terms that all shippers should know.


Incoterms (short for International Commercial Terms) are a series of predefined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce. The terms are intended primarily to clearly communicate the tasks, costs, and risks associated with the transportation and delivery of goods and determine responsibilities throughout the supply chain.

COD - Change of Destination

A COD (Change of Destination) is a request asking the container ship to discharge your container and transport your goods to another destination than what was originally booked.

DM - Demurrage

When your containers have been discharged, there is a free period for storing them in the port (provided by the container line). If you do not pick up your containers before the free period expires, you can be charged a demurrage fee.

Demurrage fees are determined by the number of days your containers stay in the port after the free period has expired.

DT - Detention

Detention is a fee that you have to pay if you have picked up your imported containers but have not returned them to the shipping line in time.

Similarly to demurrage fees, detention fees are determined by the number of days the containers have been in your possession.


Rollover occurs when your containers do not get loaded onto the vessel. This may occur as a result of customs problems, overbooking, or vessel omissions.

When this occurs, your carrier will arrange to get your containers onto the next departing ship.

FCL - Full Container Load

FCL (Full Container Load) refers to when shippers have enough goods to fill an entire container.

LCL - Less than Container Load

LCL (Less than Container Load) refers to when shippers do not have enough goods to fill an entire container. In this case, shippers will share a container with other consignments.

Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading is a legal document issued by a carrier to a shipper including shipment details such as the type of goods, quantity, freight rate, and destination. It represents the agreement between the parties involved and helps guarantee that exporters receive their payment and importers receive their goods. The Bill of Lading also serves as a shipment receipt.

CYCY - Container Yard to Container Yard

A container yard is a port facility where containers are stored before they are loaded onto a ship or after they have been discharged from a ship.

CYCY (Container Yard to Container Yard) explains that the responsibility of the carrier begins (port of loading) and ends (port of discharge) at the container yard.

Stuffing and Stripping

Stuffing is the process of loading a container, whilst stripping is the process of unloading a container.

Having a basic understanding of these shipping terms will better equip you to tackle any shipping complications that may occur.

For more information on shipping, get in touch with the ISS team today.

  • 3 min read

International shipping can provide businesses with many benefits, allowing them to increase profits and expand to new markets. It can be a lot of work, however and requires a considerable amount of documentation.

If you’re considering expanding your business internationally, read on to find out more about the 5 shipping documents you need to have in order to import and export your products.

1. Bill of Lading

A Bill of Lading (or BoL) is a contract of carriage between the shipper, the carrier company, and the consignee. It’s the document used to confirm the receipt of goods and the safe delivery of the freight to the consignee.

The Bill of Lading is one of the most important documents in shipping. It must be accurate and contain detailed information, including:

  • the shipper, carrier, and consignee
  • the locations of goods loading and destination
  • the Incoterms being used
  • the mode of transport being employed
  • a description of the shipment including its weight and dimensions.

There are different types of BoLs - inland, ocean, and air. The one you use for your shipment will depend on the mode of transportation used to move your freight.

2. Certificates of Origin

A Certificate of Origin (C/O) is a document declaring the country in which a shipment has been manufactured or grown. It is used when the importing and exporting countries have a free trade agreement in place to avoid duties and taxes.

Different countries have different procedures when it comes to acquiring a Certificate of Origin. Most will require evidence of the goods’ origin such as invoices, a Bill of Lading, or letter of credit prior to granting this certificate. Some countries have additional requirements, however, so it's a good idea to visit your destination country’s customs website prior to exporting your goods.

3. Packing List

A packing list is a document containing an itemised list of what’s in your shipment, including details such as weight, dimensions, safety requirements, and the packaging type. The packing list may be used by customs to identify any goods they need to inspect.

4. Invoices

There are two types of invoices that may be required in the importation or exportation of your goods.

The first is the commercial invoice. This is an invoice for the contents of the shipment and outlines the dollar value of the goods as well as the Incoterm used to determine who is responsible for the payment of carriage and customs.

The commercial invoice is used to calculate the taxes due on arrival.

The second invoice is the proforma invoice. This invoice is issued to the consignee prior to the shipment of the goods in case they need it for customs. A proforma invoice will include the weight of the goods and all associated transport charges.

5. Packing Declaration

A packing declaration informs customs of the materials used to package the goods. As some countries use hay, chaff, bamboo, and other agricultural by-products to package their products, many of which are not allowed in some countries, a packing declaration will prevent undeclared restricted materials from entering the country of origin.

Always check the customs website of your country of origin prior to shipping to determine whether you need to provide a packing declaration, and what details you need to include.

Collating the right documentation for your shipments and ensuring they are correct and accurate can be a great source of stress for many business owners. Because of this, we recommend you get in touch with ISS to handle all your international shipping requirements for you.

Our dedicated Customs Brokers are highly experienced in ensuring that you have all necessary paperwork for your international shipments and helping you to avoid paying unnecessary taxes and expenses throughout the process.

Call ISS today for more information!

  • 3 min read

Although warehousing may initially seem straight-forward and uncomplicated, there are actually a number of different considerations that businesses need to consider. This includes determining what type of warehouse is best for them and their products.

Fortunately, ISS is here to break it down with our guide to the different types of warehouses and how to figure out which is best for you.

Private Warehouses

As the name suggests, private warehouses are privately owned by wholesalers, distributors, or manufacturers. These include:

  • Warehouses owned and managed by wholesalers and retailers
  • Warehouses rented out by retailers
  • Warehouses located near a farmer’s agriculture field
  • Warehouses constructed by a manufacturer’s production unit
  • Warehouses owned or leased by wholesalers.

Private warehouses are generally more expensive than other warehousing options. They do, however, boast the benefits of added security, and greater long-term potential.

Public Warehouses

Public warehouses are government-owned distribution centres. They are often leased out to smaller businesses that don’t have the financial ability to purchase or rent a private warehouse.

Public warehouses are a great option for new and small businesses, and for short-term distribution projects. Most public warehousing space is utilised by manufacturers, producers, exporters, and importers who are affiliated with franchises.

Bonded Storage Centres

Bonded storage centres (or bonded warehouses) are warehouses that can store imported goods before customs duties are required to be paid on them. Companies storing goods in bonded storage centres don’t have to pay any duties until their items are released and can store restricted goods until their proper paperwork is complete.

These warehouses are perfect for importers as they can keep their items duty-free until they find buyers. They also have reputations as secure and safe storage spaces for goods, making them ideal for businesses that don’t have private warehouses.

Co-Operative Warehouses

This is your most economical type of warehousing system. Co-operative warehouses are run by co-operative societies, which are voluntary organisations. Co-operative organisations don’t earn a profit, so they don’t charge heavy rental fees for distribution.

Smart Warehouses

Smart warehouses are warehouses where all processes are managed and automated with artificial intelligence. Automation typically includes everything from software for management, to robots and drones performing tasks like packing, weighing, transporting, and storing goods.

These warehouses are pricier; however they make order fulfilment quick and less prone to human error.

Distribution Facilities

Distribution centres provide computerised control, which makes the movement of goods fast, reliable, and easy. Goods are shipped to the handling facility the morning of the operation, then quickly moved to a nearby distribution centre.

This is the best facility to conduct business operations when there is a large, urgent order of perishable items that need to be shipped.

Determining which type of warehousing facility is best for you ultimately comes down to the type of products you are shipping, how much you need to ship, and your budget.

Before selecting your warehouse, we recommend you give ISS a call. We’ll be able to point you in the right direction and help you find the most cost-effective and appropriate warehouse for your business.

  • 2 min read

Whether you ship domestically or worldwide, chances are that you’ve encountered shipping complications before. These issues can be frustrating and can negatively impact your business’s reputation. Fortunately, there are ways you can go about minimising the likelihood of them arising.

1. Damaged Items During Shipping

Shipping conditions can be very harsh, so it isn’t uncommon for damages to occur along the way.

The best way to mitigate the risk of breakages is to ensure your packaging is effective and suitable for your items. For a detailed article on how to effectively package your cargo, read our Packaging Tips to Minimise Damage During Transit blog.

2. High Shipping Costs

There are many expenses associated with shipping, particularly if your items require special care.

A good way to minimise your expenses is to ship as far in advance as possible. This will help you get better rates and avoid unnecessary fees.

In addition, it is a good idea to aim to ship in bulk as much as possible.

3. Shipping Route Disruptions

Whether due to harsh weather conditions, political events or pandemics, shipping route disruptions are entirely out of your control and there is little you can do once they occur. There are, however, precautionary measures you can take.

Employing the services of experienced shipping logistics companies such as ISS is a good idea. These companies often monitor local, national and worldwide events and are able to anticipate any issues that may arise during transit. If issues do arise, they are then able to utilise their extensive knowledge and networks to modify shipment paths and minimise disruptions.

4. Lost Items

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for cargo to get lost along the way.

The best way to avoid this issue is to ensure you are shipping with a company that offers tracking services throughout the journey. This way you can rest assured knowing that your delivery is on its way and that you’ll be notified immediately if there are any complications.

5. Misunderstanding International Shipping Requirements

Shipping domestically is fairly straight-forward, however when it comes to shipping internationally, things can get much more complex. Different countries have very different rules when it comes to importations and exportations, so ensuring you are familiar with them and have all required documents is critical.

The best way to ensure smooth international shipping is to consult a shipping services company. We will be able to inform you of your requirements prior to dispatch, and ensure that your items will pass customs with no issues.

These complications can be exceptionally disruptive to your business processes, so minimising the chances of them occurring is paramount.

For a full logistics solution that will prevent these issues from arising, get in contact with the ISS team today!

  • 2 min read

If you’re planning on shipping LCL (less-than-container load), something you’ll have to determine is whether you’re going to opt for parcel shipping or pallet shipping.

What is Parcel Shipping?

Parcel shipping is the most popular method for shipping consignment when the goods are small, lightweight, and can be easily lifted without assistance. Here, the items are placed in a package or a carton, generally wrapped in a plastic film/bubble wrap or a protective material. They are then loaded directly into their shipping container with no additional packaging or storage.

Benefits of Parcel Shipping

  • Easy to track
  • More efficient loading and unloading processes
  • Suitable for shipping to individual customers
  • Cost - effective.

What is Pallet Shipping?

Pallet shipping is when multiple packages are stacked into boxes or pallets and transported as a single shipment. It is the best choice of shipping for bulky cargo and when the supplier has to ship multiple packages at once to a single location.

Benefits of Pallet Shipping

  • Extra security and protection
  • Less manual handling at checkpoints
  • Less risk of loss or damage
  • Moved by forklift.

Which One is Best for You? Parcel Shipping or Pallet Shipping?

Ultimately what it comes down to is the nature and volume of your cargo. If you’re shipping one or two small, lightweight products, it's most time and cost-effective to choose parcel shipping. If you’re shipping multiple goods or large/heavy cargo, opt for pallet shipping .

The best way to get your products from A to B quickly and efficiently, is to set up an effective shipping strategy. At ISS, we’ve been establishing efficient and cost-effective logistics for small and large businesses for years. We are highly experienced in managing international shipping processes and are able to offer competitive prices and shipping times due to our long-standing relationships with shipping companies all around the world.

Call ISS today for more information!

  • 2 min read

Shipping containers are used in transporting freight from port-to-port via container ships. They allow for the easier and more efficient flow of cargo from origin to destination.

Containers are either owned or are leased by shipping lines who provide them to their customers (shippers or merchants) for the safe and fast door-to-door transport of their goods. Because the cost for using the container during the door-to-door transport is included in the freight, it is essential for shipping lines to turn around their containers as fast as possible.

As a result, and with the objective to encourage merchants to move or return their containers quickly, shipping lines discourage merchants who exceed the free time by charging demurrage and detention fees.

Demurrage refers to the charge that the merchant pays for the use of the container within the terminal beyond the free time period. Detention refers to the charge that the merchant pays for the use of the container outside of the terminal or depot, beyond the free time period.

It is an obligation for shipping lines to provide a reasonable free period during which no demurrage and detention charges apply. This free period is supposed to provide the merchant with a realistic period of time for:

  • The loading and delivery of the container for an export
  • The pick-up, unloading, and return of the empty container for an import.

It’s important that all shippers are aware of the length of the free period offered by their shipping lines prior to importing and/or exporting. This will allow them to plan out their loading and delivery processes better and avoid demurrage and detention fees.

For a complete logistics solution that helps you avoid unnecessary expenses and fees, get in touch with ISS today.

  • 2 min read

August 2022 marks ten years since Stevan Ilic, our dedicated Operations Manager, first started at ISS.

Stevan joined the company right after he finished high school. He was largely motivated by his father, Zoran Ilic, Founder and Managing Director of ISS, to join the family business.

Seeing the work that his father did and the way he helped people inspired Stevan to join ISS and help grow it from its humble beginnings.

When Stevan first joined the business, it was still in its infancy. ISS started with only a few members of staff and a few customers.

Now, ten years later, he has helped expand the business considerably. With Stevan’s help, we’ve opened an office in Melbourne, we’ve got a strong foothold internationally, and we’ve got an extensive network of carriers and shipping providers across the globe.

We look forward to watching Stevan continue to grow and are excited to see what else he has in store for ISS.

Well done, Stevan!

  • 1 min read

The Basics of Express Shipping

Express shipping is a service offered by many companies today. These services are designed to make sure the customer receives their package as quickly as possible - this may be within the same week or even the same day of them placing the order.

Some of the benefits of express shipping include faster delivery, faster response time for tracking, and a higher level of customer satisfaction.

3 Choices for Your Express Shipping Needs

There are three types of express delivery services that one can choose from.

The first is the courier service, which is usually provided by private companies. These companies offer door-to-door delivery services to customers within specific regions.

The second type of service is offered by public postal services. These post offices provide different types of express delivery services that can be used for sending letters or packages internationally or domestically.

The third type of service is called international parcel consolidators. They offer regional shipping to countries all over the world, but at a higher price than the other two options.

How Does Express Shipping Work?

When shipping to international customers, express post usually involves air freight. This is the fastest way of transporting your products, although there are often restrictions surrounding what you can send, and how much it can weigh.

Shipping domestically, however, can be done simply and quickly by truck transport.

The method of transport used for express shipping is dependent upon your goods, where they are going, and how fast your customers need them.

There is a lot of information out there about express shipping, and many companies offer different services, so it can be hard to know where to get started. If you’re unsure, we recommend you contact ISS today. Our team will help point you in the right direction and navigate your express shipping options.

  • 2 min read

If you’re a regular importer/exporter of goods, you’ll know that international shipping is not a straight-forward process. Regardless of what or how you ship, there are numerous complexities involved in the process and many things that you as a shipper need to understand. This includes a sizable list of terms and acronyms.

Fortunately, ISS is here to help. Read on for 5 freight terms that every international shipper should know.

1. Incoterms

Incoterms are international rules for the interpretation of shipping terms. They universally outline roles and responsibilities in shipper/carrier relations and help traders in different countries understand one another.

Incoterms outline a thorough list of trade terms, and it is important that you are familiar with them. Read our Incoterms Definitions article here for an overview of the most recently updated Incoterms.

2. FCL and LCL

FCL stands for Full Container Load and LCL stands for Less than Container Load.

As their names suggest, FCL refers to freight that fills a full shipping container, whilst LCL refers to freight that fills only part of a shipping container.

Knowing when you should opt for FCL versus LCL is important in determining the cheapest and most efficient way of shipping your goods.

3. Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading is a legal document issued by the carrier to the shipper. It includes basic details like the type of goods being shipped, their quantity, the destination address, and the freight rates.

The Bill of Lading can be regarded as an agreement between the two parties to follow given rules and regulations, guaranteeing the hassle-free and timely delivery of goods.

4. Detention

A detention fee is a fee that you may have to pay if your shipping containers have been picked up from the port of destination but have not been returned empty to the shipping line on time.

Shippers must pay an extra fee, depending on the number of days they have taken to return empty containers. This is one of the many reasons why it is crucial for you to be on time when unloading and returning shipping containers when importing goods.

5. Rollover

Rollover occurs when a container does not load onto the correct ship on time. It usually means that cargo needs to be switched from its original sailing to a later one.

There are various reasons why a container may not get loaded onto its originally scheduled ship, such as late delivery to the terminal, overbooking, vessel omissions, and customs complications.

In rollover situations, the carrier reschedules cargo containers to the next sailing with available space.

At ISS, we understand that international shipping can be confusing, especially if you have little to no experience. Fortunately, we can help guide you through it with our complete logistics solutions. These will guarantee that your products get from point A to point B without hassle and without unnecessary expenditure.

For more information, contact ISS today.

  • 2 min read

The Bill of Lading (BoL) is one of the most important documents in international shipping. It helps ensure that your freight gets to where it needs to go on time and with minimal complications.

To learn more about the Bill of Lading, what it includes, and why it’s so important, read on.

What is the Bill of Lading?

The BoL is a legally binding document issued by a carrier to a shipper. It contains all the necessary details of the shipment such as freight type, quantity, and destination of the goods.

The Bill of Lading acts as a shipment receipt. An authorised representative from the carrier, shipper, and receiver should sign it. However, only the carrier or their agent issues the Bill of Lading.

Why is the Bill of Lading Important?

The Bill of Lading is critical in ensuring that your goods get from point A to point B with as few complications as possible. BoLs serve as:

  • A receipt for the goods received and delivered by the carrier
  • Evidence of a contract of carriage (transport)
  • A title for the goods in shipment.

The BoL can also be an important document in ensuring the shipper gets paid. In some cases, the shipper can hold the original bill until they receive payment. By doing this, the consignee is unable to access their goods until payment has been made and the Bill of Lading released.

What Goes on the Bill of Lading?

BoLs should contain the following information:

  • Details of the transportation company (i.e. the carrier), the shipper and/or consignee
  • The place where the goods were loaded
  • Destination
  • Transportation mode (i.e. road, rail, air, sea, etc.)
  • The terms of the shipment (incoterms)
  • A description of the goods being carried (including their weight, dimensions, classification, etc).

The carrier fills out most of the information on the original Bill of Lading. As a shipper, your responsibility is to provide up-to-date information to the carrier and ensure that every detail listed is accurate and correct.

For more information or assistance on your shipping, get in touch with ISS.

  • 2 min read

Expanding your business internationally is a great way of reaching new customers, expanding your business and boosting sales. Before you do start shipping internationally, however, there are a few things you need to know.

1. Duties and Taxes

With international shipping comes greater taxes and duties. Ensuring you understand how they work and how they are calculated is key to minimising costs associated with international shipping and knowing how much you should charge your customers.

Duties are calculated before your product is released from customs and is based on things such as your product’s value, where it was manufactured, and any existing trade agreements between the countries of origin and destination.

The best way to get an estimate on duties is to consult a shipping services provider such as ISS.

2. Incoterms and Shipping Policies

Incoterms (or International Commercial Terms) are a set of rules which define who is responsible for what in international transactions. Like other shipping policies, they should be clearly defined and displayed on your website. This will prevent miscommunication between you and international buyers and ensure a positive customer experience.

It’s critical you communicate who is responsible for the payment of duties in your incoterms. You may opt for delivery duty unpaid (DDU) incoterms, whereby the customer is responsible for the payment of duties, or delivery duty paid (DDP) incoterms, whereby you are responsible for paying them.

3. Permits

Some goods require import permits in order to be allowed into the destination country. In order to determine whether there are any restrictions or required permits for your products, you should always consult the customs website of your destination country.

4. Size and Weight Requirements

The larger and heavier your goods are, the more shipping costs they are likely to incur. It’s therefore important to ensure your goods are well-packed with volumetric weight kept to a minimum.

Once again, the best way to estimate shipping costs is to get in contact with ISS or another experienced shipping services provider.

Although it is worthwhile, international shipping can seem complicated and expensive at first. We’d recommend to all businesses wanting to expand internationally to outsource their logistics to an experienced shipping services company who can help with freight, transport, storage, and customs clearance. Although there may be an upfront cost, doing so will save you money, time and effort in the long run.

  • 2 min read

There are many different methods of transportation, all of which have their benefits and drawbacks. Air freight is a popular choice for transport, particularly for low-volume, high-value cargo. But what are the other benefits of air freight? Read on to find out!

Fastest Shipping Method

Air freight is much faster than alternative shipping methods such as sea freight and trucking. It is the first choice for express shipping as it can often have goods delivered to customers within 1-2 days of them placing the order.

Global Delivery

Using air freight enables you to send your products to a greater range of destinations. As airplanes are not limited by roads, oceans, or shipping ports, you can send your goods almost anywhere with air freight.

More Security

Shipping via air allows for a much higher level of security. As goods do not have to go from handler-to-handler or truck-to-truck, the likelihood of theft or damage occurring is significantly reduced.

Low Insurance Premiums

The time required to ship by air is much less than that of alternative transport options. This means you can pay less in insurance premiums as your products will be spending less time in transit. 

Trackable Cargo

Most air freight companies give you easy access to sites where you can track your cargo in real-time. This means you can track your goods from departure to arrival without delay. 

Reliable Arrival and Departure Times

The arrival and departure times of airplanes are usually very reliable. It is very rare that there are any delays or unexpected hold-ups which often occur with other shipping methods, such as trucking.

Less Requirement of Warehousing

As products can be shipped much faster with air freight, there is not as much need to keep items in stock. This means there is less requirement for warehousing, allowing you to save money on renting, labour and additional transport costs.

If you have any additional questions about air freight and whether it’s right for your business, get in touch with our friendly ISS team today!

  • 2 min read