Time Matters

Getting your Cargo Customs Cleared

Customs clear in time. Getting your cargo to be customs cleared and picked up in a small window time frame can be challenging and stressful. All goods coming into Australia needs to be customs cleared, lodged and declared with customs correctly . The Shipment must state CLEAR to pickup cargo from depots / warehouses within the FREE DAYS time frame that the depot has advised you. This is normally 3 free day’s period from when the container is unpacked. After the free 3 days storage commences ,storage fee’s incur.

In most cases this is a simple smooth sailing procedure when the importer works with the broker. Lodge entry, customs clear, organise pickup of cargo from depot with your free days. No problems. But what happens when not everything goes as planned? What happens when customs put a border hold/ screening period / inspection on your entry/ shipment for whatever reasons? And your free days of cargo collection are nearing to an end and storage fees are crawling in?

The Situation

An example of this situation was recently faced by our team. One of our clients shipment was lodged/ paid/ every paperwork done properly except when the cargo was available for collection we had a dilemma of not being able to collect it due to customs having a border hold. To add to the pain and chaos of it all customs, they were experiencing major delays in processing the border holds.

As the team worked hard on this situation to get this customs cleared asap. The team was liaising with customs / quarantine officers to get this sorted daily for couple days, the storage day was near and to make it worst the depot would not extend the free days available for pickup. This put a whole lot more pressure on the team to ensure the client is happy by doing all they could to avoid any additional costs as the client was frustrated by the whole situation.

The Challenge

The biggest challenge in this scenario was ensuring that the client is not charged storage. Having the cargo moved out of the depot warehouse before storage started. After many calls / emails to all parties involved, working around the clock with officers. The issue was sorted and cargo was customs cleared on the last free day. But it doesn’t end there. The issue comes  of arranging pick up in the small time frame from the warehouse. Long ques to get paperwork processed and then  lengthy hours of ques to get the cargo loaded. On this particular day however, we only had 5 hours to get this picked up before storage commenced at 2 pm.

Friends in Places

Upon calling the supervisor of the depot who we have close client relationship with, we were told that it was their busiest day of the week and they were trying their best to get the line moving and there were extensive delays as everyone was trying to pick up their cargo. Our driver waited there for hours but in the end with everyone working together and with constant phone contacts, updating the client every hour of the outcome, we got the cargo delivered to the client his cargo storage free.

These kinds of situations are not only stressful for clients / importers but also the agents working to get the cargo customs cleared and moving. You are in a position where you can’t do much without the authority and go ahead from customs. But knowing how to handle this situations, whom to call and keeping the client calm by doing all you can to ensure no extra costs are incurred does Matter!

This requires close monitoring that everything is done within the FREE DAYS time frame. Find out more about how to get your cargo customs clear and other great shipping tips by reading our blogs.


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