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Also known as the Next Generation Digital Supply Chain platform, Supply Chain 4.0 has the potential to truly transform your supply chain management practices. So what is Supply Chain 4.0? Simply put, it’s the amalgamation various practices in order to facilitate a smooth running ship from manufacture to distribution. Automation plays a big role in Supply Chain 4.0, including the role of robotics, use of analytics for means of improving performance and customer satisfaction.

This new trend in supply chain is the inevitable, that is the culmination of what the logistics industry has been undergoing in the last three decades.  It started off with operational functionalist which them progressed to the need for supply of production lines and delivery, and thereafter  to what became an independent supply chain management function. The focus of SCM functions have shifted  more onto the use of advanced planning and analytics processes along with operational logistics being outsourced to logistics service providers rather than having them in-house to reach higher economies of scale.

What Supply Chain 4.0 within the industry means, is that it demands that you restructure your organisation processes to factor in the new means of bettering the supply chain processes and bringing gaps between customers and suppliers.  Other factors that have led to this progression include the likes of customer expectation and also global mega trends. Customer expectations are ever flighty with on-demand gratification is the expectation and not to mention service level on par with it. Furthermore, global pressures to reduce carbon footprints and to keep socioeconomic factors in mind also factors into the need for Supply Chain 4.0.

In essence, the following image by McKinsey looks at the various factors that revolve around Supply Chain 4.0.

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If you are looking to send a Motorbike to a loved one to Sri Lanka, then you are in luck as the Sri Lanka Customs authority has included the likes of a motor cycle, auto cycle or scooter that is no more than 3500CC classified as a passenger baggage item which means that you can send a motorbike as personal effects category through Transco Cargo.

However, a motorbike is not the only thing that has been added to the List of Permissible and Restricted Articles list.  There are more additions which include the likes of the below, which can be sent along with your personal cargo when you send a motorbike as personal effects to Sri Lanka.

Permissible Articles/Goods Quantities
Alarm Clock 2
Artificial Flowers 12
Baby Carriages 2
Bathing Suits/Trunks 6
Bathroom Set – (With Accessories) 1
Bed Room Set

(One Wardrobe, One Dressing Table And One Bed)

Bed Sheets 6
Bed Spreads 6
Beds With Or Without Mattresses 3
Beer 2L
Belts 6
Bicycles Not Motorized 2
Blades (For Shaving) Whether In Packets , Set Or Loose 30
Blankets 4
Bluray Disk 6
Bluetooth Speaker 1
Brassier 6
Brief Cases 2
Carpets 2
Cassette Tapes 6
CCTV System

(8 Channel DVR/NVR With Eight Camera

CDs/DVDs 24
Chairs Other Than Dining Chairs 12
Chandeliers 2
Computer Desktop 1
Computer Diskette 6 Boxes
Printer 1
Cooker Hood 1
Confectionery 5kg
Cordless Telephone 1
Corsets 4
Dining Chairs 8
Dining Tables 1
Domestic Weighting Scale 2
Drawing Room Suite (Not Exceeding 8 Pieces) 1
Duppattas 6
Electric Bell 2
Electric Fans 3
Electric Hand Dryer 2
Electric Iron 1
Electric Lamps /Wall 6
Electric Organ 1
Electric Shavers 2
Electric Table Lamp 2
Electric Toaster 1
Empty Receptacles For Packing Baggage’s Eg. Trunk, Suitcase, Etc (Except Camphorwood Chests) 2
Exercise Machine (One Unit Of Each Category) 2
Fax Machine 1
Floor Polisher 1
Food Mixer With Attachments Such As Blender, Grinder, Juice, Extractor, Liquidizer Etc. 1
Food Stuff

(Assorted Each Variety Not More Than 5kg )

Fountain/Ball Point Pens 12
Garments (Each Variety Not Exceeding Six Pieces) 36pcs
Gas Cooker

(05 Gas Burner With One Electric Burner)

Glassware Assorted 24pcs
Hair Dryers 2
Hats & Caps 6
Hot Water Geyser 1
Imitation Jewellery

(Each Variety Not Exceeding Three Pieces )

Instant Water Heater With / Without Pump 1
Ironing Board 1
Key Tags 12
Kitchen Utensils And Equipment As Listed Below
–        Kettles 2
–        Rice Cookers 2
–        Saucepans 6
–        Frying Pans 3
–        Pressure Cookers 2
–        Cooking Pans 6
–        Hot Plates 2
–        Egg Beater 2
–        One Set Of Kitchen Cutlery (Six Of Each Verity) 1
–        Bread Bin 1
–        Containers For Condiments, Etc. 6
–        Can–Opener (Electrically Operated Or Manual) 1
–        Vegetable Stand 1
–        Kitchen Sink 1
–        Domestic Water Filter 1
–        Water Dispenser / Water Purification 1
Electric Scooter

( Not More Than 2kw )

Lace Strips 24m
Ladder 1
Ladies Hand Bags 4
Lap Top Computer 1
Lawn Mover Domestic Type 1
Lead Pencils 12
Microwave Oven 1
Mobile Phone 2
Motorcycle/Auto cycle/Scooter Not More Than 350CC 1
Movie Projector 35mm /Multimedia Projector
Music System

(Home Theater, Amplifier, One Equalizer, One Built – In – Radio , One Record Player, One Cassette Recorder And One CD/DVD/Bluray Player)

Musical Instruments

(One Of Each Variety, Other Than Piano & Electric Organ )

Non Electronic Shaving Sets 2
Paints 30L
Pair Of Shoes 4
Pantry Cupboard 1
Pen/ Flash Drive 6
Perfumed Spirits 1/4L
Photo Albums 6
Photocopy Machine

(Black & White Or Single Colour)

Piano 1
Pictures 6
Pocket Calculators 3
Pocket Radios 2
Portable Battery Operated Lamps 2
Portable Generator 1
Radio Cassette Recorder 1
Refrigerator New/Used

(Not More Then 500L and CFC Free)-

Room Heaters 2
Rugs 4
Saree Boarders 24m
Sewing Machine 1
Shawls 6
Slippers 4
Shoes 12
Solar Water Heater System – 150 Ltr 1
Solar Panel 8pcs (Each 200w )

Set (With / Without Inverter Of Capacity Not More Then 2kw)

Sound Bar 1
Sports Goods

Four Pieces Of Each Variety Not Exceeding A Total Of 12 Pieces

Still Camera / Digital Camera 1
Socks Or Stocking 6
Sofa Set (Up To 04) 1
Table Cloths 6
Tablet PC 2
Tea Set 1
Tea Trolley 1
Telephone Set 1
Ties 6
Tiles 1500sqft
Toilet Water 1/2L
Toiletries 1
Tools 1
Towels 6
TV CRT (Not More Than 29”) Or

TV LCD/LED/Plasma (Not More Than 55)

Typewriter 1
Umbrella 4
Vacuum Flasks Or Jugs 2
Vacuum Cleaner 1
Video Camera 1
Video Player/Recorder (UHF/DVD/Bluray) 1
Video Tapes 6pcs
Waffle Iron 1
Walkman Sets 2
Wall Clocks 4
Wall Hangings 4
Wallets 6
Washing Machine

(Dry Linen Capacity Not Exceeding 10kg)

Washing Powder 10kg
Water Cooler 1
Water Pump

(Inlet And Outlet Internal Diameter Not Exceeding 1”)

Wheel Chair – Motorised Or Not 1
Wigs 4
Wrist Watches 4


Any Item Not Listed Above Shall Be Permitted At The Discretion Of The “Director General” of Sri Lanka Customs

The following includes the restricted articles which cannot be sent as personal baggage or effects.

Restricted Articles
Air Conditioner
Deep Freezer
Dish Washer
Electric Oven (Four Burners)
Refrigerator New/Used Cfc Free (Over 500ltr)
T.V. CRT (Over 29”)
T.V. LCD /LED/Plasma (Over 55”)

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The progression of supply chain and logistics in global trade is ever evolving and thus, it is important to say on top of the supply chain trends that keep evolving, especially those that would affect your business model.

Smart Warehouses

The norm of warehouses is that at least 10% of the market deals with pallet shipping and of course pallets, whereas nearly 70% also facilitate small shipments, complete loads, split shipments and groupage services.  However, with added labours costs and developments in channels and not to mention the growth in access and automate solutions, the means of which distributions centres and supply chain trends are developing and evolving too.

The need for better warehouse management systems are being requested so that the smooth running of manual and automated processes can co-exist efficiently. Having said that, with these supply chain trends, you can expect that warehousing management will be more complex as freight forwarders in Australia and the world will be expected to do their part for the partnered customers.

Distribution Nodes/Redistribution Centres

One of the most anticipated supply chain trends, it is highly applicable to those in the ecommerce trade whereby smaller storage or distribution centres will move closer to such business to make use of economies of scale, faster service levels, lower pricing models, and not to mention improved tracking. Online shopping drives the need for ecommerce logistics and improved strategies and models.


Having said that, contact logistics can at times be tricky waters to navigate often with banks and lawyers becoming involved due to issues with payments.

There are also concerns with traceability which will need to be improved on. Especially in the case of returns/defects. Furthermore, there is a great need for direct communication between suppliers, retailers, and customers in order to reduce issues. The answer to this may well be BlockChain Supply Management as the solution provider to aid in multiple aspects of Supply Chain Management.  With these supply chain trends in light, you are able to make necessary changes to your processes to adapt and evolve with global trade evolution.




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A lot of business that trade in goods internationally make it a point to take on marine cargo insurance coverage because it safeguards their bottom line against losses for whichever reason (which we will talk about a little later in the blog).  If you are planning on freighting goods overseas via ocean cargo during seasons in which hurricanes or storms are likely to hit, extra protection for your goods can come in handy to ensure that your business is safeguarded. However, it is a more different approach when it comes to personal effects and sentimental goods. Let’s find out what you should be prepared for and why you should request marine cargo insurance coverage when freighting goods overseas.

Pathways of Tropical Storms | Marine Cargo Insurance Coverage


Knowing that your goods are being shipped via vessels over the ocean, you need to take that into that in the event that the vessel hits rough seas or unfavorable weather, the packed goods within the containers, be it in shipping boxes or shipping crates, may end up getting “jostled” or may move around within. Due to this factor, all cargo within said shipping crate or shipping boxes needs to have been packed properly. This is essentially the first preventive measure or line of defense that you can take before you request marine cargo insurance coverage.

By protecting your goods from the get-go, these are easy and cost effective ways in which you can safeguard your personal possessions or commercial goods. A freight forwarder clearly states their standard trading conditions, and a customer should take due precaution to read these as they state what they are liable and responsible for, and what the customer needs to undertake. The Transco Cargo Trading Conditions clearly state the terms, including the adequacy of packing, ensuring that proper branding is included pertaining to contents within, as well as what the freight forwarders liability entails. By understanding these terms, you are able to request marine cargo insurance coverage against risks that you may be open to.

Thus, once you know exactly what your freight forwarder is offering you and what comes under a customer’s liability, you are able to partner up with a shipping insurance provider to get yourself marine cargo insurance coverage. All Risks Coverage is one that shippers can benefit from, which include protection against the likelihood of damages or losses due to a number of factors. The included aspects under All Risks Coverage are damages due to improper packaging, infestation, cargo abandonment, customs rejection, employee and dishonesty. Speak to our representatives to have you get in touch with our partner shipping insurance providers to request marine cargo insurance coverage for your next cargo shipment.



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Sea Cargo is one on the preferred modes of transporting of freight between countries for centuries. At first it was the only means of which goods could be bartered across the oceans, but nowadays, compared to the alternative of air cargo, sea cargo fares better due to its cost efficiency. However, if you really were to look at sea cargo, there are more dangers at sea than air, and as a sea cargo customer, you should be aware and understand that these are common occurrences and that is why you should get sea cargo insurance as the freight forward may not be liable for a variety of causes. In this blog post, we look at the reasons in which a lot of freight forwarders get a lot of heat on the basis of cargo damage at sea and why we always recommend you take sea cargo insurance as a probable mitigation measure.

Risk, loss and damages are common when it comes to sea cargo as you should be aware that nature can easily change its temperament and an ocean cargo journey can be arduous. Thus, sea cargo insurance will be able to provide protection against all risks of physical loss and damage caused by external causes while shipping.  Of course, you are able to for-go the sea cargo insurance and assume all risk by self-insuring but that is on the assumption that you have understood that in the event that your cargo has had some physical damage, the freight forwarder will NOT be liable.

There are many ways in which cargo can get damaged during sea cargo and is often a common occurrence due to things like severe weather and high seas, accidents and even incorrect stowage. However, it can also get damaged when the shipping boxes and crates are not packed and packages properly, Thus, it should be said that if you opt to pack your own goods into shipping boxes and crates, it is it ESSENTIAL that you take into account all the necessary packing and packaging guidelines to avoid damages to your personal effects or goods that you want to sea cargo.

There are different types of sea cargo insurance that you can take up based on your circumstances and requirements. Sea Cargo insurance, is mostly referred to as Marine Cargo Insurance and covers ocean and air cargo as well. Essentially this type of insurance will cover damages during loading/unloading, weather, piracy and disaster.  There are 3 sub categories of the sea cargo insurance (or marine cargo insurance), and a generic insurance type, which are as follows;

  1. Open Cover Cargo Policies – covers all cargo during a specific time period
  2. Specific Cargo Policies/ Voyage Policies – covers a freight shipment
  3. Contingency Insurance Policies (Secondary Insurance) – typically smaller premiums in the event the primary insurance does not pay
  4. General Average Loss – in the event of a loss of a container, the loss is written off over the entire load, and all the shippers of the sea cargo pay a calculate share. In the event of an emergency or safety to the crew – the captain of the vessel will make a judgement choice to jettison a few containers overboard, and for which you as the shipper will be liable to pay  a percentage of the loss before goods will be released from the port. You can purchase cargo insurance to cover General Average Loss.

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In the last few blogs, we highlighted various factors that concern sea freight, payment terms and responsibilities between buyers and sellers. We’re highlighting the rest of the IncoTerms in this blog, to ensure that you have an all-round view of the ins and outs of all transport modes for whatever your freight forwarding requirement is.

Here are the rest






All costs up to goods placed for pickup at buyer’s disposal All costs from loading from warehouse of sellers




All costs up to delivery to carrier at mutually agreed upon location between Buyer & Seller

Includes customs clearance (at origin)

All costs from handover to carrier

Excludes customs clearance (at origin)







All costs up to delivery to carrier at mutually agreed upon location between Buyer & Seller

Excludes customs clearance and insurance (at origin)

All costs after delivery to mutually agreed upon location between Buyer & Seller

Includes customs clearance (at destination)

Transportation and insurance for whole carriage






Paid to

All costs up to delivery at mutually agreed upon location between Buyer & Seller

Includes customs clearance (at origin)

All costs after delivery to mutually agreed upon location between Buyer & Seller

Includes customs clearance (at destination)

Transportation and insurance after delivery






All costs up to delivery to terminal mutually agreed upon location between Buyer & Seller

Pick up ready

Excludes customs clearance (at destination)

All costs after delivery to terminal

Includes customs clearance (at destination)






All costs up to delivery to past the terminal,

Mutually agreed between Buyer & Seller

Pick up ready

Excludes customs clearance

All costs after delivery from past the terminal

Mutually agreed between Buyer & Seller

Includes customs clearance






All costs up to delivery to past the mutually agreed point between Buyer & Seller

Includes customs clearance, duties, VAT

All costs after point of delivery mutually agreed between Buyer & Seller



For the rest of the IncoTerms to cover all the transport modes, refer to our previous blog “IncoTerms Rules across the Scope of Buyer and Seller for Sea Freight Transactions” , or the following infographic.

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If you have been following our blog for the last few weeks, you would have realised that we highlighted a few things that relate to sea freight transactions. Last week, we looked at “Sea Freight Shipments and Payment Terms” and highlighted the scope of incoTerms. In this blog, we’re trying to make things more transparent or even easier to understand at first glance. IncoTerms Rules can be hard to decipher depending on the scope that falls on the buyer or the seller when it comes to sea freight transactions.

The following table looks at the IncoTerm Rules for sea freight transaction over the ocean as well as inland waterway transportation.

FAS Free Alongside Ship All costs of delivery up to shipside

Nominated by Buyer

Includes customs clearance (at origin)

Excludes cargo loading costs (at origin)

All costs from cargo (on shore)

Includes cargo loading costs (at origin)

FOB Free



All costs up to loading on board ship

Nominated by Buyer

Includes customs clearance & cargo loading costs (at origin)

All costs from cargo boarding ship


CFR Cost




All costs up to delivery at named destination port

Mutual agreement between Buyer & Seller

Includes customs clearance (at origin)

Excludes insurance

All costs from delivery at named destination port

Includes customs clearance (at destination)









All costs up to delivery at named destination port

Mutual agreement between Buyer & Seller

Includes customs clearance and insurance (at origin)

All costs from delivery at named destination port

Includes customs clearance (at destination)


Excludes insurance


Image: edited image by FlamingoHoldings

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Even in the olden days, trade occurred with the barter of a good or service, and presently it’s done in exchange of money. Whilst merchants of the past paid for new goods in kind, in sea freight nowadays there are sea freight shipments and payment terms that come attached to it to ensure that transactions occur smoothly to facilitate better global trade.

Trade transaction usually occur between two parties, the buyer who is seeking a product(s) or service(s), and the seller who has the sought after product(s) or service(s). Now, with concern to sea freight shipments which include goods obviously, there are various payment terms that they can opt for, whereby either one or both the buyer or seller may end up paying, concerning the different processes it takes to get the goods from Point A to Point B.

Essentially when a trade occurs, there is what we usually refer to loosely as a “Sales Contract” which essentially outlines the goods being traded, the specification and other essential information pertaining to the buyer/seller and modes of transport, and etcetera            a. When it comes to sea freight shipments, these are outlined in what is referred to as IncoTerms, which are internationally accepted. With IncoTerms, the risks and obligations are detailed and can thus reduce trade complications. Thus, in sea freight shipments, the payment terms, i.e, IncoTerms, will detail the following;

  1. The Buyer’s and Seller’s obligation pertaining to the transaction
  2. Outlines the risks, and rules, and the point of which they pass from seller to the buyer
  3. Defines how the costs of the trade transaction is divided between the buyer and the seller

However, one must keep in mind that the IncoTerms cannot be considered the Sales Contract – there will be another form of documentation that the seller will issue the buyer separately. It should also be noted that the IncoTerms will not supersede the laws that govern the sales contract, and does not outline to where/whom the title of goods transfers to, and nor does it indicate the price, currency or credit terms. All those items will be included within the Sales Contract in detail. The additional costs will be allocated to the seller/buyer based on the chosen IncoTerms. It should be kept in mind that there are eleven IncoTerms, in the last updated 2010 edition, and the rule pertaining to selected terms will govern responsibilities/risks.

For more information related to IncoTerms and past blog posts, please refer to the following;

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Transshipment and shipside are not words that are commonly used when dealing with personal effects shipping, but are known for those dealing with commercial trade.  In this blog, we look at what transhipment and shipside is and what it all entails.


Transshipment is essentially the transfer of a shipment from a vessel or a carrier to another while it’s still in transit. Vessel to vessel transfer is the most common. Whilst most transshipments occur in transport hubs, there are also some exemptions whereby they occur in designated customs areas when it comes to international transhipments. These transport hubs can either be sea transport hubs or air transport hubs. The need for transhipment of cargo comes down to practicality; restrictions in coverage of ports by carrier lines or trade lanes are examples of such practicalities. The following are the global trade lanes and transshipment incidence (which means the share of containers transhipment traffic – traffic to traffic – takes in with regards to total volume handled by port).


Shipsde includes transfer of cargo to the area adjacent to a shipping vessel, at a dock or at sea where freight is unloaded usually to a smaller vessel (lighter/barge). A shipside transfer requires written authority to discharge the cargo as per customs regulation. This permit will be handed over to the Customs Inspector onboard the vessel.  A barge is a flat bottomed barge used in the transfer of  goods to and from moored vessels that is other powered or towed by another boat, whereas a lighter are traditionally unpowered.

For a shipside transfer, it must be carried out under guard of authority and done so continuously. Due to the sensitive nature of this transaction, all cargo needs to be checked against the Permit and inward foreign manifest with descriptions weight and quantity. The Customs Inspector onboard the vessel must take due caution and strictly adhere to the conditions and/or requirements mentioned in the permit, and furthermore also issue a Boat Note with mention of pertinent criteria which will act as a receipt to the master of the ship as well as  ascertain responsibility of the transfer and proceedings. This Boat Note will include the following information; Name of vessel, date or arrival, and registry numbers, Name of lighter/barge, Name of Broker and/or Consignee, Shipside permit numbers, Shipping marks numbers, Type and description of cargo, Time & date of lighter/barge leaving vessel, names and signatures of Customs Inspector, Customs guard or guards in charge of lighter/barge.


Images: portoeconomics, maritime connector,

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If you are planning a move, be it an office relocation, moving to a new home (either in the same city, same state or even country) or an overseas relocation, or what about planning for a trip overseas for the likes of exhibitions and more, there is much planning to be done to ensure that you have everything in your task list taken care. You really need to pay heed because if you don’t plan your shipment ahead of time, you may have numerous issues to deal with and not to mention the unwanted stress. We have put together some tips to plan your shipment ahead of time; keep reading!

Plan Your Shipment – Set Aside Packing Time

When it comes down to meeting deadlines, we usually plan backwards from that date. Thus, you keep ample time for various tasks and a bit of buffer time as well for anything that gets delayed for realistic timings. It’s always a good idea to plan for Plan B so that you don’t drop the ball and miss your deadline and still get everything done efficiently and accurately. So, when it comes to ensuring you plan your shipment ahead of time, set aside time for packing. Packing takes a lot of time depending on the type of goods – thus get started early or get help. From there onwards you also need to account for your goods get from your address to port, and then loaded onto the vessel and also for it to reach the destination.

Plan Your Shipment – Be Wary of Extenuating Circumstances

As with any sea freight shipment, you need to keep in mind that bad weather and natural disasters, as well as other delays such as transshipment issues, and various other factors than can be attributed for delays. Whilst you can get shipping insurance, keeping a buffer time between your deadline would be smart.

Plan your Shipment – Communicate

Whether it’s a relocation or an event shipment, keep the different parties informed and communicate effectively between the shipping line, freight forwarder (that’s us, Transco Cargo), clearing agent, documentation teams, banks, etc so that everything falls in line and everyone is aware of the transit time and lead time kept aside for any issues that come up. Factoring in budgeted transit time, and keeping a buffer/lead time can ensure that you have enough time to meet your deadlines effectively without an issue.

Plan your Shipment – Stick to a Direct Route

Transshipment means delays as you have stops and deconsolidation at different ports enroute. This occurs during LCL (less than container load) shipments, thus you can choose FCL shipment even through you may not have enough to fill a 20 foot container. If you plan your shipment this way, you will not need have transshipment delays in mind.