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Ridiculous questions from newcomers to FEA

The daily life of a logistician

How do you make a logistician laugh?

Our managers answer many questions throughout the day. Some of them are serious, some of them are interesting, and some of them are just plain funny. We have compiled some of the funniest and most ridiculous questions that we often get from newcomers to FEA.

«We need our container to be the first one unloaded from the vessel once it arrives at the port of unloading, can you arrange this?»

Unfortunately, this is not possible. All ships are loaded according to the loading plan, and unloaded in the same order. “Arranging” for your container to be unloaded first from the ship is simply impossible. Everything is carried out, as they say, on a first-come, first-served basis.

«Our container won’t make it to the port in time, hold the ship!»

One ship can carry 10,000 containers, and no shipping line will wait for one “late” container, even if there are gold bars inside and you are willing to share! 🙂 Therefore, if the factory can’t manage to load the container and deliver it to the port before the ship closes, there’s nothing you can do except wait for the next ship.

Our container won’t make it to the port in time, hold the ship!

«Why do you need a description of the cargo, it’s just (insert name of any product), look it up on the Internet!»

For the correct assignment of the HS code, a detailed description of the cargo is always required: its purpose, principle of operation, and the material from which it is made. The amount of customs duties and how quickly the declaration is issued depend on the correct HS code being assigned. After all, if the inspector has any questions, he will suspend the process of issuing the declaration and request proof that the code is correct. Inspectors are human beings and cannot know the characteristics of all products.

«Can I put gifts for the partners in the container along with the cargo? They can just ignore them.»

Any cargo crossing the border must be declared, otherwise it will be considered smuggling. Even if it’s a teddy bear for your niece or warm socks from your grandmother from Alaska. The same goes for manufacturers, who like to fill the space with samples, marketing materials, souvenirs, and the like. Ask the suppliers in advance not to put anything in the container other than what is listed on the invoice and packing list.

«Can we import our cargo without going through customs clearance?»

Any commercial cargo (a commercial consignment is considered to be five or more goods of the same name) crossing the border of the Russian Federation must go through clearance. Importing goods into the Russian Federation without customs clearance can lead to the goods being confiscated and even criminal liability. So no, you can’t do it without customs clearance, even if you really want to.

«Give me a rough estimate of the cost per kilo»

This is a hot favorite among our managers, as it’s a question we get literally every day. Usually we get this question before any data is given to be able to calculate costs and the answer is needed immediately. However, we need detailed information about the cargo in order to correctly calculate the cost of delivery and customs clearance, including its description, invoice value, pick-up and delivery address. The times when rate per kg were given on the spot are long gone.

«We’re on a tight deadline, can you speed up the delivery somehow?»

Sea ships and railway trains run according to an agreed schedule, and the speed of delivery may also be affected by weather conditions. Plus, the container crisis has exacerbated port congestion and trains are formed on a first-come, first-served basis, as in the case of the railroad from Vladivostok to Moscow. The only way to avoid disrupting delivery dates is to plan shipments as far in advance as possible, taking into account the general economic situation and the situation in the freight market.

«We keep getting random inspections, why do customs not like us?»

Inspections are frequent control measures applied when goods go through the customs clearance process. They can be assigned for a number of reasons, including by a random number generator of if the inspector isn’t satisfied with the documents or something arouses suspicion. These are so-called risk profiles, applied to some codes more often and to some codes less often.

As the writer Isaac Asimov used to say: “Is there anything more exciting in life than seeking answers?”. So feel free to ask questions and together we will find the right answers 😉

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