Knowledge Centre

We’ve compiled a few pieces of ‘staple’ information about Logistics.

Incoterms / Shipping Terms

Incoterms were first published in 1936. In September 2010 the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) released its latest 10 year revision; Incoterms 2010. Short for International Commercial Terms, Incoterms are a series of internationally recognised standardised trade terms published by the ICC.
In the delivery of goods from sellers to buyers, in both international and domestic sales contracts, these terms help you to clarify:

  • Responsibilities
  • Tasks
  • Costs
  • Risks

Why you need to know.

  • They define (where applicable) at each stage in the transport process who is responsible for obtaining and paying for insurance, freight costs, export and import clearances, and any duties and taxes.
  • They assist in avoiding disputes when it may already be too late and you incur additional costs and delays.
  • All Incoterms give a duty to the seller to pack the goods suitably for transport and to assist the buyer with documents and information required for security clearance and importation
  • Incoterms say nothing about who owns the goods as this is a function of the underlying contract of sale. The contract of sale must specifically reference Incoterms if they are to be used e.g. “Subject to EXW (named place) Incoterms 2010”.
  • Certificates of Origin are not directly mentioned in Incoterms 2010 but by implication payment for them is to the buyer?s account in all but DDP. In many instances this is contrary to normal export practice, and it is recommended that the provision of and payment for any required certificates of origin is specifically covered in the contract of sale.

The ICC regularly monitors the list of Incoterms and publishes updates about every ten years to ensure that the terms accurately reflect current business practices. The previous list of terms was published in 2000 and this latest update went into effect on 1st Jan.2011. Staying up to date on the current list of incoterms is important to avoid costly misunderstandings when entering into international trade contracts.

There are now eleven Incoterms which are split into two groups, one of which is applicable to all forms of transport, the other being reserved for sea and inland waterway transport: All of these terms need to specify the port or destination:

Any mode(s) of transport
EXW Ex Works
FCA Free Carrier
CPT Carriage Paid To
CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid To
DAT Delivered at Terminal
DAP Delivered at Place
DDP Delivered Duty Paid
Sea and Inland Waterways Only
FAS Free Alongside Ship
FOB Free On Board
CFR Cost and Freight
CIF Cost, Insurance and Freight

Note that these latter four Incoterms should not generally be used for containerised seafreight where the carrier takes charge of the container at the terminal. FCA, CPT and CIP are better alternatives.

We would be happy to go through these with you, please contact us now for an informal chat.

What is Sea Freight

What is Sea Freight, also known as Ocean Freight and Liner shipping?

Sea Freight is the service of transporting goods by means of high-capacity, ocean-going ships that transit regular routes on fixed schedules. Today there are approximately 400 liner services in operation worldwide, most sailing weekly. Liner vessels, primarily in the form of containerships and roll-on/roll-off ships, carry about 60 percent of the goods by value moved internationally by sea each year.

Let Freedom Logistics UK operating as your Freight Forwarder exploit their sea freight industry expertise to your advantage. Whatever your shipping requirement is, Freedom Logistics UK has the best solution for you. We have provided sea freight services FCL, LCL, Lo/Lo, Ro/Ro for all kinds of goods, from something as large as a concrete crusher to a single pallet of filters, to Australia, from Mexico, from China to Greece, thousands of times our Customers testify their satisfaction with our reliable services.

Bill of Lading

Bills of lading can give the holder access to the goods, or the value they represent, so treat them with respect. Issuing bills of lading with incorrect details in order to comply with letters of credit can be considered a fraud and may attract criminal penalties in severe cases. At best it may deprive your company of being able to rely on contractual limitations and its insurance protection. Where Original Bills have been issued you must surrender an original to obtain release of the shipment unless Telex release has been arranged. Alternatively Express Bills may be issued. Please contact us for more specific advice.

Container Shipping Explained

Containerised freight has revolutionised world trade over the last 50 years by making it possible to ship all manner of commodities quickly and safely in the same transport unit from door to door across the world and on any scale.

Spending our lives dealing with the Container Shipping Lines, Freedom Logistics really know the industry inside out and have indeed grown up with it. Container shipping is different from conventional shipping because it uses ‘containers’ of various standard sizes – 20 foot (6.09 m), 40 foot (12.18 m) , 45 foot (13.7 m), 48 foot (14.6 m), and 53 foot (16.15 m) – to load, transport, and unload goods. As a result, containers can be moved seamlessly between ships, trucks and trains. The two most important, and most commonly used sizes today, are the 20-foot and 40-foot lengths. The 20-foot container, referred to as a Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) became the industry standard reference so now cargo volume and vessel capacity are commonly measured in TEU. The 40-foot length container – literally 2 TEU – is the most frequently used container today.

There are in excess of 28 million TEU in the world container fleet and among the busiest container ports 6 of the top ten are in China, with over 125m movements a year. Shanghai dominates the top of the list with 29m in 2010, followed by Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

The transhipment hub ports of Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam provide a vital role in the handling of containerised freight for Europe and the Middle East while around 9% of total container traffic is to and from the USA with their major ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on the West Coast and East Coast centred on New York/New Jersey. The container ships have grown bigger too and recent developments driven by the desire for sustainability have produced much larger ships moving slower for optimum fuel consumption. The largest can now carry 15,000 TEU.

Download the pdf Shipping Container Specifications

Download the pdf Industry Guidance for Shippers and Container Stuffer

Ro/Ro - Roll on / Roll Off

Suitable for moving the large machinery of the off highway industry consisting of Road Building & Construction Equipment, Agricultural Equipment, Boats, Buses and Tractor Cabs as examples have had an increasing need for international ocean transport. The Ro-Ro ships are Decks and ramps are engineered with strength to handle heavy-duty vehicles and enable these units to roll on and roll off under their own power or be towed on trailers.

Lo/Lo - Load on / Load Off

Conventional Cargo Ships, where the cargo is loaded and discharged over the top of the vessel using cranes or derricks. Vessels can transport a range of different products as a result of their flexible cargo space and onboard cranes. Lift-on/Lift-off (lo/lo) cargo is NON-containerized cargo that must be lifted on and off vessels and other vehicles using handling equipment.

Freedom Logistics manage all the elements of the shipping process for you, giving you total Freedom to concentrate on your other areas of responsibility.

Useful Links - Container Shipping

Whoever you are and whatever your experience to date, whether you are new to shipping, have had the responsibility thrust upon you, or have worked your way through for years, the links here will give you a really good overview of what container shipping today involves and how it works.

The Box That Changed Britain. The extraordinary story of how a simple invention – the shipping container – changed the world forever and forced Britain into the modern era of globalisation:

That’s quite a load! Watch as the container ship Hanjin Washington finishes its journey across the Atlantic Ocean:

Moving containers off the ship and inland, see if the railroad crew has what it takes to meet a tight deadline:

Useful link:

Air Cargo Industry

The rise of international trade has fuelled continued growth for the global air cargo market. The industry is a circa $60 billion business that transports 35% of the value of goods traded internationally. At the same time, the increasing emphasis on just-in-time delivery has added to the importance of managing this growth and improving delivery precision. Airlines and freight forwarders of all sizes are seeking ways to reduce costs and standardise their processes whilst continuing to keep their customers satisfied.

The UK is one of the world’s most important air transport hubs, with over 160 airlines flying into and out of our airports, including the world’s busiest international airport, Heathrow. Freedom Logistics are your industry experts, managing airfreight, door to door, flying goods quickly and safely.

Airlines now offer a variety of cargo products providing more flexibility to accommodate most shipper’s needs including express priority offering shorter leads times for handling at departure and origin. Freedom can advise, recommend and manage the right solution for you.

Air Cargo Security Screening

While almost a decade has passed since 9/11, many countries are still developing their air cargo security regimes – and those in existence are subject to frequent refinement.

The air cargo industry, manufacturers, exporters, importers and consumers will face the prospect of significant global supply chain disruption if the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enforces a proposed deadline of December 31st 2011 for 100% screening of all international inbound cargo on passenger aircraft. Freedom Logistics experienced US partners are C-TPAT certified so better placed to help you get your shipment compliant and moved through US airports without delay.

Freedom Logistics services provide compliance with the UK aviation security procedures and all air cargo can be screened at the departure airport in accordance with the latest Government regulations using X-ray or for denser freight RASCO.

European Union

The UK’s biggest trading partners are in Europe; encompassing both the 27 members of the European Union (EU 2011) and the 21 other countries in Scandinavia, Central & Eastern Europe including the major economic force that is Turkey.


The 28 member countries of the European Union

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

(Canary Islands (Spain), Azores and Madeira (Portugal), and French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Reunion (France) are sometimes listed separately even though they are legally a part of Spain, Portugal, and France)

The euro is the official currency of 19 out of 27 EU member countries. These countries, known collectively as the Eurozone, read more at: