There are many great manufacturing firms based in the United States that would like to export finished goods, as well as components and assemblies, to the UK. However, some British firms are putting off importing from America because they think that the costs will be too high or that the rules on trans-Atlantic trade are too complex. This can be a mistake because some UK companies do very well purchasing from US-based suppliers.
Indeed, it isn’t just the states located on the East Coast that are good places to trade with because mid-Western ones are often just as reliable, especially for high-tech goods. Furthermore, importing from California to the UK via the Panama Canal is often cheaper and quicker than many British business people think. What do you need to know when importing freight to the UK from the US?
East Coast Ports Are Ready for Trans-Atlantic Shipments
Table of Contents
Although the biggest container port in the US is in Los Angeles on the West Coast, there are more than enough East Coast ports to handle freight imports to the UK. The Port of New York and New Jersey handles large numbers of container vessels that are bound to the UK each year, for instance. Baltimore in Maryland provides large numbers of Ro-Ro services while Virginia, Charleston, Miami, and Savannah all serve primarily as container ports. Once your goods have arrived at a suitable port, they can arrive in the UK within as little as 30 days. Bear in mind that freight will need to be checked by US customs officers before it can be loaded onto container vessels. Therefore, seeking the advice of a licensed freight forwarding firm that is used to handling international shipments can be beneficial if you want to avoid delays stateside.
Customs Clearances Can Be Easily Outsourced
Importantly, importing from the US to the UK requires more than organizing the logistics of freight movements across the Atlantic. You also need to consider HMRC’s requirements when your shipment makes land in Liverpool, Felixstowe, or wherever else. According to Barrington Freight, an Essex-based freight forwarder, combining a professional customs clearance service with logistical expertise saves a great deal of time and effort when arranging imports from the US. Ideally, all of the declarations will be made online before your consignment arrives in the UK. Customs clearances require acute attention to detail and plenty of know-how, covering aspects like VAT, commodity coding, and excise duty, among others. As such, it means that outsourcing this work to an expert is often the most cost-effective way to proceed.
Groupage Rates Require Little Outlay
If you want to buy items from US suppliers but want to ensure you pay as little as possible for the shipment, then enquire about groupage rates. This way, your order will literally be grouped with others that are bound for the UK. Consequently, you will be able to share the costs of shipping your order along with other British importers. This makes importing from the USA much more affordable for many businesses.