Are you ready for the introduction of the new customs system?

21-Sep-2018 09:41:39


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in August launched its new customs system (CDS) which will replace the current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight system (Chief). The benefit of CDS is that it is a modern flexible system equipped to deal with the increasing number of custom entries. It also has the potential to reduce the number of declaration you might need to make if you are trading outside of the EU.

Staged approach

The first phase of the CDS implementation was in August and it is expected that the final phase will be completed in early 2019. At the moment, the Chief system is running in conjunction with the CDS system, no date has been announced for when the Chief system will no longer be in operation, but we expect it to be sometime in 2019, so make sure you are prepared.

CDS and Brexit

Whilst we still don’t know what the outcome of the Brexit deal will be, we are told that the CDS system will handle up to 300 million declarations a year should the need arise due to Brexit.

How will the CDS system impact your Logistical Supply Chain

There will be no impact to your logistical supply chain as long as you are prepared for the additional information that will needed to be collected for import and export declarations outside of the EU.

For a detailed outline of the CDS system visit

If you have any further questions relating to the CDS system WTA’s Andrew Gooch will be more than happy to field any questions.

Find out how to Reduce your Total Landed Costs

02-Nov-2017 06:02:11



Discover How to Reduce Your Total Landed Costs When Shipping Food Products from Europe to the US.

Efficient logistics and cost management are the priority for every company’s supply chain. Yet, businesses that export internationally often focus only on their shipping rates when it comes to reducing their costs. This is especially true for European food exporters selling into the US marketplace. The appeal of a large market and historically low ocean shipping rates make it easy to lose sight of the costs that matter the most – total landed costs. Most companies, even those already exporting to the US, can sometimes underestimate the complexity of shipping and selling products in the US and their businesses struggle as a result.

Negotiating lower shipping rates, whilst important, should not be seen as the only opportunity for optimising total landed costs. The end to end process and network of partners that companies use to get products to their US customers, and the cost implications of those decisions, are important considerations as well.

Companies that view logistics as part of a strategy can reduce their costs by understanding the impact of issues at each stage of their supply chain. In the case of selling to the US from Europe, the real work only begins once the product is at its US port. In fact, 26% of a company’s costs are in the supply chain, while only transportation only making up 4%. So, logistics decisions should be made not just on transportation costs, but on how they affect the entire supply chain.

Finding the Right Supplier Partnerships

Shipping internationally to the US requires - and benefits from - a different approach to supplier partnerships than what may work best within Europe. But like any cross-border supply chain, the country specific customs regulations, unique logistics infrastructure, and business culture are real barriers that companies need to overcome.

All partners within the logistics chain, including carriers, warehouses, and customs broker must be aligned to serve a company and their customer’s needs. Otherwise each supplier will concentrate on their own goals, and not what is best for the customer. The right partners are those that can ensure smooth customs clearance and final customer delivery, including minimizing damage claims and charge backs, and even creating opportunities for consolidation.

A deep understanding and experience with the US food market is another basic requirement in finding the right partner. Food products are unique and time-sensitive, therefore, creating a consistent and reliable programme takes planning. The ability to navigate the stringent delivery and packaging requirements of the industry is invaluable to ensuring deliveries happen on time, damages are minimised, and charge backs are avoided.

And of course, the basics of customer service should be an expectation of any partnership. This includes proactive issue identification and resolution. With a shipping process that extends from Europe to locations all around the US, this is no easy task. This is only possible through full supply chain visibility that leverages technology and a connected network of transportation resources.

The Role of Technology

Technology is another important consideration in choosing the right partners, and essential for shipping to the US. The use of technology has come a long way in the shipping industry. The complexity of managing rates, objectively weighing the large number of mode and carrier options, as well as the expectation by customers of real time tracking information are all made easier and more efficient with technology. And again, the importance of each is magnified for time sensitive food products.

Technology makes objective decision making possible. The best example is seen by considering the many shipping options available in the U.S. Countless rate, service, and carrier options complicate decision making but technology ensures the right choice is always made to balance cost and service. Logistics technology can provide network modeling to optimise shipping costs, account for tight lead times, and minimize time to market.

Analysing and bench marking against KPI’s is another technique for improving internal operations. While the expense of technology can be high, cost models are coming down, making it affordable for even small businesses, and enabling them to stay competitive.

Create a Plan

Success in the competitive US marketplace takes a high level of supply chain efficiency. This means every European food manufacturer shipping to the US needs a network of logistics partners that are working towards a common goal - while leveraging technology to the benefit of costs savings and better operations. Engaging with an experienced partner who is currently operating within the complex US food-retail market is the most direct way to reduce total landed costs and improve any supply chain network.


Will technology see the demise of the Freight Forwarder?

11-Oct-2017 04:32:51


The Demise of the Freight Forwarder fact or fiction?

As an industry, freight forwarding is often criticised for being slow to adopt technology and new ways of doing business. Whilst there may be some truth in this sentiment, to say there is a complete lack of innovation is overstated. We would agree however, that there is a lot of room for improvement.


In recent years there has been an increase in cloud-based freight marketplaces and other ‘online portal’ technology that claim to be disruptors to how shippers and freight forwarders operate. This is one area where technology has made progress with regards to adoption. The problem is most of these technologies are not much more than simple quoting tools to calculate a rate from point A to point B. On one hand, it is positive to see an increase in the use of technology but very often they are designed to address only a very narrow need within the supply chain function.

Worse yet, the ‘rates’ quoted are usually missing significant, but common, fees and surcharges that are hard to calculate far in advance of a booking. With such limited functionality shippers are also only addressing a small piece of the total supply chain costs that make up their true landed cost for a shipment.

People and Systems

The truth is freight forwarding requires processes that are both people and systems driven. In other words, technology should be able to support the entire process, but it takes people and experience to get the work done. The best combination is when technology is applied as a decision support tool (e.g. helping to calculate an accurate ocean freight rate and selecting the best carrier) and an experienced team to deal with everything else that goes into the successful, seamless execution of a shipment. Forwarding is a service based solution before anything else.

The Impact of service disruption

The most visible example of this in practice is how hard it can be for shippers to find support when service issues come up. The costs and impact of service disruptions (which are themselves sometimes simply inevitable) are often overlooked. Forwarding partners need to proactively keep their shipper customers informed as service issues are worked through. This doesn’t always happen with a booking portal which might only offer email support.

Solutions and ‘products’ need to drive on-going cost savings too, and not just provide ‘too good to be true’ spot rates. Routing decisions made outside of the context of a larger supply chain plan are not efficient, but this is how simplistic quoting tools operate. There is no question that technology helps drive efficiencies in freight forwarding, but it can’t be thought of as the ONLY thing.

Freight forwarding is a complex business that requires technology, but personal attention and experience matter too. A focus on spot rates at the sake of total landed costs is a mistake. And, an online booking tool can’t replace a real supply chain strategy. When technology is used the right way, it supports optimal decision making and creates the most efficient supply chain possible.

New trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.

09-Oct-2017 05:55:40



New trade agreement between Canada and the European Union 


CETA is a new trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. It will make it easier to import and export goods and services between Canada and the European Union, benefitting people and businesses in both Canada and the EU. 



1. This client advisory is to inform you that the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will be implemented on September 21, 2017. With the exception of a few agricultural goods, the CETA will essentially eliminate the customs duties on all imports from a European Union (EU) country or other CETA beneficiary, either immediately upon implementation of the agreement, or through a tariff phase-out. 

2. The text of the agreement can be found on here . The completed list of countries eligible for the preferential tariff of the CETA is available on the Canada Gazette website:


Tariff Provisions 

3. Pursuant to the CETA, a new preferential tariff treatment is being introduced, namely the Canada European Union Tariff. The newly assigned tariff treatment code is: Canada-European Union Tariff (CEUT) – Code 31. 

4. For more information concerning CETA Origin Quota Textiles and Apparel products and associated permit requirements, consult Notice to Importers Serial No. 899 ( . Textiles and Apparel for Import to Canada from the European Union and its Member States (Items 86.98 and 86.99 on Canada’s Import Control List) published on the Global Affairs Canada website. 


Proof of Origin 

5. The required proof of origin is a statement and is referred to in the CETA Protocol on Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures section as the Origin Declaration. The Origin Declaration text is

contained in Annex 2 (see below). This Origin Declaration may be provided on an invoice or any other commercial document that describes the originating product in sufficient detail to enable its identification.

6. In order to claim the preferential tariff treatment accorded under the CETA, importers must have in their possession the Origin Declaration completed by the exporter in the EU country or other CETA beneficiary of export, as well as any necessary permits. 


 This client advisory is intended as an overview only, highlighting the future changes and benefits of trade between Canada and the European Union. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the CETA, it is advised that importers review the agreement in its entirety prior to importing goods that may benefit from this agreement. 


Top Five tips for exporting food products from Europe to the U.S.

16-Aug-2017 05:14:14

WTA Food 


Top Five tips for exporting food products from Europe to the U.S.

The U.S. food market, now approaching $100 MM in annual sales, continues to grow consistently with no signs of slowing down. The opportunity is ripe for you as a European food exporter to start or increase your food product offering to the U.S. recognising American consumers are increasingly open to new tastes and food experiences.

However, many of you, who have made the jump are finding the road is not always so smooth. Strict customs requirements, U.S. regulators such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and a consolidated network of industry players are very different from Europe, creating unique challenges.

Below are our top five tips to help you avoid unnecessary delays and extra costs to your food supply chain when exporting to the U.S.

1. Transport:

It is important to note that transport is a very different process from managing logistics within the country, which is a common mistake that logistics professionals in Europe make. That said, shipping food products to the U.S. can be a relatively easy process for you, if you choose the right carrier who can provide the best balance of service and cost.

While the logistics infrastructure in the U.S. is efficient, the country is also very big. With time at such a premium for your food goods, understanding the potential impact of long transit times and cost inside the country must be considered. Special handling, like a temperature-controlled environment, must also be considered for certain food products.

2. Entry:

The movement of food products into the U.S. may require the involvement of up to four separate government agencies, including US Customs and Border Protection, FDA, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Department of Agriculture. The entry process, and potential delays, typically represent the biggest challenge during the logistics. However, the ACE (The Automated Commercial Environment), which is the government’s primary system through which it determines admissibility, helps to make the process easier.

Entering the U.S. food market is a challenging process, and not a process most companies can navigate successfully on their own. But with a sound strategy and the right partnerships, these are all challenges that can be overcome.

3. Take a Big Picture Approach

Usually, when companies export to an outside market, the focus is placed on the shipping process while cost reduction is emphasised at the expense of everything else. While costs are important, this can be a very short-sighted approach. International shipping rates are historically low right now and, while paying a competitive rate is important, the real opportunity for improving shipping is by looking at a broader end to end process for your food supply chain and creating a logistics strategy that works with all the functional areas it connects with.

4. Technology Must Support the Process

The complexity of managing rates, objectively weighing the large number of mode and carrier options, as well as the importance of real-time tracking information make technology a critical part of the process. These factors are magnified even more for time-sensitive food products.

An important benefit of technology is gaining access to data and the ability to use it. Logistics technology can provide network modelling to optimise shipping costs, account for tight lead times, and minimise time to market. Understanding other details like an item’s ‘Cost of Goods Sold’ is another potential output of detailed data analysis only made possible by technology.

The downside is that the cost of technology can be high. But, the good news is the cost models for how shippers can access technology is changing – which leads us to the third piece of advice.

5. The Right Supplier Partnerships

The complexity of the challenges between European and U.S. markets serves to emphasise the importance that solutions have to be customer and product-centric. All partners, including carriers, warehouses, customers, brokers, etc. need to be in alignment to successfully service a company’s needs.

Any company interested in selling their food product in the US is wise to find a qualified partner who can provide an independent, end to end solution. A partner who is aligned with the customer’s objectives is able to create asolution that is based on the customer’s best interests.

The right partners are one that can ensure smooth customs clearance and final customer delivery, including minimizing damage claims and chargebacks, creating opportunities for consolidation, using technology to assist with the process. The ability to navigate the stringent delivery and packaging requirements of the industry is invaluable to ensuring deliveries happen on time, damages are minimized, and chargebacks are avoided.

If you would like a more comprehensive outline to exporting food products to the USA, sign up to our White Paper, coming out on the 5th of September.



WTA UK wins China eCommerce contract with Supermarket Giant, Sainsburys

27-Apr-2017 11:00:00

WTA UK wins China eCommerce contract with Supermarket Giant, Sainsburys

WTA UK are very pleased to announce it has secured a contract with Sainsbury’s to handle their eCommerce business to China. Cross Border Shipping is one the fastest growing logistics products and WTA UK is leading the way with its bespoke eCommerce product, operating through a LHR based Parcel Receiving Centre. Orders are received via Alibaba’s market place TMall. Processed through a Fulfilment Centre and dispatched daily into China via Airfreight.

Thomas Kuehn, MD at WTA UK announces “We are delighted to have been awarded the China eCommerce contract by Sainsbury’s. It demonstrates that we can deliver an exceptional eCommerce product that large and small corporations are looking for”

Initially Sainsbury’s will be selling Health, Beauty and Baby Products into China. WTA’s expertise will help Sainsbury’s introduce new products on the TMall market place including those with short to medium shelf life.

WTA are also working closely with several other leading UK Brands who are looking for an effective cross border solution that will allow them to enter the lucrative Chinese market

If you would like to find out more information on how WTA eCommerce can help ship your products quickly and cost effectively please contact us today.

Congestion in Shanghai could delay your goods

26-Apr-2017 09:17:02

Congestion at Shanghai port. Your shipments could be delayed.

Shanghai container port continues to struggle with congestion as shippers attempt to load cargo prior to anticipated ocean freight rate increases at the beginning of May. To make matters worse, the port has also been affected by foggy weather conditions and the recent changes in vessel schedules following the restructure of vessel sharing agreements with the major new alliances. The current waiting times for vessels dependent on the terminal and service are around 48-52 hours, with some vessels being delayed by up to 10 days.

Thomas Kuehn from WTA UK said "WTA UK are working very closely with the port and shipping lines so we are able to keep our clients updated on the situation."

Hard Brexit is announced, what will the implications be for your business?

19-Jan-2017 10:00:00


Hard Brexit is announced, what will the implications be for your business?

Teresa May, outlined her Brexit priorities for when article 50 is invoked at the end of March. Firm in her remarks that Britain will leave the European Single Market and the Customs Union.

What does this mean?

 By leaving the European Single Market which allows the free movement of goods, people, finances and services.  Teresa May outlined that the UK will take back control of its borders and immigration. It will no longer be bound by EU rules and regulations, nor the European Court of Justice.

Moving away from full membership of the Customs Union, according to May will allow for the UK to strike deals with non EU countries and not be restricted by the external tariffs that are applicable through the current EU membership.

 The UK wants a new "comprehensive free trade agreement", giving it "the greatest possible access" to the single market”.

What are the Implications?

The hard line approach to Brexit and setting out more clearly the direction the UK will take in its negotiations gives businesses more clarity. Yet there is still a very long and winding road to go down.

 The European parliament chief negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt responded “The days of UK cherry picking and Europe a La Carte are over”

Teresa May’s tough stance on negotiations with Europe have clearly been outlined, yet the UK could still end up with more red tape, rising tariffs which will in turn effect businesses who export and import. Supply Chains could be severely impacted/disrupted and the prices of goods will very likely increase.

Contingency plans on how you can mitigate the costs in your supply chain should be worked on now. Contact WTA, we can provide you with the strategies you need to deal with the complex trading arrangements that are likely to be coming our way.


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WTA Celebrates Butterfly Children’s Hospices 10 year Anniversary

21-Nov-2016 01:47:17


WTA Group has been inspired by the work of Butterfly Children’s Hospices, and are big supporters of their cause. Butterfly Children's Hopices was founded by Lyn and Alan Gould in an effort to provide palliative care for children in China. They operate from both Changsha and Nanjing, and have been working with the Chinese government since 2010 to provide care and treatment for children with life-threatening illnesses.

The team at Butterfly Children's Hospices recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary, and we couldn’t be more thrilled at how far they have come. Charles Sommer (WTA Group Chairman) recently visited the Butterfly Children's Hospice. This provided him with his first opportunity to see, first hand, how the money WTA raises helps assist the children in care.

The money raised helps to make the lives of the children more comfortable, and to provide much needed medical care and surgeries.

To date, WTA Group has raised over £17,000 for Butterfly Children's Hospices. This has helped provide palliative care for many young children over the years.

"WTA Group has been supporting Butterfly Children's Hospices for many years now,” says Charles. “During my visit to the Changsha facilities, I was delighted to be shown around. To meet with the children and carers, and to see what excellent care the children receive is fantastic."

IMG_4408.jpgCharles with the Changsha Butterfly Children's Hospices team.

Lyn Gould explains that she and Alan started Butterfly Children's Hospices after years of charity work in China. They saw first hand, just how desperate a situation many Chinese children and families found themselves in. They were determined to help these families as best as they could.

“It has been wonderful to receive WTA’s donations in the last few years,” says Lyn. “To have regular income gives us more security, and ensures we are able to deliver the care for each child who needs our help.

“The fact that we receive repeated sponsorship from such a large international company, gives confidence to other companies so they feel able to donate too. We really appreciated the visits from Amy McGregor, Gerry Lawler and Charles Sommer recently.”

WTA Group is looking forward to continuing our support of Butterfly Children's Hospices, and to see them help even more Chinese children who need palliative care. Find out more about their story here.

If you would like to donate to Butterfly Children's Hospices, you can do so by clicking here.

How to Import Goods from China to the UK

08-Nov-2016 16:38:57

How to Import Goods From China to the UK


The pace of the global market is accelerating at an incredible rate. Through globalisation and technology, we are gaining access to consumer groups all over the world. And, we are now also able to bring the goods of different countries into our own.

Economically, importing goods from other nations can be incredibly beneficial. Costs of manufacturing might be lower and resources might be less expensive, allowing for a more profitable business operation.

As one of the world’s largest exporters, China draws a great deal of interest from foreign businesses. China’s ability to mass produce and assemble products for a competitive price has made it incredibly popular, as the lower prices bring with them the potential for enhanced profit margins.

For the UK, the desire to import goods from China is vast. This trade lane is now the UK’s third largest, and demand for Chinese goods is still on the rise.

So, how can you take advantage of the benefits of importing from China? How can you ensure a streamlined shipment?

At WTA, we have decades of experience dealing with imports from China into the UK. And, with head offices in both London and Hong Kong, our international shipping experts have a profound understanding of what you need to do in order to achieve a safe and reliable delivery.

Before you begin your import from China, here are some important factors that you must consider.

Transport Method

When shipping your goods internationally, the mode of transport has a significant impact on your delivery. Air freight, for example, might be faster than sea, but it is more expensive.

To discover the right fit for your needs, it’s important that you identify your shipping goals. Do you have time constraints or a next-day delivery policy? Are you looking to optimise your profit margins as much as possible? The answers to these questions will shape your final shipping solution.  

Gather Vital Documentation

In order to bring foreign goods into the UK, a number of important documentation needs to be accounted for.

Firstly, you must find out the relevant Commodity Codes for your items. Commodity Codes are essential to your shipment as if your products are incorrectly labelled it could result in UK Customs delaying or halting your goods.

In addition to your commodity codes, you will need to obtain an Economic Operator Registration Identification number (EORI).

This number is used by UK Customs to ensure the upkeep of border security and helps to streamline your shipping processes.

Ensure that all of your item’s labels and invoices include the full, and correct, details of:

  • The sender and receiver
  • The quantity of your goods
  • The value of your goods
  • A detailed description of your items
  • Your relevant Commodity Codes

Pay Tax on Your Products

When importing goods from China into the UK, you will be required to pay certain fees and taxes on your products. The VAT, or Value-Added Tax, will need to be paid in most cases, as will duty on your goods. The duty you pay will depend entirely on the classification of your goods, as well as how they will be used within the UK.

Find a Reliable and Experienced Shipper

There are a great many shipping companies in the market today offering a wide variety of services. It is important that you take the time to research your potential service providers, so you can utilise one that is aligned with your goals and business needs.

At WTA, we are international shipping experts and specialise in transporting goods from China into the UK. Offering a bespoke service, our solutions are 100% tailor-made to suit your unique needs.

By working hand-in-hand with you, we can develop an outcome that offers you the best return on investment. With expertise in complex customs clearance, supply chain management and international logistics, we can help you to transport your goods reliably, safely and in accordance with your budget.

Would you like to learn more about how we can help you? If so, discover the problems we can help you solve, or explore our specialities:

WTA Media

WTA Food

WTA Interiors

Otherwise, if you’d like to learn more about a custom solution for your China import, request a free quote today.

DOWNLOAD the FREE International Shipping Checklist

How to Import to the UK

01-Nov-2016 05:43:15

How to Import to the UK

For businesses, the ability to ship goods internationally has opened the door to endless opportunities. But, it has also opened a Pandora’s Box of questions in regards to where to ship in or out of. What is the best country to ship to? Why should you import goods? What are the benefits of exporting internationally?

One of the most important factors to the success of your shipment is identifying the perfect market for your products. And, when looking for viable countries in which to offer your goods, it’s hard to go past the United Kingdom.

A champion of industry and consumerism, the UK has one of the most active markets in the world. And, with a soaring population and incredible diversity, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to centre their business there.

But how do you go about it? How do you import goods into the UK?

At WTA, we are UK shipping experts and have over a century of experience of handling imports into the UK. As such, we know that in order to achieve a successful shipment, it is vital that you organise all necessary paperwork and documentation. This will ensure that your goods arrive on time and to their intended destination.

Here are some of the factors you must account for before you begin your importing endeavours.

Find the Correct Commodity Code

One of the first steps in importing goods into the UK is to discover the correct commodity code that applies to your items. The commodity code is what determines what taxes and duties you pay, and any licence or quota requirements you pay for your goods to be brought into the country, so it’s vital that it is accurate. If they are not, HM Revenue and Customs can fine you, as well as potentially hold or seize your goods - resulting in delays and unwanted additional costs.

Account for VAT

The VAT, or Value-Added Tax, will need to be paid in most cases on the goods you wish to bring into the UK. 

Obtain a EORI Number

The Economic Operator Registration and Identification scheme (EORI) is a number you must have if you trade or carry out customs activities in the European Union. Assigned by a customs authority, the EORI number is used in any communications with a EU customs agents when a customs identifier is needed - for example, when declaring your goods. 

Having an EORI is essential to enhancing the level of security implemented by the government when importing goods into the UK, and is a key part of the importing process.

To learn more on EORI numbers and to check if you require one, you can find more information here. 


Paying Duty when Importing to the UK

Depending on your particular situation, you might be required to pay a duty tax on your imported goods. This all depends on how your goods are classified, and how they will be used. However, if your goods are produced in the European Union, no duty will be needed.


In some instances, the goods you import into the UK may be restricted. Nations such as Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan and the USA all have unique restrictions on what goods you can import. Before beginning your shipping endeavours, explore whether the region you are importing from is subject to any of these restrictions.

If you account for all of the above factors, you will be well on your way towards an efficient and timely shipment.

However, if you are new to shipping or aren’t sure where to start, the team at WTA would be happy to help. We are seasoned experts in importing goods into the UK and can help you to optimise your shipments to give you the best return on investment.

Learn more about how we can help you, or to kick-start your shipping process, download our free International Shipping Checklist.

DOWNLOAD the FREE International Shipping Checklist

Protect Your Goods from the Threat of Carrier Collapse

24-Oct-2016 04:16:40

Protect your goods from the threat of carrier collapse with WTA


International trade has become the norm for the modern day business. Increased globalisation, access to digital marketplaces and faster modes of transit...the door to endless opportunities has been opened. However, with the instability of carrier finances rampant in the industry, what happens if one or more of them exit the market?

What can be done? How can you ensure that your business can proceed without disruption to your supply chain and increasing costs?

We can offer you a best-in-class carrier programme and, teamed with our understanding of the current financial position of shipping lines, you can be rest assured that your goods will arrive at their intended destination on time and on budget.

With the collapse of the Hanjin shipping company still making waves, those who engage in international freight are calling for greater financial transparency. And, with some large carriers still in financial peril, there is growing concern about another closure which could result in the delay of thousands of goods.

Now, with their products and profit margins on the line, consumers are preparing themselves for the worst - even requesting access to hidden financial documents before entrusting their cargo to a specific liner.

This is hardly an ideal position to be in as a consumer, and many are shortening their supply chains in order to mitigate the current risks.

But what can be done? How can you ensure that your business can proceed without increasing your costs and danger to your goods?

Safeguard Your Shipments with WTA

At WTA, we fully understand the challenges you go through. From one-off deliveries to regular commercial shipments, each requires its own unique solution in order to achieve the best results.

By working hand-in-hand with you, we can develop a bespoke service that is 100% tailor-made to meet your individual needs and goals. And, through our preferred carrier programme, we can give you the flexibility and reliability you need in order to have a successful delivery.

To protect you against delay, we closely monitor carriers and ask for total transparency in regards to their financial situation.

To give you the best return on investment and peace of mind, we don’t offer a one carrier solution. It rarely meets your needs and doesn’t help to spread the risk should any other shipping lines suffer the same fate as Hanjin.

Minimise the Risk of International Shipping

Ensure your logistics provider has in depth knowledge of the situation at hand. With ever-changing events and financial realities, your provider needs to be as up to date as possible. Additionally, a contingency plan in case another carrier exits the market will allow your goods to proceed with minimal delay.

We can offer you a best-in-class carrier programme and, teamed with our understanding of the current financial position of shipping lines, you can rest assured that your goods will arrive at their intended destination on time and on budget.

Would you like to learn more about how you can optimise your shipment during these unstable times? If so, you can find more information here. Otherwise, please feel free to request a free consultation with our global logistics experts - we’d be happy to help you navigate the tricky waters of international shipping any way we can.

Contact Us Today

WTA Group Supporting National Family Business Day 2016

21-Sep-2016 07:39:11

National Family Business Day


WTA Group is delighted to be taking part in National Family Business Day 2016.

The UK’s family businesses come in all sizes, from all sectors and from all over the country. Many of these firms have been in existence for hundreds of years like WTA, passing from generation to generation, with their longevity the result of good governance, innovative family ownership and a focus on the long-term that has resulted in them becoming the bedrock of communities across the UK. Others may be younger in age, but share similar values and are building forward-looking family firms of the future.

Studies in the past decade have shown that around 4 million firms are family controlled and that family businesses in the UK account for around 25% of UK GDP, over 12 million jobs and contribute significantly to the tax revenues too.

It is also recognised that the greatest part of Britain’s wealth is held within family businesses and that the family business sector is, therefore, a force to be reckoned with. Research undertaken by Family Business United (‘FBU’) identified in 2015 that £49 billion of revenue alone was generated by the 20 largest family firms in the UK.

Family firms across the UK today are a far cry from the ‘ma and pa’ image of small lifestyle businesses that are often portrayed in the media. They are big employers, creating wealth for their employees (many of whom have had generations of the same family working in the business) and invest significantly in the communities in which they operate.

The contribution made by the family business sector in the UK is significant and deserves to be recognised.

National Family Business Day 2016 is a nationwide campaign to put the family business sector on the map. Organised by FBU, the award-winning magazine and resource centre for the global family business community was founded by Paul Andrews. National Family Business Day 2016 seeks to put the family business sector on the map, recognise the diversity of the sector and provide an opportunity to celebrate all things family business.

Family firms have to deal with specific issues associated with their family ownership and it is the relationship dynamics that make them special, and of course, can create unique tensions that are not found in their non-family counterparts. Family businesses that recognise these challenges, develop good governance procedures and focus on the sustainability of the business for the long-term, innovating as necessary to keep the business relevant, have the greatest chances of remaining for generations to come.

Successful family firms focus on the business and take a long-term view, and with a significant number of family business owners looking to retire in the next decade, succession planning and the development of the next generation of family business leaders remains a key item on the family business agenda.

National Family Business Day 2016 is a chance to share best practice, identify the resources available and to provide assistance to family businesses across the UK on the next stage of their journey, as well as championing the cause and recognising the contribution that these businesses make.

Family firms are the backbone of the UK economy and we hope they remain so for generations to come.

Author: Paul Andrews, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Family Business United.


Learn More About Our Family Business

How to Optimise Your Food shipments for Maximum ROI

15-Sep-2016 02:14:26

How to Optimise Your Food Shipment for Maximum ROI


For those shipping food goods from the UK to the USA, the ability to swiftly transport your products is vital. Not only can longer delivery times result in heavier costs, they also put your goods at risk.

So how can you ensure your goods arrive at their intended destination on time? How can you optimise your processes to reduce your shipping costs? How do you safeguard your goods?

Here are some key factors to focus on in order to achieve successful food shipments.


Complex Customs Clearance

Food customs clearance is a key aspect of your shipment process. This is where the majority of delays occur. Many shippers find themselves marooned amongst a heap of faulty or misplaced paperwork.

Shipping foods internationally is an incredibly complicated process, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection is notoriously difficult. As such, this facet of your food shipments must be paid due attention.

Poor planning and execution can lead to your goods being halted, resulting in spoilage or, at the very least, increased cost and late delivery.  

To allow your food products to proceed unhindered through Customs, ensure you have all correct documentation and food labelling. If you are new to shipping or are unsure of what you need to do, enlist the assistance of an expert.

At WTA, we have decades of experience in food shipments from the U.K to the U.S. We’d be happy to help you in any way we can.

Streamline Your Supply Chain

The speed of your food delivery is dependent on the efficiency of your supply chain. The shorter and more productive your logistics are, the better. However, if you have a longer supply chain, you can still enhance it for improved results.

There are a number of ways you can work to increase the efficiency of your supply chain. We would recommend:

Analyse and optimise your logistics processes: By investigating your supply chain, you can identify areas of peak and minimal performance. Once you know where the problems are, you can work to remedy them.

Improve Your Data Systems: Moving from outdated or slow data systems to advanced, cloud-based technology helps to speed up your supply chain and improve your communication structures.

Always Look to Improve: Committing to continuous improvement will help to keep your supply chain working like a well-oiled machine.

By utilising the above strategies, you can create a supply chain that moves your products to their final destination as swiftly and cost-efficiently as possible.

Utilise Expert Assistance

The best way to ensure your food products arrive at their intended destination on time and on budget is by working with an expert. Regulations, trade agreements and markets are constantly shifting - how can you keep up with it if you’re focused on your business?

By enlisting assistance, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your goods are being handled with all due care and professionalism.

You don’t have to spend your time studying the ins and outs of international trade. Instead, you can let seasoned experts handle it while you focus on more important areas of your business.

At WTA, we offer a bespoke food shipment service under our WTA Food speciality. With core distribution hubs throughout the U.S., we can offer you:

  • Swift complex customs clearance through our knowledge and industry contacts
  • Expertise and advice on FDA compliance issues such as labelling
  • Remote and electronic filing, so we can control your customs clearance from anywhere in the U.S.
  • Complete visibility of your products from our 24/7 Track and Trace program
  • Pick and pack when needed
  • Building of PDQs that can go directly to your customers

Don’t leave your food products vulnerable to delay or spoilage. By using the above approach, you can ensure that your goods arrive on time and in premium condition.

Would you like to learn more about how WTA Food can help your business? If so, you can find more information here.


Discover How WTA Food Can Help You

How Will the Hanjin Collapse Impact Your Business?

02-Sep-2016 08:31:26
How Will The Hanjin Shipping Closure Impact Your Business?


Shippers all around the world are reeling from the recent decision by South Korea’s largest shipping group Hanjin to file for bankruptcy. Unable to restructure after a loss of around £325m, the closure was announced after creditors refused to provide further funding to the indebted firm.

As the 7th biggest shipping line in the world, Hanjin’s closure will undoubtedly impact on global freight, but how?

How Will the Hanjin Receivership Impact Your Business?

As Hanjin is part of the CHYKE Alliance, their removal from the market will be felt keenly by international shippers. Whether you ship infrequently or in large quantities, in the short term, it’s likely that you will experience some form of delay.

With massive amounts of goods shipped daily across the world’s major trade lanes, Hanjin’s bankruptcy will disrupt the delicate balance of supply and demand for shipping vessels.

While the market comes to terms with this loss, it’s likely that you might experience the negative effects of limited space on the other carriers.

If you are a client of Hanjin, prepare yourself to incur delays with your shipments. There are reports that Hanjin vessels are already being refused entry into ports, or are being held at ports at the request of the South Korean courts/receivers. As such, your goods may be unable to arrive at their intended destination on time. Additionally, there is a high probability that prices will sky-rocket due to the shortage of space onboard the carriers. 

Help Is On the Way

If you are a customer of Hanjin or are concerned that you will be impacted by the shortage of space on containers, do not fear. Thankfully, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. is planning to deploy 13 more vessels into the U.S. and European trade lanes in order to make up for the new Hanjin deficiency.

This introduction of additional carriers will help to speed up transport times once again so trade lanes can return to normalcy.

As international freight experts, we understand the stress that this recent event can cause to you and your business operations. However, this doesn’t have to remain the case.

At WTA, our global logistics experts are here to help you to cope with this new market reality. With our network of best-in-class carriers and partners, we can help you to evaluate the potential impact the Hanjin receivership could have on your business, and how it can be remedied.

This is a confusing and chaotic time, and with that comes questions on the best ways to proceed. We are more than happy to answer any question you may have, and will help you to navigate this change as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

Contact our international shipping experts today to lessen the impact that the Hanjin bankruptcy might have on your business.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Book Distribution

19-Aug-2016 03:50:38

WTA Publishing Logistics - How to Get the Most Out of Your Book Distribution

With the Frankfurt Book Fair nearly upon us, the excitement amongst those in the publishing industry is growing.

A fantastic opportunity for networking, the Frankfurt Book Fair allows like-minded businesses to mingle, to explore new opportunities, and discover new potential customers.

However, this illustrious event is also a prime time for those shipping books to refine their logistics.

Distributing books around the globe is a complex and costly endeavour. And, if you have a lengthy supply chain, it can be even more so. How can you ensure that all of your containers arrive at their destination on time?

More so, by leaving your current supply chain untouched, you may be missing out on potentially thousands of pounds in savings.

As global logistics specialists, we are well aware of the incredible benefits streamlining your supply chain can bring. But are you?

To help you transform your logistics into a beacon of cost-effective efficiency, here are some expert tips that will assist you in optimising your book distribution.

Commit and Focus on Planning

The planning of your distribution processes is an essential component to ensuring a rapid and reliable delivery. However, for many in the publishing industry, this simply doesn’t occur. Instead, you’re left wading through a pool of paperwork, muddling through confusion which all too often leads to late delivery dates.

Though planning can be viewed as an unnecessary task, it will help you to get your products delivered on time and on budget.

This is especially the case when it comes to the fractious link between production and order fulfilment. Shipping books from your printer to the distribution centre is often left to the last minute. But, by tackling this vital component head on, you can make a significant improvement to the productivity of your supply chain.

Analyse Your Processes

While swapping over to a new system can be time-consuming, ridding yourself of outdated, slow systems is an important step to optimising your logistics.

The internal systems you use on a day-to-day basis have a substantial impact on your communication. They keep everyone on the same page. And, the more complicated your supply chain becomes, the more important this is to maintain.

If confusion surrounds the key players in your logistics, it makes it that much harder to ensure all deliveries arrive on time and on budget.

By reassessing your current processes, you are able to discover that aspects of your systems are letting you down. Once you know what needs to be fixed, you can begin the process of changing it for the better.

Analysing your processes is also a great way to discover any areas in your supply chain that are no longer effective. They might be slow, or even unnecessary due to a change in circumstance or technology. Removing these areas of disruption is the key to a swift, reliable supply chain.

Utilise a Tracking System

Innovative, online tracking systems are a considerable attribute in the optimisation of your publishing logistics.

By utilising a 24/7 online tracking system, you can build improved management and execution of your publishing orders. Once more, this all comes down to clear, concise communication. A tracking system gives you and your stakeholders the ability to keep on top of the current status of your shipment, so you can amend your plans and actions as you go.

Discuss with your logistics provider if a tracking system can be put in place for your goods. At WTA, we offer a free online Track and Trace system, purely so you and your team can remain up to date on your shipment status.

In the publishing industry, markets and demands are constantly changing. Globalisation has opened the door to endless overseas opportunities - but also competition. To stay ahead of the pack, having a cost-effective and reliable supply chain is paramount.

At WTA, we understand that transforming your logistics can be easier said than done. At the Frankfurt Book Fair, why not speak to our WTA Media expert, Martin Watts? With decades of industry experience and in-depth knowledge of supply chain management, he can help you to get the most out of your shipping operations.

Follow Martin on Twitter today, or get in touch with him here.

Contact Martin About Our Free Supply Chain Audit

How Will Brexit Impact Your Shipping?

10-Aug-2016 23:50:09

WTA Global Logistics Experts - How Will Brexit Impact Your Shipping?

Britain’s historical vote to leave the European Union has had a global impact. From stock prices to travel plans, a lot of people have been affected in some shape or form.

However, while some have barely felt the shift, those engaging in international shipping face significant changes.

The landmark decision to leave the EU has both positives and negatives. But, for many, the mystery surrounding Brexit is a constant source of stress. What does it mean for your business? Will it make your logistics more complicated? 

If you ship goods internationally, we understand that this can be a troubling and confusing time. 

At WTA, we want to help you enjoy streamlined and stress-free shipments. To help you keep on top of Brexit’s impact on your business, here are some main points of concern that you need to be aware of.


UK Port Usage by Container Lines

It stands to reason that for those importing or exporting from the UK, the ability to ship directly from the UK is preferred.

However, the recent Brexit move risks potentially isolating the UK politically, which could lead to a lack of direct vessel calls. As the UK no longer has a large UK-based container fleet to play the hero, this would result in shippers needing to rely on feeder services.

However, Drewry Maritime Research believes that container lines will continue to stop at Britain’s ports, despite the Brexit.

Due to the UK’s high demand for shipment services, they suggest that it is likely that mainline vessels will continue their calls into British ports.

Trade Volume

In the short term, it is widely believed that the volume of shipments in and out of the United Kingdom will experience a lull. This can be expected, as the nation is re-establishing itself within the global market.

A large contributor to this relative decrease in trade volume is the instability and uncertainty of Britain's trade agreements. No longer amongst the EU, the UK must forge new alliances and agreements, which will undoubtedly impact the number of goods coming in and out of the country.

However, discovering new trade agreements isn’t necessarily a bad thing - they could, in fact, lead to more favourable shipping environments.

But, at this stage, it’s too early to tell whether the scales will fall negatively or positively. As the nation stabilises its relationships around the globe, more news surrounding trade agreements and tariffs will emerge.

Border Control and Customs

As is always the case with international shipping and logistics, border control and customs can pose a threat to the speed of your delivery. However, with Brexit, it is possible that the days of red tape and arduous documentation may return.

The potential for increased costs and decreased efficiency here is unfortunately very real. As these issues arise, they will have to be dealt with as soon as possible by the government. Some companies are already lobbying the UK government to ensure that the simplification of shipping process is on the agenda.

Ensuring the rapid clearance of your goods through customs and border control is essential to the success of your shipment.

The ability to safeguard your goods against undue stops or checks is a crucial step towards this.

While Brexit is a turbulent time for the UK, the increasingly globalised world we live in helps to encourage open borders and advantageous trade agreements.

However, if you are new to international shipping or don’t have the time to keep up to date with the ever-changing rules and regulations, consider hiring an expert to assist you.

At WTA, we are international trade and global logistics experts and specialise in complex customs clearance. If you would like to learn more about how we can streamline your shipping and customs processes, you can do so here.

Explore Our Customs Clearance Service

How to Reduce Your Shipping Costs

05-Aug-2016 05:23:55

WTA Global Supply Chain Management Service - How to Reduce Your Shipping Costs

In today’s highly competitive, global market, international shipping is a common occurrence.

Be it one-off or regular shipments, majority of businesses have or will engage in some form of international freight at some point.

Shipping goods around the world can open up incredible opportunities for your business. However, it can also be a costly endeavour.

So, how can you work to lower your overall shipping costs? How can you optimise your efficiency and profitability?

It all starts with your supply chain.

At WTA, we are international logistics experts. With over a century of experience in supply chain management, we know what you need to do to create a streamlined supply chain.

Your Supply Chain Has a Direct Impact on Your Costs

Your supply chain is the key to reducing your overall freight costs. The longer or more complex your logistics are, the more it costs you to transport your products.

Every step your item takes towards its destination is another added cost to your process.

In order to lower your costs, your supply chain needs to be optimised to enhance its efficiency.

How to Create Supply Chain Efficiency

There are a number of things you can do to streamline your supply chain.

The first step towards improved efficiency is to analyse your current supply chain situation.

  • How many stop off points are there?
  • How many ports do your products come in and out of?
  • Do you need warehousing before or after transportation?

All of these factors and more have an impact.

However, just because you have a long or complicated supply chain doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

By analysing your supply chain, you have the potential to eliminate any unnecessary areas. Technology and procedures are developing constantly - your supply chain needs to evolve with it.

It is this commitment to continuous improvement that will give your business a competitive advantage.

The less money and time you are spending on shipping your goods, the more you can spend on other factions of your business.

Another action that you can take to improve the efficiency of your supply chain is to improve your current information systems.

Good, clear communication between yourself and the people in your supply chain will help you to significantly improve productivity. It results in less confusion, so your goods can reach their intended destination faster.

Improving your current data systems will also help you to streamline your supply chain. Giving key members of your logistics access to reliable and easy to navigate information keeps everyone on the same page, decreasing the margin of error and your overall costs.

Do You Want to Enhance Your Supply Chain?

If you would like to optimise your supply chain but feel you lack the time or expertise to do so, consider hiring an expert to assist you.

At WTA, we are international supply chain specialists. Offering a fully comprehensive Supply Chain Management service, we can help you to amend your logistics in a way that will give you the best ROI possible.

Would you like to learn more about our Supply Chain Management Service? If so, you can do so here.

Discover More About Our Supply Chain Management Service

How to Optimise Your Supply Chain for Increased Profitability

24-Jun-2016 00:21:06

WTA Global Logistics - How to Increase Your Supply Chain for Increased Profitability


The more globalised the world becomes, the more access businesses are getting to overseas markets. Boarders are opening up, trade agreements are being signed, and companies who are willing to put in the hard yards now have the ability to expand their business like never before.

However, with higher utilisation of overseas markets comes longer and more complicated supply chains. And, the more complex the supply chain, the higher its cost.

The fact of the matter is that your supply chain plays a large role in the profitability and efficiency of your shipping endeavours. Every single stop along the way delays your product that little bit more, and the longer it takes for your product to get from A to B, the bigger the bill at the end of it all.

For importers and exporters, streamlining your supply chain should be a task held in paramount importance. It can make a substantial difference to your business - saving you precious time and money.

But, how can you do it? How can you transform your supply chain and make it more efficient?

Here are some tips from our global logistics experts that can help you enhance your supply chain.

Analyse and Optimise Your Logistics Processes

The first step that we would recommend in order to streamline your supply chain is to analyse its current standing.

How many points of contact are there from your products’ starting point to it’s destination? How long does it take on average to go from A to B? Are there any unnecessary points of contact? Can any areas be shortened or quickened?

By conducting an in depth investigation into your logistics, you can arm yourself with all of the facts you need in order to begin optimising it.

Utilise and Improve Data Systems

When it comes to data systems, every business has different tools and software that they use. However, what they all have in common is that they have the power to optimise your supply chain - if done correctly.

Improving the accuracy and usage of your data systems can significantly help you to speed up your logistics. Removing the instance of errors helps to keep everyone on the same page - which is especially important when importing or exporting overseas.

Additionally, utilising effective software platforms can help you to reduce time spent on data entry.

And, if you’re using cloud software, you can ensure that your counterparts all around the globe have access to your data in real time. No more scrambling to keep each other informed, just unification of knowledge and goals across the board.

Explore New Systems and Leverage the Old Ones

In this digital age, we now have access to a vast array of software and systems to improve business processes.

To optimise your supply chain for peak efficiency, it’s wise to spend some time exploring potential new technologies or software platforms you could implement. Technological innovations can assist you in a number of ways, including:

  • Unifying your team and supply chain on the same systems
  • Increasing communication
  • Reducing confusion and data errors
  • Speeding up slow, outdated processes

That being said, it is also vital to leverage the systems you already have. While the systems themselves may be old, the data they collect can still contribute valuable information towards planning and analysis.

Commit to Continuous Improvement

To have a dynamic and profitable supply chain, it must constantly be assessed and adjusted. Leaving it stagnant for months - or in some cases years - allows it to become out of date, or to slip into inefficiency.

Making the commitment to continuously improving your logistics ensures that your supply chain is as cost-effective and quick as it can be - at all times.

Placing a large focus on the productivity of your supply chain is a must for all importers and exporters. Not only will it help you to reduce delays in your good’s travel time, it also has the potential to save you a substantial sum of money.

At WTA, we understand that your supply chain is a vital yet highly complex part of your business. It can be difficult to know where to start, or how best to streamline it.

As international logistics specialists, we offer a fully comprehensive supply chain management service. If you’d like to learn more about it and how it can help your business, you can do so here.  


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Strike action in France could affect your time sensitive shipments.

17-May-2016 01:20:12
French Strike Could Affect Your TIme Sensitive Shipments


Please be aware of the various strike action taking place in France this week.

Monday 16th May (starting at 22:00)

  • Haulage unions strike action

Tuesday 17th May

  • General Strike
  • Haulage Unions Strike
  • Some unions have called for rolling stoppages that could hit cross-Channel services but at the moment P&O expects to be running normally
  • Some drivers in Normandy are planning to block roads, notably around Caen

Wednesday 18th May

  • French Rail Union Strike

Thursday 19th May

  • General Strike

If you have any questions or time sensitive shipments that you require assistance with please do not hesitate to contact me.