One of the benefits of booking an ocean freight shipment online with a digital freight forwarder is the flexibility, efficiency, and transparency it offers. Instead of dealing with chains of emails, phone calls, or even faxes, digital freight forwarders often provide their clients with online dashboards on which shippers can manage their ocean freight reservations 24⁄7.
iContainers is no exception. Aside from the clear advantages our technology offers the ocean freight shipping process that our clients can benefit from, there sits a whole team of specialists behind every single shipment that we handle. These are experienced import and export experts that are available to assist our clients with any problems that they may encounter.
In this guide, we’ll explain to you what happens after an online ocean freight booking is made with iContainers and how our team of experts combines the best of technology and our expertise to carry out and execute online ocean freight reservations to deliver the best customer service experience.
Once you have made your reservation on our website, our sales department is notified immediately and a member of the sales team is assigned to your booking.
He or she will review your reservation details and reach out to you to assist you with any pending questions, concerns, and doubts, and to verify and confirm the details of the ocean freight shipment.
If payment has not yet been carried out, it will also be collected at this point.
At iContainers, we accept the following payment methods:
As soon as payment has been confirmed, the sales personnel assigned to your booking will hand your case over* to a corresponding member of the operations team.
*Note that these two sales and operations personnel will be your assigned account managers and points of contact throughout your entire shipping process.
At this point, the operations representative assigned to handle your shipment will request a slot with the carrier for the route you have selected.
He or she will also coordinate all the documents and forms required for your particular shipment. Documents vary from shipment to shipment, but in all ocean freight shipments, the Bill of Lading, packing list, and the commercial invoice are mandatory documents.
This assigned operations representative will also get in touch with you to arrange for land transportation and cargo pick up (only if you have selected the option of having us take care of this).
As soon as your reservation has been made, you will be able to submit your documentation directly onto your iContainers personalized dashboard, which your assigned operations personnel will have access to.
This will be constantly reviewed and in the event that documents are pending, reminders will be sent (either via email or via the dashboard) to ensure all documents are submitted correctly and on time to avoid delays.
Note that the shipper is responsible for the timely submission of documents and the information provided on all the required documents.
Once the necessary documents are uploaded, your operations representative will generate a Bill of Lading, a copy of which will be sent to you for verification. As soon as you have verified that the information listed is accurate, the original version will be sent to the shipping carrier.
Please make sure to check through the Bill of Lading thoroughly as any corrections made after it has been sent to the carrier may incur additional charges. Note that the information listed on the Bill of Lading must also match that of other documents such as the packing list and commercial invoice.
If your shipment is arriving in a country in which iContainers is present, we will be able to handle customs clearance and all local arrangements such as land transportation and delivery (as required).
In the event that you’re shipping to a country where we are not physically present and require a destination agent to assist you with local arrangements, we would be more than happy to put you in touch with a destination agent from our network of reliable agents located around the world.
Your reservation details and instructions will be sent to them, who will be your liaison at destination. Your destination agent can help you with customs clearance at destination, payment of import duties and taxes and related customs fees, the handling of shipment retrieval, etc.
Even though your reservation is handled digitally, rest assured that there’s always a team of import and export specialists who are always on top of your shipment. Our sales and operations personnel are available to help you with any issues that may arise along the way.
If you need help with quoting and booking an online shipment with iContainers, check out our six-step guide. Alternatively, you may reach out to our sales team, who will be glad to assist you with your queries.
"Customs duties play an important role in your international shipment. How they're determined and calculated varies from country to country"
Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers