Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I ship to a P.O.Box address? 
A: Unfortunately we are unable to deliver to PO Box addresses within the UK, however this is our only option to certain international countries. As long as you have a contact name and valid telephone number for the receiver this is possible.

Q: Can I book a forward collection? 
A: A forward collection is a consignment that is collected from a remote location to be forwarded on to another location. Again this is possible , please email or phone through with the collection / delivery details along with pieces and weights and we will be happy to get this organised for you.

Q: What is domestic? 
A: Domestic is a term used by the courier and freight industry for shipments travelling within the same country.

Q: What is a Commercial Invoice? 
A: These are invoices travelling with goods that have been sold. They are used in exactly the same way as Pro Forma invoices for customs purposes.

Q: What is a Pro Forma invoice and when would I need to send this? 
A: If the goods that are being shipped have already been paid for by the consignee prior to them being shipped, the consignor is required to provide a Pro Forma invoice. This shows the amount paid in order that the receiving authorities can appropriate duty and tax in line with the value and commodity code.

Q: What is a Commodity Code? 
A: Every product is assigned a commodity code by Customs & Excise. This code denotes the level of duty payable against the product to the receiving customs authorities. This code and therefore the level of duty may change from country to country and varies by product.

Q: What is DDP? 
A: DDP is a term used by freight and courier companies and means “Delivery Duties Paid”. This service enables the shipper to pay for any duties taxes that are levied by customs as opposed to the consignee. This is only available to certain destinations so please check with the Customer Service team to see if your destination country offers this.

Q: What is free Domicile? 
A: This is when both Duties and Taxes are billed back to the shipper as opposed to DDP when just the duty is billed back to the shipper.

Q: What is a Certificate of Origin – ‘C of O’? 
A: A C of O is a document signed by the exporter and must be witnessed by an agency such as the Chamber of Commerce. This is required by certain countries and almost all of the Middle East countries and certifies the country of origin. A C of O does not necessarily relate to the country the goods are shipped from, but rather the country where the goods are actually produced.

Q: What is a Customs Invoice? 
A: This is an invoice that is used by customs to determine the amount of duty tax to apply to the shipment if the goods are travelling to a Non EU destination.

Q: What is the difference between Deferred and Express? 
A: Express is the quickest delivery option whereas Deferred generally takes longer for the goods to arrive.

Q: What does transit time mean? 
A:Transit time is the amount of time a consignment takes [in days] to be delivered.

Q:Does transit time include weekends or public holidays? 
A: Transit time is based on working days and does not include weekends or public holidays.

Q: What is Free Domicile? 
A: Free Domicile is very similar to the term “DDP” although this service means the shipper is responsible for both duties and local taxes that are levied by customs. Again, this is only available to certain destinations so please check first before shipping.

Q: How do I calculate duties and taxes? 
A: Every product shipped through the freight and courier network falls into a category and has a “tariff code” assigned to it. This tariff code has a percentage linked to it that is used by Customs to calculate the duty taxes to be applied. The percentage is used on the entire shipment value and freight costs associated with the shipment.

Q: How can I pay for duties and taxes? 
A: If available to the destination, then there is a fee to be paid for selecting either DDP or Free Domicile service in addition to the taxes that are levied by customs, which are invoiced upon receipt of the customs charges.

Q: What is the European Union? 
A: The European Union is a group of countries located primarily in Europe. If a shipment is travelling from a country within this union to another country within the union then the shipment is not eligible for customs inspection and therefore exempt from any duties or taxes to be applied.

Q: Which carrier will my consignment be travelling with?
A: We use a number of different suppliers and agents to ensure we are offering the best prices available at the time of shipping. Each shipment travels with one of our preferred partners and this information is available by talking directly to one of the Customer Service Team members.

Q: How do I track and trace my shipment / When will my shipment arrive? 
A: You will be provided with a tracking number, which you can call us directly to be advised of the progress of your shipment.

Q: How much will my shipment cost? 
A: Depending on the size of your shipment, where the goods are going to and how fast you want the goods to arrive all have a factor in calculating the cost for delivery. With this information you can request a quote online or through our Customer Service Team.

Q: Can I get my parcel collected? 
A: You can send a booking request to us if you wish to send out a consignment then we will collect your parcel from you once booking has been made.

Q: Do I need an account to ship with BDS Shipping?
A: No, there is no need for an account for sea freight shipments. You simply pay a deposit into our account (We supply the account details when you make a booking) for each booking you make. If you are a frequent shipper and would like to discuss opening an account, please give us call or email us.

Q: When can I make a booking?
A: You can make a booking online using our quote generation tool for parcel and documents on our home page, however if you are looking for any other type of shipment kindly use our “get a quote” form on the right at any time.
If you require a more urgent collection, please call BDS Customer Service on +44(0)333 0144 055 to check service availability and tariffs. Please note that BDS Shipping only collect or deliver on weekends or public holidays if special arrangements have been made.
* Bookings must be completed or made before midnight for next day collection and service restrictions apply.

Q: Are transit times guaranteed?
A: No, transit times are provided as a guide only.
Transit times are average based on deliveries to major Airports/Seaports. They are subject to change depending on the location of collection and delivery, as well as shipment contents, size and weight. There may also be circumstances beyond our control.

Q: What is the maximum weight and size limits for a package?
A: Our Criteria is based on the following:
For international shipments the maximum dimensions and restrictions please refer to International Courier page for more information.If your parcel is large but lightweight, you may be charged for its volumetric weight rather than its actual weight. BDS Freight calculates volumetric weight automatically from the dimensions you provide.
If your package exceeds any of these limits, please contact Customer Service on +44(0)333 0144 055 and we will be able to give you information on services and tariffs available for larger items.

Q: What is volumetric weight?
A: If you are sending a large but lightweight parcel you may be charged on volumetric weight rather than actual weight. If the volumetric weight of your parcel is greater than the actual weight, you will be charged on volumetric weight.
BDS Freight calculates volumetric weight automatically from the parcel dimensions you provide.

If you wish to calculate volumetric weight before completing the booking details, please use this formula as an example: Length x Width x Height (cm) / 6000 = Volumetric Weight (kg). For more information please refer to International Courier page.

Q: How do I calculate the weight and dimensions of my parcel?
A: Calculate the weight of your parcel using ordinary kitchen or bathroom scales. Please specify the weight in kilograms (kg). Measure your parcel using either a tape measure or a ruler. Please specify the dimensions in centimetres (cm).

Q: Can I estimate the weight/dimensions of my parcel?
A: You can, however you will be charged the difference between the actual chargeable weight. We recommend you use bathroom scales to weigh your packages and a tape or ruler to measure the dimensions, if you don’t have access to a commercial scale.

Please note that we automatically reweigh and measure parcels on arrival at our service centres.

Q: How do I change or cancel a booking request?
A: To amend any part of your booking or to cancel the collection, contact the BDS Customer Services on +44(0)333 0144 055 as soon as possible. There will be a charge for bookings confirmed, how much is based on the destination, airline and commodity.

Q: Can I have my parcel collected from my place of work?
A: Yes. When you complete your collection details, tell us where you will leave your parcel (e.g. Reception) in the ‘Pick up Point’ box.
Please note that someone must be physically present when the courier arrives to collect the parcel.

Q: Does BDS guarantee its pick up services?
A: Occasionally we may have difficulties assigning a courier for your collection on the scheduled date – this may be due to adverse traffic conditions for example. As such, BDS does not guarantee its pick up services.

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