Are you considering buying goods and shipping from China?

Here's what you need to know before diving into this expansive market.

China, boasting the title of the world's largest exporter and the third-largest export partner, is a hub of economic activity. With the ability to manufacture large quantities of goods quickly and affordably, it's no wonder that the demand for importing from China, particular for consumer goods, is on the rise. But, before you embark on this journey, let's delve into the essentials to ensure a smooth and compliant process.

As a commercial importer dealing with China, being outside the European Union introduces unique obligations. Here are crucial points to consider:

To begin, you must understand China's import restrictions, as your goods may be subject to import restrictions.

Ensure your products aren't banned from being imported from China to the UK.

The first and foremost step in your shipping journey is to ensure you are EORI registered. The Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is essential for customs clearance. If you haven't obtained one yet, this should be your top priority.

Next, delve into the intricacies of commodity codes. For UK imports, you won’t be able to use the 8-digit codes from Chinese exports that may be on your invoice. Ensure you have the accurate 10-digit code by consulting HMRC, which we can guide you with. However, using the 8-digit code can be a great place to help you find the respective 10-digit code. This code holds the key to understanding potential duties that may apply to your shipment.

Freight Forwarding import from China

Unravelling the complexity of shipping terms and charges. 

As you gear up to ship your goods, familiarise yourself with shipping terms, commonly known as incoterms. Refer to our previous blog on incoterms for a comprehensive understanding of the terms that will govern your transaction.

A common pitfall is assuming that the freight costs paid to the Chinese company cover everything. This is a misconception, as these costs often only account for arrival at the UK port (CFR/CIF). Import charges in the UK can sometimes surpass the freight costs, particularly with high volumes (CBM).

Beyond import charges, additional fees include clearance, delivery, VAT, and duty. Consider potential access restrictions at the delivery point, as they may result in extra costs related to non-standard delivery services.

Mastering the nuances of shipping procedures: 

When the time comes to ship, keep a keen eye on the Bill of Lading (BL). It is crucial to surrender the BL promptly. Failure to do so if the goods are unpaid may result in the BL being held, preventing access to the cargo in the UK. Time is of the essence, as delays can lead to significant storage costs if goods are not cleared or released promptly. This should be done in good time prior to the vessel arriving into the UK.

For a seamless delivery process, ensure the cargo is offloaded promptly to avoid incurring waiting time charges. It's crucial to orchestrate each step diligently to prevent unnecessary complications. You are normally allowed three free hours for offloading but this may be less.

Take control of your shipping process. 

Armed with this knowledge, you're ready to take control of your international shipping process. Secure your EORI registration, confirm your commodity code, understand shipping terms and charges, and master the intricacies of shipping procedures. By doing so, you pave the way for a smooth and cost-effective shipping experience.

Remember, the success of your shipment is not just about reaching the destination but navigating the intricate path leading up to it. Stay informed, be proactive, and ensure that every detail is addressed before arranging your shipment.

Preparation is key. To reduce potential problems, inform us of upcoming shipments in advance, providing the necessary documentation for a smoother import process. The more notice and documents you provide, the better we can assist you. Dive into the world of Chinese imports with confidence, armed with knowledge and organisation.

Contact us at or call +44 1642 240123.

Johnson Partners join Casper Group

After nearly two decades of dedicated service in the freight forwarding industry, Johnson Partners is thrilled to announce its acquisition by Casper Group, the United Kingdom's premier independent maritime services company.

This strategic move marks an important milestone in Johnson Partners' journey, signifying a significant step forward in its commitment to delivering exceptional service to clients. By joining forces with Casper Group, Johnson Partners gains access to an extensive array of resources while retaining its hallmark dedication to personalised customer care.

Johnson Partners' specialised services in project forwarding, abnormal load handling, and out-of-gauge cargo solutions will be further enhanced through this collaboration. Leveraging Casper Group's industry-leading expertise and infrastructure, Johnson Partners is poised to accelerate its growth trajectory and better serve the evolving needs of its clientele.

For more information on this exciting development, please visit the news page on the Casper Group website.

Contact us via

Or call us on +44 1642 240123

Paul Johnson

Director at Johnson Partners

Johnson Partners are illuminating the path to successful global commerce

We have long been involved in what is a dynamic international trading realm. The UK stands as a pivotal hub due to great trading relationships being built, connecting businesses to the furthest corners of the globe.

For businesses aspiring to expand their horizons, and for companies looking to build supply chains, we know that appreciating the intricacies of international freight forwarding is not just important, but essential.

That is why we have developed this user-friendly guide, where we will unravel the complexities of empowering businesses to make informed decisions when navigating the global market and choosing the correct freight forwarding partner.

Let’s dive in…

International freight forwarding is more than just transporting goods from one place to another; it is a process that demands a deep understanding of logistics, shipping processes, and documentation.

Freight forwarders are the foundation of this process, orchestrating the movement of goods and handling everything from planning, packing and documentation, to customs, clearance, and final delivery.

Selecting the right freight forwarder is your first step towards global success.

What do you want to look for?

  • A partner with experience in customs regulations.
  • A vast network of international agents.
  • A reputation for reliability.
  • A strong understanding of your industry.
  • A great communicator.
  • A strategic approach.
Johnson Partners Global Trade

With this, they will streamline your supply chain, minimise transit times, and ensure your goods reach their destination, avoiding potential problems that may prove costly.

Brexit has changed our current situation, here in the UK, as it has ushered in new regulations, thus all exporters from Great Britain are now subject to customs checks. This makes it even more crucial to have an experienced freight forwarder by your side, especially as there is the risk of extra costs or other potential pitfalls.

Here at Johnson Partners, we help hundreds of companies avoid unexpected fees, delays, and stress.

Ultimately, having a well-optimised supply chain is the backbone for successful trade. Freight forwarders optimise your logistics, allowing your business to explore new avenues for growth and revenue.

Armed with the knowledge and the right partner, you will be ready to embrace the wealth of global opportunities that international freight forwarding offers.

Take action by reaching out to us through email or by phone, as we can engage in discussions, and provide answers to your questions.

Are you ready to embark on your global trade journey? 

Contact us via

Or call us on +44 1642 240123 

Ella Barrow

Marketing at Johnson Partners

What steps need to be taken when shipping cargo internationally?

This is the question that we get asked by many new customers, most commonly when new manufacturers or retail importers enter the market.

In the vast expanse of global trade, shipping cargo internationally is a multifaceted challenge, whether you are a seasoned importer/exporter or a novice entrepreneur venturing into international markets.

We aim to uncover the essential steps that need to be taken when shipping cargo internationally, providing you with a road map to seamless global trade. Shipping cargo across international borders involves many regulations, logistics, and documentation. From choosing the right shipping method to complying with custom requirements, the process demands careful planning and execution.

Without a clear understanding of the steps involved, you can end up with delays or extra costs. This can ultimately be detrimental to the overall success of a company. Here at Johnson Partners, we want to share our experience and knowledge to be a key component to your success.

Johnson Partners Shipping Cargo Internationally

Step One

Having the correct documentation is crucial for any business. When it comes to international shipping, accurate documentation is the foundation. Some of the essential documents required for smooth customs clearance and timely delivery of cargo include commercial invoices, packing lists, bills of lading, certificates of origin, and insurance. Each of these documents serves a specific purpose and is essential to ensure that the cargo reaches its intended destination without any unnecessary delays.

It is vital to note that documentation is not just a formality. It is a legal requirement, crucial for international trade.

Step Two

Origin handling takes place. This covers all physical inspections of the cargo from receiving it at the origin warehouse until it is loaded on a ship, for example, in a container.

Step Three

As a business, selecting the most appropriate shipping method is pivotal. Businesses can opt for air, sea, rail or road freight, depending on the nature of the cargo, the budget, any constraints and the urgency. Here at Johnson Partners, we encourage our businesses to consider each method, as well as its advantages and disadvantages. We will aid your decision by giving you advice as to what is the best method for your needs. This is because whilst air freight offers speed, sea freight provides cost-effectiveness for larger shipments. It is important to decide on a shipment type that suits the cargo's requirements.

Step Four

Customs compliance ensures that your cargo meets the legal requirements of the importing country. This involves understanding import duties taxes, and potential restrictions in the destination country. Failure to comply may be costly for your business and time-consuming, underlining the importance of preparation even before a shipment takes place.

Step Five

Proper packaging and labelling are often underestimated aspects of international shipping. Cargo must be packaged securely to withstand the visors of transportation, no matter the mode chosen. Adhering to international packaging standards protects your goods and streamlines the shipping process.  Insufficient packaging is the main reason for insurance claims being rejected so it is imperative that cargo is packed appropriately.

Here at Johnson Partners, we can guide you through the process and handle the complexities on your behalf.

In conclusion, international shipping, whilst complex, is made feasible with the right knowledge and preparation, provided by us.

If you would like a no-obligation chat on how we can support you and your cargo please reach out to us at

Ella Barrow

Marketing at Johnson Partners

How to ship abnormal loads internationally?

If you are reading this blog, it's likely that you have already searched the internet for answers and found a lot of jargon, but no clear conclusion. In this blog post, we aim to provide you with clear direction and a helping hand to aid you along the way.

Although oversized or heavy cargo are often vital components of industrial projects, they require specialised handling to ensure safe and efficient delivery. This fact highlights the unique set of challenges posed by such cargo. In this guide, we will uncover the essential steps to shipping out-of-gauge cargo internationally. Shipping abnormal loads goes beyond the conventional methods of transportation. These abnormal loads i.e. oversized items may be heavy machinery, industrial equipment, or entire structures. No matter what category your cargo falls into, planning and precise execution are vital.

Johnson Partners Shipping Abnormal Loads Internationally

Step One

The foundation in shipping large or heavy loads internationally lies in the accurate identification of dimensions and weight of the abnormal load. It is also important for the freight forwarder to check with each country you travel through to find out if the load you’re transporting counts as abnormal. If the abnormal load is moved by road, factors such as road conditions, accessibility, bridges, and any other obstacle that might impede the smooth transition of the load are taken into account. Planning is key to ensuring that your cargo can be transported. We have even had cases where we had to shut a road for a period of time to allow us to travel and in extreme cases, lampposts and signs have been removed!

Step Two

When it comes to transporting abnormal loads, it's important to navigate the legal landscape and obtain the necessary permits and approvals from the relevant authorities. Compliance with regulations is essential to ensure that your cargo can move smoothly and without any issues if the police decide to check the vehicle.

Step Three

Abnormal loads require specialised handling equipment and techniques. From vehicles such as low loaders, semi low loaders and cranes to custom-built support and fastening stems, using the right equipment is something we can help plan for. Johnson Partners may be a vital part of this transportation’s success as we have relationships with the right suppliers for whatever you require to be transported.

Step Four

Communication and co-ordination must also be kept throughout the whole process, as clear channels between us and you ensure everyone is on the same page, enabling swift decision-making and proactive problem-solving if challenges arise.

We hope this has proven valuable to you, if you have any questions please do email us at

Ella Barrow

Marketing at Johnson Partners

Dealing with delays at customs - How to avoid them?

If you are currently experiencing challenges with customs, this blog aims to provide assistance during what can be a stressful time.

We all know customs delays can cause problems in international shipments.

As an international freight forwarder, we understand your frustrations and challenges if your goods are held up at customs. We want to prevent you from feeling this annoyance, thus unveiling the expertise that sets us apart regarding simplified customs.

Johnson Partners Dealing with delays at customs

Before we delve in a little further, we initially must address the causes of delays at customs so we can effortlessly find a solution.


Incomplete documentation can cause delays, the process can come to a halt when it is missing, or incomplete, making it one of the most common reasons for delivery delays. However, here at Johnson Partners we always do clearances in advance so we avoid delays at all costs. Having the documentation well in advance is essential as shipping information needs to be included such as costs, cargo description, weights and invoice number.


Another common cause for delayed shipments is the holiday season (CHRISTMAS). Holidays are something that people look forward to each year, so online orders increase massively. With this increase of orders, comes an increase in shipment volumes, which may well increase capacity. This means to avoid this, businesses must place orders ahead of time to establish efficient logistic systems. But, here at Johnson Partners, we understand that shipments during this time, are simply unavoidable, however, we do encourage that you plan for vessels to not arrive during a bank holiday as we get less free time to arrange clearances


An inaccurate description of the goods involved in the shipping process will also cause delays as errors in details such as HS code or country of origin slow down the clearance process and can even lead to a shipment being denied access. However, Johnson Partners take a proactive approach and ask for this information if it is missing, well in advance.

However, even at the risk of all of this, here at Johnson Partners, we try our very best to get your shipments to the necessary location avoiding delays where possible.

Here’s how we do it:


We plan thoroughly and communicate with our clients efficiently. We consider this a process that differs depending on your needs and the type of shipment that is required from us.


We have a dedicated team who manage your shipments throughout, meaning you do not get passed around too much, potentially losing vital details as information is being passed from person to person.


Here at Johnson Partners, we also prepare for seasonal changes, so we try to plan our freight schedule around those big holiday booms to help ease the pressures that closures around holiday times can cause. By advising customers in advance of potential costs and delays at certain times of the year, this gives them the confidence and preparation they need, knowing we are doing everything we can at our end.

Now that you have read about how we eliminate the risk of delays, you can now make the effective decision to partner with us, stay informed and plan!

If you are interested in working with us to help save you time, and money and share our knowledge give us a call; +44 1642 240123

Ella Barrow

Marketing at Johnson Partners

Welcome to Johnson Partners Blog

We are Johnson Partners, your trusted partner in freight forwarding. Specialising in project cargo, import shipments for retailers, and collaboration with overseas agents, we are dedicated to delivering top-notch services that meet your logistics needs.

We have exciting plans in the pipeline that will further enhance your experience with us. Stay tuned for updates on the latest developments and innovations in the world of freight forwarding.

Discovering Johnson Partners: Your Trusted Freight Forwarding Partner

At Johnson Partners, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and innovative freight forwarding company that has been serving the industry for 18+ years. Our commitment to excellence, our extensive experience, and a passion for logistics set us apart as a leading player in the field.

Founded with a vision to simplify and optimize international cargo transportation, we have grown into a dynamic and forward-thinking organization. Our primary focus areas include moving abnormal loads / out-of-gauge shipments, import FCL / LCL shipments for companies who sell on Amazon, eBay and their own digital platform, and fostering strong relationships with overseas agents that enable us to offer shipments across the globe.

Johnson Partners Office

Global operations and world class service

Our journey began with a small team of dedicated professionals who recognized the need for a freight forwarding partner that offers more than just logistics solutions. We understood that our clients required a reliable ally who can adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of global trade and ensure that delivery of their goods is prioritised.

Over the years, we have expanded our services and infrastructure, ensuring that we meet the demands of a diverse client base. Today, we have a vast network of partners and agents around the world, enabling us to provide comprehensive and tailored freight solutions that cater to the unique needs of each client.

Johnson Partners is not just a service provider... we are your logistics partner. Our commitment to customer satisfaction is unwavering, and we work tirelessly to offer personalized service, competitive pricing, and innovative solutions that keep you ahead in the global marketplace.

Our journey is ongoing, and we are excited to share that we have some groundbreaking plans in the works. These plans will further enhance our capabilities, making us even more agile and efficient in meeting your freight forwarding needs.

Stay tuned for updates on our new initiatives and continued commitment to delivering top-tier logistics services. Your trust and support have been the driving force behind our growth, and we are determined to keep exceeding your expectations.

Thank you for choosing Johnson Partners as your trusted freight forwarding partner. We look forward to embarking on this exciting journey with you.

For any enquiries or to learn more about our services, please visit: About Us

Paul Johnson

Managing Director, Johnson Partners