Frequently Asked Questions – Import / Export

Import/Export from or to Thailand – The ultimate guide

Siam Shipping is one of the leading player on Thai logistics industry. Our popularity have been build on years and years of professional services, you made our success ! Acting as one of the main freight provider on the market represents a high challenge and give us several responsabilities. We aim to coach our partners and customers and the basic notions of the international logistics. Check out this article to get further details about this industry. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us ! We will back to you within 24h !

What is a freight forwarder?

A freight forwarder is an organisation able to handle exportation and importation process for companies (SME or multinational), Individual and Association who aim to ship internationally. This one does not move the freight itself, it is only an intermediary between the customer and all necessary transport services. Sometimes these are long transports involving many companies across several countries with as many different laws to respect. This is a huge time saving for the customer because managing this alone for him would be very complicated.

Companies providing freight services always seek to achieve the same goal, arrive at their destination on the scheduled date and that all goods are in good condition. Air carriers and trucking companies have a constant relationship with freight forwarding services. Indeed, it is this service that will negotiate at the best possible price, all prices with all the transport companies involved in the movement of these goods. They will perform different offers by choosing one that will optimize the speed, cost and reliability of the transport.

To have as many choices as possible, freight forwarding service will provide you with different estimation of transport prices. These prices are different according to several criteria, depending on the destination, provenance and the different transport requirements (refrigeration or transport of dangerous substances). When the customer accepts the quotation, the shipment will be prepared. The freight forwarding service will therefore undertake to transport all merchandise to the intended destination.

There are many advantages to using a freight forwarder. Indeed, one of the main ones is that they will manage the whole logistics chain that are part of the international transport whatever the mode of transport : Trucking, Airplane, Ship or Train. More to worry about documents with customs, insurance. They may also provide non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) documentation. The client will also have information on risk assessment, risk management and international payment methods.

The purpose of a good freight service is to make your life easier. It will be much easier to route your goods through this, all administrative difficulties will be avoided even using reliable transport at competitive rates. For all companies that deal with the international transport of goods is a real asset, especially when we do not know all the international shipping procedures.

You can get further information by checking our article: ASEAN logistics industry.

Why are the freight price so volatile?

The first factor influencing this market is the demand. Moreover, even if the demand is impacted by period cycle, international freight is in constant growth since it started. There is a slowdown in the market after Christmas. But between mid-January and early February, there is an increase in freight. The rates remain high because there are still problems of spaces for loading ships. The “peak season” is the period from May to November, there is a great demand for freight transport. In this period, the price increases were increased at this time, with the GRI (general rate increase) and peak season overload (PSS).

Fuel is another important factor in the market, or what is called the Bunker Fuel Factor. It is a supplement that the carrier can change when oil prices change.

Another factor is to be taken into account. Indeed, the carrier can increase its prices when the cost of terminals increases in particular with trade unions and / or problems of congestion. It is at these times that carriers can add supplements and eventually get absorbed into the “all in” rate quoted.

The most recent phenomenon that has caused the rate increase has been a strong response to the slowdown in traffic and volume. This is due to the financial crisis in the United States in 2008. Many carriers have lost up to 50% of their volume which engender significant cost. Carrier revenues also declined dramatically and were at the beginning of this year with an average loss of 5,000 carriers per year. This created a shortage of ship, a false space problem. They have thus increased their rate by pretexting this excuse to save their businesses.

What are methods of payment in international logistics?

The company check is the most common way to pay for freight. But other means are possible, bank transfer or credit card. The payment is sent at the time of the arrival of the cargo, the customs and the release.

Can I get credit terms on my payment?

Yes. We will send in advance a credit application that you would have sent us. With all the necessary bank information inside. You will receive the amount and credit time once your application is approved.

What can I do to prevent delays and ensure a smooth process of the shipment?

To start with, be sure that your supplier abroad (on imports) or if you are supplier of an export shipment, make all the necessary documents (packing lists, commercial invoice, The original OB / L). It must also be done on time, less than a week before your cargo arrives at the destination, documents with the necessary banks and you send them (the importer) or your buyer-consignee on the B / L (If you are the exporter). This will be handled by customs, freight can be paid with the presentation of the original B / L. Sometimes it can happen that there are gaps between the buyer and the supplier and the goods are not Not paid. This will greatly slow down the process.

Is it possible to release a cargo without presentation of the OB/L?

It’s a sensitive subject. Indeed if you are a long-time importer with a long-standing relationship with a particular supplier abroad but you have not paid your supplier for any reason and it was supposed to give you credit. But problem, they do not respect the agreement. This may cause you to lose your customer for delays and delivery problems. This cargo is therefore essential for you. Only one solution is possible without the OB / L. It is to resolve the problem with the supplier, to authorize them to publish in writing the shipping agent in the port of origin. Without the written consent of the shipping company there is no other legal means or that does not compromise the liability of the shipping company to be prosecuted.

Do you offer international move for personal effects?

Yes but we are not an international mover but an international shipping company. We will not be able to help you to load but only to ship. Indeed, we will deliver an empty container to you in your place and you will be responsible to load it correctly. Once it’s filled, we will pick it up and deliver until your new home. It has the big to be super competitive by offering the cheapest international moving service on the market.

If you need professional service, you can check out our international mover in Thailand here

Can you handle international shipment for vehicle?

Yes only under certain conditions, please contact us for further information.

It’s the first time i’m involved in international logistics, any advice?

We have 5 tips to give you

Tip 1: Remember the cost of transporting the container and prepare to load the container in less than 2 hours.

Indeed, when the driver arrives with the container the first 2 hours are already included in your expenses. It is therefore necessary to organize your transport beforehand. Your shipment must be as fast as possible to avoid additional charges

Tip 2: Prepare Shipping Container Contents for Extremes

Container transport conditions can be extreme. There are large fluctuations in temperature and humidity in the container. They can cross the Panama Canal or else pass around the Cape. They are sometimes subjected to a three-digit temperature and humidity down to temperatures below zero.

Tip 3: Carefully Declare ANY Organic Cargo

Depending on the origin and destination of your goods, plants, edible plants, fruits or vegetables are treated differently. Any cargo not reported by Customs can be a big problem. Customs can put your container in quarantine and charge you for the costs of detention.

Tip 4: Properly Insure Your Cargo

Plan for “attrition”. This is not possible for all content

There will be an “attrition”, that means your containers will be inspected. And sometimes malhonette people will serve in these containers on the docks. This is not considered to be theft, since the articles which are in transit are the property of the shipping company. You will be able to register on the blog to secure, insure and declare your merchandise and thus better limit the risks during the inspections.

Tip 5: Understanding the Freight Forwarding is relatively difficult

When moving your container many companies and managers will be involved in its transportation. Here is an example of possible transport for your container, outbound trucking companies, from your home to the port). Next come the crane operations to put the container in the ship and thus be transported to the port of destination. Thereafter the reverse happens on the other side.

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A specific case – The air cargo

Does size matter for air shipment?

Yes, in international shipments by air freight, we consider 2 things : the growth weight and the volumetric weight. In order to provide a price on the request, the freight forwarder will base his offer on the most important weight. Note that it’s usually the volumetric weight which is the most important.

How is the volumetric weight calculated?

A special formula is used. Give us the 3 dimensions and we calculate it for you. Otherwise you can follow this link to calculate your volumetric weight.

What is the maximum size or weight?

We don’t have specific limit on international air freight. It’s important to consider that globally, the air freight is cheaper than sea freight below 1 cubic meters (or 200 kilogramme). Otherwise if there is any urgency or specific requirements that needs to be filled by air freight service, contact us and we will provide you our price within 48h.

You can find further information about the air freight industry by checking the following link: International Air Transport Association (IATA)


Pick up & Drop off

Do you provide warehousing service where I can drop off the belongings?

Yes, we have, near all the major airports, warehouses for the receipt of goods. If you inform us the location of your cargo we will be able to advise you the nearest reception warehouse.

How and where can we pick up the shipment at destination?

After the arrival, we will be able to take care of the necessary formalities for customs clearance. You will be able to go to the warehouse to recover your merchandise. It is also necessary that you verify the customized destination before the expidition, it sometimes happens that there is a special rule or regulation specific to the destination of your merchandise.

Do you have a branch at the arrival who can support us?

Yes, we have partners worldwide to support us in our international logistics process. Please ask us for any help with our destinations.

Do your provide door to door service? Does there is any limit about the pick up location ?

Yes, we will give you the price we offer when you have provided us with your home address. Usually we don’t have any problem to pick up everywhere, if your request specific requirements, we will do our maximum to fulfil your needs.

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Charges & Others


What are charges at the destination?

There are many charges at airports, here are a few (warehouse costs, customs clearance fees, taxes / fees and door delivery fees). Your cargo may be selected from among others to be examined. In this case it is possible to have delay in the delivery of the merchandise.

How can I save money on international air freight?

Keep as much as possible of your belongings, do not hesitate to use a box or a palette and take only the most important objects. Switching from a major hub to a smaller airport can help reduce your freight rate.

Can I pack my items by myself?

No, you have to properly pack your cargoes because the airlines systematically reject them. This must be packed in a box, box or pallet. At Siam Shipping we can offer you this service while providing you with door-to-door service. We also have the possibility of packaging oversized articles or goods requiring special packaging. You can handle the packing step by yourself but our staff will make the necessary tasks to fill it as standard packaging.

What are the usual leading time?

Airport to the airport is about 3 to 5 days transit, but with door-to-door service this varies depending on customs clearance (5-7 days)

For the Sea Freight, the transit time is generally about 30/45 days, but this will obviously depend on the distance to be traveled during the transport. The only thing that is always certain is that the transport is always faster when all the documents have been prepared before transport.

Delays can always take place as well as changes of schedule.

Does there is any forbidden goods to transport by air freight?

Yes, It depends of the airline company but usually all dangerous products. Flammable, dangerous, chemicals, computer batteries, live animals, perishable items, etc.

Which document do i need to present to finalize the logistics process ?

First of all we will send you the documents. You will complete the basic information, contact information of the sender and the party of the recipient. But do not worry, we will take care of all the custom export and paperwork for you.