Claudia, as Customer Service & Sales Manager, how would you explain to a first-time shipper how the Groupage service works?
Groupage is also known as consolidated cargo, part cargo or LCL shipment(Less than a Container-Load). This is when a ‘group’ of individual importers share the space within one container and the shipping costs are split proportionately.
If you are bringing goods into Seychelles from overseas you need to get into contact with a consolidator or an agent in the port of origin. Hunt, Deltel can recommend a reliable company and provide you with contact details.
We can quote for the shipment and provide information on associated costs, including freight charges as well as any applicable local charges. Unlike full container shipments, part cargo is charged per cubic metre. You have the option of paying for the freight in Seychelles or to request that freight is paid in the country of origin.
Once the cargo reaches Seychelles, we will request for you to present a number of documents; the bill of lading, your packing list and commercial invoice in order . It is also strongly advised to check as soon as you begin shipping arrangements whether your goods require an import permit.
Next, you will be informed by an arrival notice sent by email or by post once your shipment is in Seychelles; You will need to come to our office with your original Bill of Lading to pay a release fee and collect your release document. The Original Bill of Lading is required in most instances unless otherwise instructed by the consolidator/agent, in which case a copy can be presented.
Additionally, if freight charges were not paid at the port of origin, then this too must be settled before we provide you with the release documents. In the shipping world this is known as a 'freight collect' arrangement.
From here you may proceed to clear your cargo with the assistance of a clearing agent.
Jacqueline, tell us about your job in Groupage as Supervisor.
There are so many procedures involved in importing a shipment, and sometimes, unfortunately, it does happen that a piece of cargo goes missing or something is broken in transit. When this happens our clients contact me in the hope that I can help to provide a solution. They count on me to liaise with their agent on the other end by phone or by e-mail. They are always so happy and grateful when I am able to help resolve their problems, and I must say I enjoy doing my job.
When I look back at when I first started, I can see how the business has gradually evolved. We started off with just a handful of clients importing mainly personal effects. Nowadays some of our customers are importing vehicles and yachts!