There are no uninteresting cases in transport. The TSL industry is characterized by the fact that each order, even if it differs from others only slightly, requires a different approach and set of solutions. This leads to the fact that even with an established pattern of actions, you cannot do everything one way. To better show what the freight forwarder’s work is, we invite you to read today’s post in which our expert describes road transport from Hamburg to Warsaw.
Road transport from Hamburg to Warsaw: context
In February, our forwarders contacted a customer wanting to transport goods to Warsaw. It was a very important production component, the lack of which caused significant production stoppage at the plant. In this situation, it was necessary to plan activities in advance, thanks to which the risk of additional delays was minimized. The initial task list prepared by the forwarder was as follows:
- consolidation of goods, determination of the total weight and dimensions of the goods;
- matching the right means of transport, negotiating the rate with the subcontractor;
- fit within the time frame expected by the recipient. Very urgent goods, delay results in production stoppage;
- completing customs documents and making notification in the sending warehouse.
The list of tasks assumed basic forwarding activities. The cargo reached Hamburg by sea, so you had to wait for unloading, consolidation and presentation of the relevant documents. It was still in the container on Thursday, so the goods should be ready for picking up from the warehouse on Friday morning.
Circumstances preceding road transport from Hamburg to Warsaw
Because the load was picked up on Friday, both the freight forwarder and the carrier had to take into account the longer queues to the warehouses. Queues resulted from two factors: the beginning of the weekend and the high density of cars carrying out orders. The optimal solution was to receive the goods by the driver immediately after opening the warehouse, so the driver should be on site, ready for loading, the day before. While waiting, the parcel was unformed and moved to the warehouse.
These activities created space for completing customs documents. This stage is particularly important, especially if the goods come from outside the EU (as in this case). If for some reason there were no customs documents when collecting the goods, the shipment would be suspended. Therefore, it is necessary to put pressure on customs agencies preparing a customs transfer.
Fees, loading and road transport activities from Hamburg to Warsaw
The organization of all this transport was easier because it was done by a friendly carrier. The carrier regularly cooperated with us in handling the warehouse from which it was to pick up the goods. Therefore, the rates and the cost of the service were predetermined and beneficial for the client. As planned, the driver parked the car while waiting under the warehouse the previous day and waited for information about the unloading of goods and customs documents. Thanks to this, the condition necessary to be met in order for the transport to be carried out has become probable: the car had to be loaded by 10:00 am at the latest.
Road transport from Hamburg to Warsaw can take place in accordance with two models: problem-free and generating minor problems. Both of these models are equally common, with the latter usually working for goods outside the EU. It includes the need to carry out more complicated customs procedures and unforeseen problems that they like to appear where they should not appear.
At this stage, the only factor that could cause delays was customs clearance. This procedure often extends over time and is completely independent of freight forwarders’ activities. The only remedy to this situation was constant pressure on the agency. We asked the recipient to set a high priority for the shipment with the agency. It was important to us that customs agents were ready to work as soon as the driver appeared with the goods in the agency.
The course of road transport from Hamburg to Warsaw
As we mentioned earlier, the whole transport was to take place on Friday. Friday is a day of increased activities for forwarding. This is mainly due to the volume of transports – they often have to end before the weekend.
For this reason, the warehouse in Hamburg was crowded and the queue, which had set up earlier than usual, allowed the goods to be picked up around 11 o’clock. As it turned out, it was not so problematic, because due to the multitude of tasks, our goods were moved from container only at 10:30.
Because the load was transferred from the container only around 10:30, it was loaded onto the car practically on the march. In fact, the only additional difficulty was that despite the requirements, the driver did not really speak English and German well. Our forwarder remedied this by taking on the role of a telephone translator.
Reception was extended by a quarter of an hour due to the need to obtain a T1 document from the customs agency. This document is necessary for pickup and delivery of the goods without presentation is impossible. After closing the formalities, the transport left at around 11 o’clock, which meant that around 16 should be in a customs agency, just off the Polish border.
Further course of transport
Whether it is standard groupage transport from Germany to Poland, high-priority pharmaceuticals or full container transport to Germany, there is always one factor that every freight forwarder and carrier is afraid of: road traffic. Predictable only to a certain extent, it can extend the transport time significantly. Fortunately, this time the traffic on the route was smooth and did not generate any delays. Similarly, the agency successfully managed to complete all necessary procedures before the driver arrived with the load. The check-in was closed a few minutes after 4pm and the driver continued his journey.
Only on the Polish side of the border the traffic on the highway increased, which increased the risk of delays. The driver and forwarder remained in constant contact with the recipient of the goods, informing them about possible extensions of the delivery time. Luckily, minor delays were acceptable.
Reception and summary
Despite minor delays, the road transport organized by us from Hamburg to Warsaw arrived at 21:40. Immediately upon arrival, the recipient unloaded the goods and transferred them to the production line. The whole procedure lasted 20 minutes – after this time the driver left the factory with a set of documents confirming delivery. From now on, the forwarder only had to send a scan of the documents to the customer’s ordering system. The scan confirmed transport performance and made it easier for the client to book.
The transport described above is a good example of what the freight forwarder’s work looks like. The most important points in performing the order are:
- trusted / checked subcontractors;
- contact with the customer;
- efficient customs agency;
- readiness to plan and contact the customer 24/7.
BBA Transport System cooperates with the best carriers and customs agencies throughout Europe, thanks to which it is able to execute transport orders without any problems. Road transport organized by the BBA Transport System covers the entire European continent and Great Britain. We organize sea transport, rail transport on the New Silk Road and international air shipments. We encourage you to cooperate with us and find out what high quality shipping is!