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We have stressed again and again on how packing your cargo correctly matters when shipping your goods via ocean sea cargo. Whether you are sending just shipping boxes or crates for personal effects shipment, or a container’s worth of cargo (choosing between a 20’ or 40’ container, you need to have then packed properly with due attention for safety. We will talk about how you go about them in detail further below.

The important of packing your cargo correctly is not only related to your own cargo but also to the safety and structure of other’s cargo that is sharing your container. Furthermore, when these items are packed into a container, ensuring that stability and safety is ensured is vital because if it is not done, it can hurt the stability of the container and cause damages during the sea journey.

Usually, when it comes to a LCL basis of shipping, where various customers drop off their shipping boxes and crates to the Transco Cargo offices, we carry out the container stuffing with the importance of packing your cargo correctly kept in mind. However, for those who have opted to pack their own cargo through FCL (full container load shipments), the task of packing the cargo is left to the customers responsibility. We are always on hand to offer a hand and not to mention advice on how to do so.

Not packing your cargo correctly can result in lots of damages, which can include any number of things, from damages to the cargo, the containers, logistics personnel in at various the origin and destination, equipment used for lifting and even the ship. At Transco Cargo, we offer our customers of undertaking insurance against damage especially when taking up FCL basis of shipping.

There are various ways in which damages can be caused and they include anything from packing improperly or incorrectly to insufficient packing measures taken to overloading the confines of the shipping container. All these factors can comprise the stability of the container, and the shipping boxes/crates and other effects included in the sea freight shipment.

One rule to remember during ocean freight shipping is the way the ship moves over the waves; heave – surge – sway – yaw – pitch- roll.  During these movements, the contents within the containers will move around if not properly packed into place with due restraints, and also if the contents within the shipping boxes and crates aren’t packed in with the necessary stuffing/packing materials, they too will move around. The conclusion would be that the contents will be damages, and invariably, so will the boxes/crates and the containers themselves.

For the matter of making your life easier, we have followed up this article with another to highlight how you can better understand the importance of packing your cargo properly in the follow-up post “Packing your Containers the Right Way


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You may have many reasons for wanting to go about exporting a vehicle from Australia. You could be moving overseas, or in fact, you are looking for vehicle parts for a restoration project. Whatever the reason behind it may be, you should know that there are a few processes you need to go though when exporting a vehicle from Australia.

We often get asked “what is the process of exporting a vehicle from Australia” from our clients who are keen in either taking their vehicle overseas for a move or shipping cars for restoration, or for whatever reason. In this blog posts, we at Transco Cargo will reveal to you how easily we can handle your automotive shipment through two means of vehicle shipping from Australia.

Get In Touch With Us

First things first, you need to get in touch with us and will get you started. One of the first things we do is asking you a few questions with regards to the vehicle in questions. These questions regarding exporting a vehicle from Australia include the likes of the below;

  1. Where are you planning on sending the vehicle to
  2. Are you sending the vehicle permanently or temporarily?
  3. Are you sending the vehicle overseas to sell or for use
  4. How do you want to transport your vehicle


Destination Country of your Vehicle Shipment

The answer to the first question is important, as the laws and regulations of handling vehicular shipments are different from country to country, as are the taxations and customs handling charges, etc. Our Transco Cargo International shipping representatives will then inform you on the various aspects of  exporting a vehicle from Australia onto the country in question and the important factors of ensuring that your shipment moves through the various points from origin door/port to desitnation port/door without a hitch. There are certain restrictions when exporting a vehicle into a country based on the use of the said vehicle. Therefore, it’s important to go through these factors with the representatives, especially if you do not plan on utilising the vehicle.

Exporting a Vehicle from Australia for a Move Overseas

Shipping a vehicle overseas during a move is one the easier ways of exporting a vehicle overseas. However, you would still need to prove ownership, pay import duties and GST,  having an import permit, as well as  taking into consideration whether the country allows for right hand driving.


Send us your questions about exporting a vehicle from Australia!


Mattieu Flantley’s review on Google Maps:  “Was concerned sending a car overseas so I stuck around to check how you guys loaded it. Good job! The recipient appreciated the help with the customs brokerage! Cheers!”


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In our previous blog post, we looked into the stages that you must go through from the Origin Door and Port as you go through the process of moving overseas. In this post, we look at the processes that one must undergo from the Destination Port and Door for a successful and easy move overseas.

Once the goods arrive at the Port of Destination, it is known that all cargo goods must be cleared through customs and all customs fees will need to be paid before the cargo can be claimed. If you recall the previous blog post “Moving Overseas Checklist from Origin Door and Port“,  we mentioned that there are prohibited items that should not be included in your cargo shipment when you are packing your goods at the door of origin before we pick up the cargo. For a more comprehensive list, based on the country you are moving to, you can refer our page on “Restricted Items” for your reference. Ensuring you heed these recommendations will not only allow for a stress-free customs clearance process but also a faster delivery of your cargo to your doorstep.

The cargo goods for your move overseas may arrive most probably through sea or ocean cargo, though there have been instances where air cargo has also been used for moving goods overseas however though it may incur heavy costs. Thus, most shippers prefer to use sea cargo for their move overseas and is such scenarios, there are two modes of shipping; through LCL (less than container loading) or FCL (full container loading), where the former is chosen when there are a few boxes or tea chests and the latter when you have a container full of items. In some instance, a shipper may opt to use FCL even when they do not possess enough items to actually fill the chose container to its maximum capacity simply for the fact that is means there will not be any consolidation/deconsolidation.

When the cargo arrives at the Port of Destination, it is crucial that you have ensured certain measures so that the customs clearance process is smooth. At Transco Cargo, we are able to offer you customs brokerage and clearance services to make your life easier, and act as your Destination Agent/Customs Broker.        Furthermore, information pertaining to your passport/visa/IEN will be needed apart from the packing list of what the LCL/FCL containers, the bill of lading and if there is a vehicle included in the container shipment for your move overseas, its vehicle title is needed too. It should also be mentioned that all clearing feeds need to be paid before they can move onto the Door of Destination, which entails door-step delivery of goods. We are also able to offer assistance in unpacking your goods, should you require it.


Images: Transco Cargo /  SwaureCowMovers

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When you are making plan to move overseas, you should know that, there are few things you need to be aware of. The process of moving overseas may seem seamless to you as a homeowner, but in the freight-forwarding world, it is actually divided into four sections. These are namely Door (origin), Port (origin), Port (Destination), and Door (Destination) out of the moving overseas checklist.


Moving Overseas Checklist | Stages of Freight Handling | Door of Origin



First things first on your moving overseas checklist, you should be aware that you as the shipper, you are responsible for the loading your cargo onto the truck when it is on LCL (Less than Container Load) basis or onto the container on FCL (Full Container Load) basis. You are not permitted to ship restricted items and thus, when packing these must always be kept in mind. Items such as tobacco, firearms, live animals, and such are prohibited and will cause unnecessary delays if you do include them in your cargo and it ends up being detained at customs in the destination port. It’s important to keep with you an itemised packing list for your reference and for handing over to us for your shipping records. LCL goods should be placed on pallets for easy transportation, and in the event of FCL, a ramp will be needed to load items onto the container itself. Do not forget to request a permit for roadside loading of a container as well as getting street access too.


Moving Overseas Checklist - Freight Handling Stages | Port of Origin



Thereafter on the moving overseas checklist from the origin side of things, your cargo will be transported either on a truck for LCL or a container for FCL shipping to the port in question by us. All documentation must be filled out by then, and the itemised packing list is an extremely important part which will be needed during the Destination Port and Door stages. Once it gets to the Origin Port, Transco Cargo as your recommended freight forwarder, will confirm and track your shipment. We do not recommend that you travel before your cargo has left the port. Also, when you do embark on your journey, it is important you carry your shipping documents with you when you are travelling.  It should also be noted that the lead times of shipping your cargo is based on estimates and they are subject to change due to various reasons out of our control.

The next stage in the Moving Overseas Checklist is to proceed to the Destination side of handling freight forwarding.

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With the last year (2016) coming under review soon, we wanted to highlight how the Australian export market has been performing in the most recent years.  We will look into the top export of goods and services, the perspective of the export market performance against world trade, and also the contribution and values seen.

First and foremost, let’s recap on the fact that between the years 2013 to 2015 there was a decreasing trend, noting and approximate -10% change up until 2015 though export values ranged in the bracket of A$315.6 billion. The drop was due to a dip in the value of general export goods as well as that of the fuels, and minerals. However, in 2016, a comeback was afoot, with an almost +5% change bumping 2016’s export values to an all time high A$330.3 billion, where the reverse was of 2015 was seen, including improved values of export of services and gold too!

The composition of the Australian export market and its performance in 2016 is due to export sectors such as food, minerals & fuels,  manufactures, services, other goods (inclusive of gold), and other primary products to name a few. The following charts which were put together by Australian economy and international trade expert, Mark Thirlwell, denotes the composition against the value of each export sector and it’s due performance in the past year.


The top export sector in Australia continues to be iron ore which is makes up for the break/bulk cargo freight forwarder out of country. Other top exports of goods and services include the likes of coal, education/travel related services, gold, natural gas, personal travel, beef, aluminium ores, wheat, and professional services. The export market share breakdown and composition is shown below.

The following graph shows us how the export goods and services has changed in the last year, where you can see that the largest increases in value were from the likes of coal, iron ore, gold, education services and travel. However, exports of the likes of beef, professional services and aluminium were lagging behind.

China continues to be the top export destination from Australia with high export volumes as much as A$93, followed by Japan, America and Korea. These top  4 export countries have remained unchanged in the last two years, however, in the last year, the UK beat India for the top 5th spot due to the high volumes of gold export to the United Kingdom from Australia.


Graph Source: AusTrade/Mark Thirlwell

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As one of the best freight forwarding company in Australia, dealing with freight shipments within the national transport network and the world over, Transco Cargo ensure that safety comes first. Whilst we provide turnkey shipping solutions, from start to end, there may be times where you would want to do certain tasks of shipping cargo on your own. In such instances, we cannot stress how important safety carrying out shipping cargo is.

As reputed shipping company, we have the proper equipment for loading and unloading, from our warehouse to containers and vice versa. We also utilise specialised loading and unloading equipment such as a fork lists, hand trucks and other loading gear to make life easier on us. If you are loading and unloading on your own, then not only will you need to hire your own equipment, but also ensure that you are able to operate it without causing injury to yourself and your cargo. Safety measure when shipping cargo is a rule of thumb that should be adhered.

This also applies to what you are planning on shipping.  Often the restricted lists of items are straightforward. As you are packing your shipping boxes or crates, you should definitely avoid the likes of the following to avoid unnecessary delays and complications. Taking heed and ensuring the shipping materials do not include the likes of live animals, narcotics, food, vegetables, and other such items that are subject to detailed international shipping regulations. It makes shipping cargo and ensuring safety measures for you and those accepting your cargo for shipment easier when you adhere to the guidelines prescribed by international shipping laws.  Not including these items when you are shipping personal cargo using boxes or crates on either LCL or FCL shipping, makes life easier for everyone (especially if you are opting for LCL shipping as the entire shipment may be detained in the event you include any of these restricted items). Therefore, take a moment to check out the Restricted Items List as per the destination country to stay on the safe side when shipping cargo.

Furthermore, packing your goods will required due attention, including ensuring there are no empty pockets that might hurt the integrity of the shipping boxes you use. Therefore, speak to us and acquire for yourself shipping padding materials from bubble wrap, packing peanuts, foam and more. Tape loose items, if you are shipping cargo of electronic nature, having regifoam moulds would be ideal, but if you don’t have them, use a large box, place packing peanuts half way up and then add your electronic items and pack the rest of the peanuts.

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In a previous blog post ”What is Bulk Cargo”, we highlighted and detailed what pertain to sending cargo through this means. Essentially, it means that the cargo is transported in bulk and “loose” form, and that they are handled in special vessels and infrastructure. Another term that is often erroneously interchanged with “Bulk Cargo” is “Break Cargo”, and in this blog post, we look into its definition and how we differentiate between the two.

The main difference is derivative from the terms itself, where bulk is handled in loose form and break cargo is essentially broken down into units. The cargo is broken down in and carried in broken down from which are either bundled, strapped, palletised, or drummed. That is cargo is transported on the likes of shipping boxes or crates, bags, drums or barrels in unit form that are then either added on to pallets or skids. This is essentially done for non-general cargo, such as with steel rebar, cement and more.

Whilst the term break and bulk can’t be interchanged with each other, the use of “Break Bulk” can be used for “Break Cargo” as it bulk cargo that is broken down into several units. The ships utilised to carry such cargo are known as “Break Bulk”, and even terms such as General Cargo or Multi Purpose vessels have been used too.  These cargo-shipping vessels can then be categorised based on their sizes and types of infrastructure/facilities on board. These shipping vessels which come in different sizes between 2000DWT to 40000DWT include the likes of the below;

  • Single Decker
  • Tween Decker
  • Box Holds

The cargo in itself is loaded underneath the deck or even above deck of the shipping vessel, and there is no restriction that one cargo hold is restricted to one customer. Instead, various types of cargo can belong to various customers. With this type of cargo handling, you are offer two types of flavours known as geared (the vessel (has its own loading facilities) and gearless (the vessel does not have its own loading facilities). No special loading infrastructure such as dedicated berth or terminal is necessary when it comes Break Bulk Cargo loading.

The shipping rates for Bulk Break Cargo are handled based on the freight or revenue tonne. This means to say that either the shipper will be charged based on the higher values of either the volume (CBM) or the weight (MT) of the cargo in hand.


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Personal and commercial cargo differs in a variety a ways, especially in the quantities shipped and the way they are freighted. Personal cargo, due to often-small quantities, will be carried either over air cargo, or through container cargo. With commercial cargo and its high volumes, you are often required to use bulk or break cargo. However, often, many do not understand the difference between bulk and break cargo. In this blog post, we look at just that in hope of educating you on the dynamics of bulk commercial freight forwarders and how cargo is handled.

Many people tend to interchange the terms on a day-to-day basis; however, these shipping terms are distinctively different from each other based on the cargo’s nature and its size, the capacity of the vessel, as well as the type of trade, infrastructure, to name a few.

As the term implies, this type of cargo involves commercial dry cargo for trade that is handled in high volumes. Items handled through bulk cargo are handled in bulk form; they loaded straight into the hold the vessel. Common cargo carried over bulk carrier ships include the likes of grains, coal, and cement to name a few, and there are various types of bulk carrier vessels depending on the capacities required.

The maximum cargo a bulk cargo vessel can carry is 400, 000 DWT (deadweight tonnage). They include the likes of the following.

  • Very Large Carriers
    • Chinamax/Valemax – 400,000 DWT Plus
    • ULOC – 300,000 – 399, 999 DWT
    • VLOC – 200,000 – 299, 999 DWT
  • Capesize – 100,000 – 199, 999 DWT
  • Panamax – 60,000 – 99,999 DWT
  • Handysize
    • Supramax – 50,000 – 59,999 DWT
    • Handymax – 40,000 – 49,999 DWT
    • Handy – < 40,000 DWT

These bulk carriers often hold the same structural design, where you have several cargo holds divided between the length of the carrier, but only comes with a single deck where the various cargo will be loaded or carried accordingly using cranes and more.  The cargo holds may be used by one customer or several different customers.

Bulk cargo handling requires different infrastructure, and need to be loaded on dedicated terminals, and the type of vessels are essentially either gearless (vessels do not come with loading equipment) and geared (vessels come with own loading equipment). No cargo is carried on the deck of the vessels. Freight charges for bulk cargo are based on metric ton against the quantity of cargo loaded.

Image: ARL

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In our previous blog, we looked into how the Colombo Port is slated to become a key transhipment hub in Asia with its pending East Container Terminal developments and investment opportunities to global shipping players. The Colombo Port also has other plans to develop the Sri Lankan maritime industry, along with the West Container Terminal and not to mention the newly revived Colombo Port City project (which would also be revamped as the Colombo International Financial City). The MRMR Port in Hambantota has also received funding by the Chinese government to further develop the port operations and also to help tie in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative to garner global trade market share routes.

With improvements and progress occurring in Colombo and Hambantota to grow capacity and volumes of TEUs to the various terminals, Trincomalee has been receiving due attention, as many believe that the natural harbour has been underutilised. The SLPA is in the midst of progressing with the re-development of the Port of Trincomalee is still being decided and consulted with ADB. Possible loose cargo and industrial zones will be setup, including refineries and an LNG (liquid natural gas), and not to mention a railway link for ease of cargo transportation. The development of the Trincomalee port would definitely provide an advantage to the Sri Lankan maritime industry. Being the second best natural  harbour in the world, and offers tenfold the capacity that the Colombo Port could offer, thus development to this untapped gem is imperative, especially in terms of bulk and break bulk cargo.

Whilst the Colombo Port’s ECT is calling for potential investors, and the Trincomalee port developments being devise, strategic business plans for the Sri Lankan maritime industry is potentially taking into consideration the Indian investments and interests that have been shown. As a partner in undertaking and moving cargo volumes with India, and not to the keen interest they have shown in other ports of the island of Sri Lanka whilst improving their own container ports within the sub-continent. One of the key reasons why However, that does not mean that Sri Lanka has overlooked other countries; instead it the Ministry of Ports and SLPA has made strategic business plans to encourage other countries to move through Sri Lankan ports. This would include the likes of offering rebates on stevedorage (unloading/loading of cargo) with the likes of Bangladesh, Myanmar and other countries east of India. Furthermore, with the likes of “multi country consolidation,” import/export industrial centre (entrepot), and bonded cargo handling, as per an interview carried out with the SLPA Chairman, can definitely aid in improving the Sri Lankan maritime industry.

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The island of Sri Lanka is currently home to seven ports with the Port of Colombo, Port of Hambantota, the Trincomalee Harbour and Oluvil Harbour being those utilised in majority. Since the end of the three-decade civil war in 2009, investments and aid have flowed in from throughout the globe to boost rehabilitation and development. The major ports have seen much improvement, with the Port of Hambantota (the MRMR Port) and the Oluvil Harbour being the most recent developments. There are many plans for Sri Lanka to become a key transhipment hub in Asia.

The Sri Lankan Ports Authority (SLPA) has shared its strategic plan to transform the Colombo harbour into a key transhipment hub in Asia and its steps on how they plan to do so. One such means is to improve the East Container Terminal (ECT) to facilitate and expand the deep-water operations at the Colombo Port. Currently, the Port of Colombo is home to several terminals, which are operated by various parties as follows;


  • East Container Terminal (ETC)
  • Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) – Owned and Operated by the SLPA
  • Queen Elizabeth Quay (QEQ) – Owned by SAGT (South Asian Gateway Terminal Ltd)/Operated by John Keells Holdings
  • South Container Terminal (SCT) – Owned and Operated by CICT (Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd)

The terminals are located as follows. Currently, the SLPA has constructed a quay wall that runs 600m as well as an 440m facility for berthing as a stepping stone to further develop the East Container Terminal (ECT). Due to lack of funding, the ECT has been put forward to financiers to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain a strategic container terminal in Colombo. The hope of the SLPA is that within the best suited candidate, the ECT will be able to provide competitive deep water berthing facilities (18-20m), and not to mention offer increased capacity at the Port of Colombo to 2.4mn TEU (twenty foot equivalent units). By propositioning investments in the ETC to the global market for investments, the investors are able to partake and increase in a share of the global transhipment market. Furthermore, Sri Lanka also hopes to improve the berth of the ECT (by 760m) and other terminals at the Port of Colombo to make it an attractive and key transhipment hub in Asia for global shipping lines whilst on international trade sea routes.


Currently, the JCT and SAGT offer a lesser draft thus are only able to offer services to feeder vessel, and larger vessels (ULVs) are directed to the CICT. Though the SLPA has shown in interest in owning/operating the ECT, it is still undecided by the Government of Sri Lanka, to offer it to private operators or to hand it over to SLPA, especially with China’s investments in the Colombo Port City.


Images: Echelon, SLPA/ADB