Frequently Asked Questions

Can I consolidate my import shipments with more than one supplier?

It is worth assessing this opportunity to avoid paying the same incremental costs on multiple suppliers from the same origin. Each origin will have different export clearance regulations that may limit your ability to rationalise all costs however in many cases this is achievable provided shipping paperwork is processed correctly & import Customs & MAF standards are met. Some freight forwarders may take advantage of consigning separate shipments due to gains in incremental revenue however Specialised Freight can provide the right advice based on your individual needs.

**Note: The above is offered as our guide to FAQ’s & we suggest you speak with a Specialised Freight representative for more detailed advice based on your individual needs.

Can Specialised Freight track my shipments and report the status to me?

Yes, Specialised Freight will keep you up to date. Contact our Customer Service Team for further details.

Do I need to bother with marine insurance, what are the chances of my goods being damaged or lost in transit?

There is one clear recommendation & ‘yes’ Marine Insurance must be arranged for all shipments. The ‘MSC Rena’ grounding in Tauranga is a recent reminder of what can occur in transit irrespective of what freight forwarder or shipping line you use. Dependent on terms of sale the responsibility for marine coverage will sit with the seller or buyer, however make sure this is clear before a shipment is arranged. For regular shipments it would be more practical & cost effective to arrange a blanket insurance policy. Specialised Freight can arrange coverage on your behalf if requested in writing before shipment at an additional cost.

How do I know I am paying the correct amount of customs duty on import shipments?

This area is commonly overlooked by importers assuming that their current Customs Broker is applying the correct tariff classifications. All Customs Brokers are obliged to classify in accordance with regulations however if proper care is not taken you may face the consequences of your brokers inaccuracy or end up paying duty on goods with available concessions. Specialised Freight conducts a tariff review on all new clients to ensure the accuracy of information provided to NZ Customs & that correct classification is made.

How do I transport dangerous goods, e.g. flammable or explosive?

There are very specific procedures that must be followed. Specialised Freight can guide you on the requirements for each class of hazardous cargo.

How long can we hold the container at our premises once it has arrived, before we have pay container detention?

From 3-7 days, depending on Port (Including weekends)

How long do I have to wait for my goods to be available once the vessel has arrived at destination NZ port?

Full containers – 12-24 hours, usually the same day
LCL usually within 48 hours excluding any agriculture inspections

How long does a custom clearance take in New Zealand?

Usually just a few hours, unless customs request to examine the goods being imported, this can sometime delay clearance for 24 hours

How many cubic metres of product can I fit into a 20' or 40' container?
  • 20′ General Purpose Container 28m3
  • 20′ High Cube NOR Container 28m3
  •  20′ NOR Container 24m3
  •  40′ General Purpose Container 55m3
  •  40 ‘High Cube NOR Container 55m3
  •  40′ High Cube Container 62m3

* This is average stowage and may vary depending on the actual cargo type and carton configuration

If I am in New Zealand and want to ship cargo between two other countries, for example Shanghai to a customer in Melbourne, can this be done?

No problem at all, Specialised Freight has a large international network, which means that we can control the door to door shipping process for you and keep the costs under control.

If I move my product by airfreight, are they usually flown the same day as they are picked up?

Not always, freight forwarders consolidate cargo on a specified flight to keep the costs competitive this may be daily or twice weekly depending on the route, goods can move on the same day e.g. next available flight but full IATA rates usually must be paid, this can be very expensive.

My overseas supplier keeps demanding CIF terms of sale. How do I know whether this is the best option for my imports?

Proper scrutiny should be applied to terms of sale between ‘seller’ & ‘buyer’. Many suppliers will insist on ‘CIF’ terms at time of sale however as a NZ importer a comparison should be made between the cost & service implications of CIF compared with either ‘FOB’ or ‘FCA’ terms. We recommend that you ask your supplier for a breakdown of the freight & insurance cost component in their CIF quotation as this will allow you to compare with your own freight options. Note that on CIF terms you also have limited influence on the chosen transit or freight service arranged by your supplier until the shipment arrives to NZ. If timeframe is critical then you are likely to have more control with your own freight forwarder managing the freight component. Please see our INCO terms guide in ‘Resources’ tab of our website for distinction between terms. Specialised Freight can assist you with this assessment to ensure you make an informed decision.

What are the usual office hours of Specialised Freight in New Zealand?

Official 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, however our office in usually attended 7.00 am until 6.00 pm Monday to Friday and can be at selected hours over the weekend on request.

What documents do I need to give to Specialised Freight to clear my goods through customs and agriculture?

For normal commercial imports we just require a commercial invoice that reflects the price paid for the goods and a copy of the shipping documents.

What is the weight limit of a 20' or 40' container?

22,000KG for both including the container, but special arrangements can be made for load of up to 30,000KG

Why use a freight forwarder?

Specialised Freight have flexibility to provide a full range of port to port or airport to airport services to match your specific shipping requirements.
Complete door to door services including insurance, with one point of contact. Competitive shipping costs through bulk purchase (volume contracts) of space from shipping lines and airlines.

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