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Can I obtain temperature data in transit?

The data that our reefer equipment records is confidential and for MSC internal eyes only. However, customers are more than welcome to place their own data recorder in with the cargo. In these instances placement is crucial to the accuracy of information and we would recommend the use of more than one such recorder.

Can I ship my hazardous cargo with MSC?

This is entirely dependent on the specific nature of the hazardous cargo. There are some consignments we will not carry, either on legal, ethical or environmental grounds. Contact your local MSC office for further clarification.

If your cargo is not one of those prohibited, then MSC will be happy to transport it.  We have experienced teams all over the world that can help you through the whole shipping process. Our global chemical support department (based in Antwerp), meanwhile, is on hand to ensure that your shipment meets the stringent compliance requirements of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. They can also deal with any contingency along the way.

Can MSC arrange the loading, lashing and securing of my out-of-gauge cargo?

Yes. We can coordinate this process at your origin port or nearby depots (providing the origin port is capable of loading the cargo in the first place).

Can MSC provide ‘food grade’ dry vans?

Yes. In these circumstances MSC dehumidifies its standard containers before transit to ensure they are suitable for transporting food-stuffs.

Can MSC provide any advice on the optimal stuffing of a container?

Yes. We’ve put together a comprehensive stuffing guide that details best practice when it comes to packing your container – both for dry vans and refrigerated containers.

Can MSC provide intermodal services for moving my out-of-gauge cargo to/from ports of loading and discharge?

When you book the shipping of your breakbulk or out-of-gauge cargo with MSC we can arrange the transport on your behalf – whether through our own intermodal services, other suppliers or a combination of both. This will be determined by your own preferences as well as the availability of transport services at either port.

Can MSC provide transport services for moving my out-of-gauge cargo to/from ports of loading and discharge?

When you book the shipping of your breakbulk or out-of-gauge cargo with MSC, we can arrange the transport on your behalf – whether this is using our own intermodal services, other suppliers or a combination of both. This will be determined by your own preferences as well as the availability of transport services at either port.

Can MSC supply me with high cube containers to ship my cargo?

Yes. MSC has an extensive inventory of more than 10 million containers including 20’, 40’ and high cube boxes.

Can MSC’s haulage and logistics process contribute to my company’s eco credentials?

Yes. With our extensive road and rail networks combined with our outstanding port coverage MSC can provide optimised routing – loading and unloading closer to your point of origin/destination. This way we minimise the time, money and carbon footprint of the inland transport leg of the journey.

Can out-of-gauge or breakbulk cargo be transported to the same number/range of ports as standard-sized cargo?

No, not necessarily. The specialist equipment and/or stevedoring skills required to safely load and unload certain outsized cargoes are not available in every port around the world. For further information do talk with your local MSC out-of-gauge specialist for advice and scheduling information.

Do I have to use INTTRA to book with MSC?

Absolutely not, we’re always happy to talk to customers directly, discuss their needs and process their bookings by email or over the phone. INTTRA simply provides another means by which customers can make their bookings.

Does MSC only use road and rail for its inland transport?

No, in countries where it is geographically appropriate (the USA, for example), MSC will also use barges to ensure the optimum routing of customers’ cargo.

How can I find out if EDI is suitable for our company?

EDI is administered centrally through our Geneva head office who will be happy to review your online requirements and assess how EDI can benefit your business. Please get in touch via email to edi@mscgva.ch.

How can MSC help me import private and personal effects?

Importing private and personal effects can be stressful and time consuming. There are lots of HMRC formalities involved in this type of import which can be confusing and can result in further charges being incurred. MSC’s in-house experts are fully trained in handling shipments of this nature.

We can offer guidance throughout the process, ensuring that your household goods or vehicles reach you with minimal delay. We can provide a dedicated point of contact who will oversee every part of the shipping process, including quotation, clearance and delivery, and will also provide you with any forms required by HMRC and will even help you complete them if you’re uncertain about how to do so.

How do I check on the progress of my container once it has been loaded onto a truck for inland transport?

MSC’s transport operations departments can monitor your container’s progress throughout its journey. Simply contact the transport or intermodal team at your local MSC agency and they will provide you with all the information you need.

How is my reefer cargo monitored in transit?

Whilst on terminals and vessels our engineers will manually attend at least three times each day.

How is the reefer temperature maintained while at the port or in transit?

Whilst quayside and on vessels, the equipment is plugged into the port’s/vessel’s own power supply. The container’s temperature and conditions are set according to customer requirements.

How is the tariff for breakbulk or out-of-gauge cargo calculated?

A Each piece of outsized cargo is treated as a bespoke transport and assessed on its individual characteristics – there’s no such thing as a standard tariff. Factors affecting the cost include: size and weight (which influence equipment, transport and stevedoring requirements), consignment value and geographical trade lane.

How long will it take for my cargo to clear through Customs?

The time taken to clear goods is dependent on certain information provided to Customs on the import declaration. Upon arrival into the UK, for example, UK Customs (HMRC) will assign a ‘route’ to the entry. Below is a list of the most common routes, and the approximate time it takes for clearance to be issued.

Route 1 – This is a full documentation check whereby customs require sight of original paperwork for a detailed check of the declaration, this can take up to three working hours to clear. The time starts when customs receive your paperwork.

Route 2 – This is a customs examination as well as document check. Customs require original paperwork before they request the container be presented and out-turned for examination. There is no time limit allocated to this routing as customs rely on the port service providers to present the container.

Route 3 – This route sees clearance being given within approximately 10 minutes. Customs still require us to present original paperwork within 24 hours. Although this type of clearance can be issued within 10 minutes we request customers allow one hour for clearance to be issued.

Route 6 – Instant clearance pending funds being in place for Duty and VAT. Usually clearance is issued within 10 minutes of the declaration being accepted. Customs do not require presentation of any documentation.

How will the ocean freight be calculated on my hazardous cargo?

When it comes to potentially dangerous hazardous cargo, each container MSC transports will be treated as a bespoke shipment. Factors influencing the ocean freight will include the nature of the cargo itself, any special stowage requirements, its weight, the specific trade zone in which it is to be shipped and whether there are any existing contracts or relationships in place.

I asked for container to be pre-cooled, why can’t this be done?

Unless you are loading at a cold-store, which is the identical temperature to our reefer, then there is little point in pre-cooling; in fact, it can actually have an adverse effect. If warm ambient air hits a cold surface this creates condensation – this can then drip onto your cargo/packaging causing frost and staining.

I can’t find what I’m looking for on this website, who should I contact?

If you’re unable to find the information you require, simply call your local MSC office and ask for the department that’s most relevant to your enquiry (reefer, breakbulk, transport, etc.). You can find the contact information for your local office on the information panel at the right-hand side of this screen.

I need to change the delivery time of my cargo. Is this possible?

With a reasonable amount of notice, we will always do our best to accommodate this sort of request. Check with your local MSC office for the cut-off point for such requests (e.g. 12pm the day prior to the day of delivery).

What are the maximum cargo dimensions that can be loaded on to a flatrack?

There’s really no such thing. The physical size of a piece of out-of-gauge cargo is only one consideration when assessing how to transport it most safely and efficiently.  As such, there aren’t actually any maximum dimensions. Every single load is approached as a bespoke operation, assessed on an individual basis. Contact your local MSC office to discuss your requirements.

What Duty will I have to pay?

The rate of duty applicable will be dependent on the commodity code of the goods you wish to import and the country of origin. All this information can be found using the following LINK:
http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/dds2/taric/taric_consultation.jsp?Lang=en

What equipment types can MSC provide its haulage clients?

A MSC has an extensive inventory of specialist chassis and trailers, including: rigid trailers, flatbeds, tippers, low loaders, container-lift trailers and gen-set trailers. This complements our specialist platform, flatrack, high cube and open-top containers.

What is a commodity code?

When trading internationally, you will need the correct commodity code for your goods so customs declarations can be completed accurately. The code is a ten-digit number for imports from outside the EU. Once you know the commodity code, you can look up other important information such as duty rates and any import or export restrictions.

What is a genset?

Our reefer equipment cannot power itself, therefore a generator (aka genset) is required when moving inland. Of course not all cargo requires active transport inland; it depends on many factors. If you are unsure whether or not one is needed, our dedicated reefer team will be happy to guide you accordingly.

What is a PTI?

PTI stands for Pre-Trip Inspection. This inspection involves ensuring the equipment is in a sound condition, meeting ISO standards, is cleaned to meet the intended cargo requirements, and is fully operational for the journey ahead.

What is an EORI Number and do I need one?

An EORI number is a number, unique throughout the European Community, assigned by a customs authority in a Member State to economic operators (businesses) or persons. By registering for customs purposes in one Member State, an Economic Operator (EO) is able to obtain an EORI number which is valid throughout the Community. The EO will then use this number in all communications with any EC customs authorities where a customs identifier is required for example customs declarations. Please find below a useful link to the Government website which can answer any questions regarding EORI.

https://www.gov.uk/economic-operator-registration-and-identification-eori-scheme

What is EDI?

EDI is the Electronic Data Interchange – this is a system of direct information connectivity between MSC and a selection of customers that book shipments across multiple trade lanes. It is a two-way secure link that allows for information to be exchanged instantly between systems. This facilitates bookings, status updates, schedules, accounting information, booking reservations and notifications. The system helps reduce costs and maximise efficiencies through accelerated processes and a minimal need for manual intervention.

What is INTTRA?

Describing itself as an ‘e-marketplace’ for ocean shipping, INTTRA is an online portal providing a range of operational, strategic and data provision services for organisations looking to find and book the international transit of cargo. Its development, in which MSC invested both time and money, was prompted by the desire to streamline the online sea freight booking process.

Its ship management services include:

Shipment Management

  • Ocean Schedules
  • Cargo Insurance
  • Container Booking
  • Shipping Instructions
  • Shipping Order
  • Bill of Lading 
  • e-Invoicing
What settings should I use for my cargo?

Please refer to our recommended conditions guide for chilled and frozen cargo here.

What temperature settings can MSC offer?

Our refrigerated container equipment can maintain temperatures between -25.0c – +30.0c. However, for some commodities for which lower temperatures are required (such as ice cream) we can go to -28.0c.

What VAT will I have to pay?

Again, the rate of VAT is dependent on the product(s) being imported. Standard UK VAT, for example, is 20% but certain goods may be liable to a reduced or ‘nil’ rate of VAT. All this information can be found using the following link: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/forms-rates/rates/goods-services.htm

What’s the difference between out-of-gauge and breakbulk cargo?

A If the item or items to be transported are too large to fit inside a standard container, it is deemed to be ‘out of gauge’ (OOG). Such cargo might require an open top container, platform or flatrack.

If, however, the cargo is too big to be loaded onto a single flatrack, it is termed as ‘breakbulk’ or project cargo. Typically we have to load this type of cargo across multiple flatracks on the deck of a vessel.

When I book a shipment online, why am I being directed to INTTRA?

INTTRA is the system that MSC, as well as the vast majority of ocean carriers, use to process their online bookings. Your booking remains with MSC and the shipment will benefit from our usual high standards of customer service – INTTRA is simply the mechanism of booking.

Who are Customs and what is their role?

A The role of Customs is extremely varied, ranging from checking of documents for accuracy to physical examination of cargo and preventative controls to check on the movement of drugs etc.
Their remit includes:

  • Controlling the movement of imports and exports.
  • Collecting revenue from traders on imported goods.
  • Protecting society from prohibited or explicit materials.
  • Acting on behalf of other government departments with import/export trade.
  • Undertaking law enforcement where necessary.
Who do I need to speak to if I need an out of hours number for a delivery/collection?

This would be the Transport Operations teams (Transops) at your local MSC office – in the UK you can reach Transops on 01473 277759 or mscuktransops@mscuk.com.

Who do I need to speak to if my container has not arrived at delivery/load point?

Contact the Transport Operations teams (Transops) at your local MSC office – in the UK you can reach Transops on 01473 277759 or mscuktransops@mscuk.com.

Who do I need to speak to regarding a driver who has arrived at the booked premises but isn't quoting the reference we provided at the point of booking?

Contact the Transport Operations teams (Transops) at your local MSC office – in the UK you can reach Transops on 01473 277759 or mscuktransops@mscuk.com.

Why do you not offer 20’ refrigerated containers to all destinations?

20’ reefers are always in short supply, therefore we try to keep them on the trades which result in best utilisation. Thus there tends to be a reduced supply of 20’ reefer containers in regions in which a loaded round-trip use is likely. However, we will always do our very best to accommodate customer requests. For more information, please contact your local MSC agent.

Why should I cover the whole floor of the reefer?

Our reefers are bottom air fed, if you leave gaps in the floor these sections will have the lowest pressure, meaning the air will bypass some/majority of your cargo. For reference see our refrigerated cargo stuffing guide.

Will I be charged extra if the vessel is delayed sailing?

No. We calculate any additional costs i.e. plug/power etc. based on vessel sail date at time of booking. If the vessel is delayed, MSC absorbs the associated plug/power costs.

Will MSC ship rare and/or precious cargoes?

MSC has provided secure transport for rare and precious cargoes for many years. However, due to the bespoke nature of this service, such cargo is subject to application.

Will there be any additional charges?

The charges quoted by MSC are our charges for arranging clearance of your cargo through HMRC formalities. However, MSC have no control over any subsequent checks HMRC may wish to perform. As such there may be further charges incurred which are outside of our control such as x-ray or out-turn examinations. We will always endeavour to inform you if you goods are delayed and if any additional charges are likely to be incurred.

Glossary

Lanemeter

Primarily used to indicate the cargo capacity of a roll-on/roll-off car carrier. It is one meter of deck with a width of 2.5 to 3.0 metres.

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