Your First Shipment Checklist – The Importer’s Starter Pack

Organising your first shipment with ICE does take some initial preparation but once we receive all the information and documentation we require, we’ll get your goods moving without delay! Below we’ve put together a ‘first shipment checklist’ for your import. It will act as your starter pack so you know exactly what information to provide your freight forwarder.

Remember: the sooner we obtain the below information, the sooner we can start organising your shipment.

>>> BONUS: Free guide on How To Import General Cargo at the end of the article! <<<

#1 Supplier details

It’s crucial to provide us with the following basic details about your supplier:

  • Supplier name
  • Supplier address
  • Supplier contact person name
  • Supplier contact details

We’ll need this information to identify who your supplier is and who is the right person with whom to organise your shipment.

#2 Cargo Ready Date

The Cargo Ready Date (CRD) is the day that your cargo is expected to be available at the supplier’s location (or some other location). This is the anticipated date when your cargo will be ready to be picked up by a carrier which, if handling on EXW terms, we will organise.

If you decide to deliver your cargo to a relevant drop off-point on your own, for example when shipping on FOB terms, the CRD will be the date you drop off the cargo. This might be at a seaport or an airport.

#3 Target Date

The Target Date is the date by which you would like your cargo delivered to the end destination. This may be a week or a month after your Cargo Ready Date depending on your business goals.

By providing us with a Target Date, we’ll have a better understanding of your final deadline and can work around your requirements accordingly.

#4 Preferred Method of Shipping (Air or Sea)

Please let us know how you would prefer your shipment to be transported, so that we can determine if your shipment will be air freight or ocean freight.

There’s a range of factors to consider when deciding whether you should ship your cargo by air or by sea. Some factors include the cost (where sea freight is generally cheaper), speed (air freight is usually much faster), reliability and the impact on the natural environment. For more information, check our article: Air freight Vs Sea freight: How To Make The Most Money Out Of Your Supply Chain

#5 Details of your shipment

When providing us with the details of your shipment, please let us know the following information:

  • The contents of your shipment;
  • The weight and dimensions of the items;
  • Whether the shipment is Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL);
  • Whether your cargo is air freight or sea freight; and
  • What commodity your shipment contains i.e. machinery or perishable goods

By providing us with such information, we’ll be able to assess the safest and most efficient way to organise your shipment. We’ll also be able to advise you on the most cost-effective way to facilitate your import.

#6 Delivery Point and contact details

Please provide us with the point of delivery. This means a specific address, so we know exactly where your shipment must be dropped off. If delivering a full container (FCL) we will also want to know which way you would like the container doors to face on the truck.  You should also provide us with the contact details of the personnel located at the delivery point. This is so we are able to arrange the logistics of delivery prior to the Target Date.

#7 Documentation

Finally, you’ll need to provide us with the following documentation so that we can facilitate your import:

  • Customs Clearance Authority (CCA). This is a document that you, the importer, will sign to authorise a freight forwarder (such as ICE Cargo), to customs clear goods on your behalf. Without this document, your freight forwarder will have no authority to carry out the actions required for your import.
  • Letter of Credit Application. When you order your goods from a supplier, the most common way to pay them is to obtain a letter of credit from a financial institution such as a bank. Please provide us your application for the letter of credit so we can ensure the supplier receives security for their payment.

#8 Further documentation for shipping

There are further documents that your supplier will give to you as your import progresses. These documents will need to be sent to your freight forwarder as you receive them. Some of these documents include:

  • Commercial invoice. After securing your supplier via a letter of credit, you’ll receive a commercial invoice detailing the price and the amount of the sold goods. This document is required for customs clearance.
  • Packing List. The supplier will also provide you with a Packing List, usually given together with your commercial invoice. It will contain vital information such as how your goods will be packed, the cargo weight and dimensions.
  • Packing Declaration. Only a requirement if your freight is shipped by sea. Customs will need this documentation to identify the packing material of your goods.
  • Certificate of Origin. Suppliers will prepare this document if exporting from a country with a free-trade agreement with Australia.  You’ll be able to avoid duty charges if your supplier provides you this certificate.

For a comprehensive understanding of all documents associated with shipping and a detailed outline of the shipping process, see our blog on the entire shipping process step-by-step. See also our blog on the five documents you will need for imports and exports.

One Last Tip!

If you’re an importer you might feel it’s just easier to let your supplier arrange the transport and insurance as it is just one less hassle, right? However, when given the opportunity, we can potentially save you money and offer you local real-time support if anything goes wrong. Always engage your freight forwarder to verify the best option for your business. 

If you need more information about what to prepare for your first import, do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly ICE team or leave a comment below.

Request a Free Quote or call us on 1300 227 461

FREE Fact Sheet!

Find out a summary of what you need to know when bringing cargo into Australia.

general cargo fact sheet banner covers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

What Others Are Saying About International Cargo Express

Managed goods end to end

Due to critical stock levels we needed a fast solution to urgently meet growing client demand. Presented with this challenge, ICE quickly identified appropriate freighter services and proactively managed the movement of goods end to end.

Eddie Liaw – Supply Chain Director

ICE offered flexibility

ICE offered flexibility, high levels of communication and attention to detail during our pick, pack and delivery project. With their professional support we were able to meet the demands of our supply chain knowing our freight was in safe hands.

Tony Kealy – National Distribution Manager

Without exception and on time

Since having International Cargo Express handle my ocean freight , I have had my bookings and equipment available without exception and on time. Communication between ICE and my supplier is very good and I receive information via my shipper before my supplier.

Michael Caiacob – Purchasing and Supply Officer

Find Out How Our Team Can Help

Our team are ready to take your call on 1300 CARGO1