customs exam of your shipment
· Patrick - Express Cargo
Regrettably, the amount of random customs examinations out of Los Angeles port have risen dramatically over the past 60 days. This is not limited to any specific shipping line or type of cargo. US Customs randomly chooses a certain percentage of containers for any given vessel and gives the order to have container removed from the loading plan. The container is then taken to a customs bonded warehouse where goods are offloaded in a secure area by a customs agent and warehouse personnel. At this point, agents usually visually inspect the pallets and crates or they have the right to open any and all boxes they deem necessary. They are granted full authority to inspect and seize any cargo and pass along any costs of this inspection to the shipping line who then passes along those fees to the freight forwarder. From communications with our shipping partners, we have confirmed that each of them have suffered customs exams of multiple containers.
That being said, the container where your goods are located, was recently the subject of a customs exam as described above. The container has already sailed, but all pallets in the container were offloaded and we’re unsure if the pallets were broken down so the individual shipments could be inspected. We are notifying the receiving agent (-------- --------) to take extra care in handling the containerized goods so they can determine how thoroughly the shipment was inspected. We apologize for not having any more information than this, but I’ve attached the customs exam order for your review. This invoice only represents fees at warehouse, but we were also billed the in/out fees and per diem charges by shipping line while the container was undergoing inspection. Our company was also billed for every cubic foot inside the container so we have to assume that everything was thoroughly inspected.
Most importantly, since there are multiple clients inside the container, each of you is being billed the proportionate share of the customs related invoice. Your summary is as follows. We are very sorry this has occurred, but US Customs has ultimate authority in this country and there is nothing that could have been done to prevent this. I’ve also attached a credit card form for your convenience although payment by scanned US check is still preferred as it prevents the 5% processing fee. Please let us know how you would like to finalize payment. Once again our sincerest apologies.
Namel ---cft $---.--
Cost me $200 but by all accounts, I got off pretty cheap by playing the waiting game. After all, they were storing it the entire time.
Obviously items missing and broken. I'd given up on recieving the shipment at all after seven months, so damages and missing items....whatever!
FMC gave me a name assigned to my case and I never heard from them again. Like I said, a waste of tax payers money and that's why we are all in this predicament. No-one gives a damn. No-one is monitoring the removal/shipment companies. No-one to help us.
Moving on but I will file my complaint again to FMC, this time including their lack of response and willingness to help people like myself that are being ripped off on a daily basis.
Hard to believe this is 2012!
Really do not use this company.
The same pattern applies over and over it seems. They give you an estimate based on a ballpark amount, even though I provided measurements for all items. The size (1000 cm) was too low -- or so I was told. Probably this part is true and I'm OK with that (but will measure if my items ever arrive.) So price went up for that after (supposedly) pallestising. They add on various miscellaneous costs, however. $100 profit to them over mover costs (I got the receipt form movers); some lame explanation given for that.
Also a fuel surcharge on top of extra (ah, but they gave me a discount on that. I feel so special! I opted to pay by credit card, despite surcharge of 5% so I can dispute/ cancel if need be... even though there is a bizarre thing to sign on credit card form threatening me against trying to doing that. (My credit card provider tells me that is not valid.) I paid by cheque for insurance. I can only presume payment for everything upfront is the norm as they are agents and not a shipping firm.
It took 5 emails for me to get an insurance claim receipt form, which their site claims you get so you can track online. It took about 10 emails to get an arrival date and the contact this end. The European delivery agent replied next day -- had never heard of my shipment. Pester pester... then I get an apologetic email the day before purported delivery stating: "We apologize for the delay in receiving news about your shipment. It was scheduled to be loaded on the last consolidation container 2 weeks ago, but we received a report this week that space was maximized and it was rolled over to the next container that will be leaving by the 15th. Expected arrival is end of June. With the busy summer already taking place, there is far more freight available than most companies can ship out in a timely manner. To help make up for the delay, we’ve asked our destination agent to place you on the VIP list for delivery. This insures that your shipment will be prioritized once it arrives."
It would be funny if it weren't my possessions which are languishing where? Probably in the original warehouse --
So I asked for the fuel surcharge back as their reason for the surcharge was: "the carrier had to find a container with enough space to fit your entire shipment". Clearly my items were not loaded onto this mysterious 'tight squeeze' carrier on the 'rush date' so I don't see why I should be the extra couple of hundred. They didn't respond to that request and somehow I don't think I will get a credit on my credit card. But I will dispute the charge.
Anyway, I can see from other posts this will go on and on.
Advice please: Will Maritime commission do anything at this stage if contacted?
Is it worth lodging a query early on as this company clearly has had complaints lodged against it on numerous occasions?
Many thanks for allowing me to vent.
2 - You need to compare your billed costs with your contract. Without knowing what either are, it's hard to say if they billed unfairly.
3 - The reason they are giving for the delay doesn't make sense - if a company has more freight, it sends out more containers. It sounds to me like they don't have enough freight.
4 - Ask the Delivery agent if you can go to his warehouse and re-measure the goods, or if he can bring them, still palletized, on delivery for re-measure. When the re-measure is done, have the deelivery agent sign on the sizes.
>> You need to compare your billed costs with your contract. Without knowing what either are, it's hard to say if they billed unfairly.
**Fuel surcharge: no mention of that in any quotes and their initial explanation for it is now redundant as goods were not on 'reserved vessel'.
>> The reason they are giving for the delay doesn't make sense - if a company has more freight, it sends out more containers. It sounds to me like they don't have enough freight.
**I think you are right.
>> Ask the Delivery agent if you can go to his warehouse and re-measure the goods, or if he can bring them, still palletized, on delivery for re-measure. When the re-measure is done, have the delivery agent sign on the sizes.[/quote]
I'm not in U.S. so can't measure now, but certainly will do as you suggest when goods arrive. (!) I have already told movers this end I will need to do this from reading similar advice on these pages.
Thanks very much for this.
2 - You really need to read the fine print. I've seen many companies that have something like "Please review our terms and conditions (link to website here)". It could be that they do mention Fuel Surcharge isn't included, and this can also apply to inland transport.
Please do keep us posted.
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