Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Over the years, you would might guess that we have heard it all since 1984. You’re right! Here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions that our customer service team encounters on a regular basis.
Don’t see your question here? Contact us via email or phone and odds are we will have the answer.
- How do I become a “Known Shipper” with the TSA?
- What is dimensional weight?
- Why has my freight been flagged for a customs exam?
- Does Air & Surface Logistics ship personal effects?
- Can I pack a few personal items in with my business shipment?
- What documents do I need when exporting my shipment?
- Do I have to deal with Customs when shipping internationally?
- What is an ATA Carnet and do I need one for my shipment?
- What is document legalization?
- How much will duties and taxes be on my shipment?
- Where does Air & Surface Logistics ship to?
- Should I insure my cargo?
- How long will delivery take?
- Is transit time guaranteed on LTL ground shipments?
- What types of payment do you accept?
- Are we required to use an Air & Surface Logistics Bill of Lading (BOL)?
A: To become a Known Shipper, we must first verify your company information with the TSA.
To qualify your company as a Known Shipper, please submit a Credit Application to us. A copy of the form may be found here in the “Forms” section of our Web site: http://www.airandsurface.com/Forms Air & Surface Logistics will then submit your company name to the TSA for review and approval. We generally receive a ruling the same day. If approved, you will be able to tender freight to us immediately as a Known Shipper.
Note that Air & Surface Logistics can only verify U.S. based companies as a Known Shipper. Foreign corporations are not eligible for Known Shipper status.
If your company is not approved as a Known Shipper, we will submit an appeal on your behalf, if requested to do so. However, the appeals process can be very lengthy and approval is not guaranteed.
The security regulations used to determine “Known Shipper” eligibility are restricted information and are not available to the public. Air & Surface Logistics is certified by the TSA as an Indirect Air Carrier (IAC) and adheres to these regulations closely as a matter of national security.
For further assistance with establishing your business as a “Known Shipper”, please contact our customer service team at email@example.com or call us at 800-832-1207.
Known Shipper Privacy Act Notice:
Privacy Act Notice 49 USC 114 authorizes the collection of this information. The information you provide will be used to qualify you or verify your status as a possible known shipper. Providing this information is voluntary; however, failure to provide the information will prevent you from qualifying as a known shipper. This information will be disclosed to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel and contractors or other agents including indirect air carriers in the maintenance and operation of the known shipper program. TSA may share the information with aircraft operators, foreign air carriers, indirect air carriers, law enforcement agencies and others in accordance with the Privacy Act, 5 USC Section 552a. For additional details, see the system of records notice for Transportation Security Threat Assessment System (DHS/TSA 002) published in the “Federal Register.”
A: The concept of dimensional weight (also known as “dim weight” or “volumetric weight”) has been adopted worldwide by the transportation industry as a means of establishing a minimum charge for the cubic space a shipment occupies while in transit. By charging only for the actual weight, lightweight, low density freight would become unprofitable quickly for freight carriers. Carriers use the greater of the actual weight or dimensional weight to calculate shipping charges, based on the following formula: (Length x Width x Height) / (Dimensional Factor). The “dimensional factor” varies based on metric versus imperial measurement, as well as whether the shipment is domestic versus international. Contact our customer service department for a more detailed explanation.
A: In the post 9/11 world, it is no secret that security measures are on the rise and that CBP is increasing frequency with which they flag shipments for exams. Under 19 USC 1467, CBP has the right to examine any shipment imported into the United States, and you, the importer, are required to bear the cost of those cargo exams. U.S. Customs does not disclose their selection process with respect to exams. For a complete discussion of this topic, see our blog post here.
A: No, we do not accept any type of personal effects for shipment.
A: No, you may not. Attempting to mix personal effects with a commercial shipment will often result in significant fines by customs officials and/or your shipment being impounded by the local authorities.
A: Document requirements vary significantly from one country to another. However, nearly all shipments will require a minimum of (a) a typewritten Commercial Invoice on your company’s letterhead, (b) a typewritten Packing Slip, (c) a signed Power of Attorney form, (d) a properly completed Bill of Lading. Additional documentation requirements may include a Certificate of Origin, document legalization and several others. Our trained customer service team can provide you with the requirements for your specific destination and will assist you in their preparation, if necessary. See our “Forms” page for sample forms.
A: Not at all. Our customer service team, in partnership with hundreds of affiliates worldwide, will do what it takes to get your shipment processed and released by customs as quickly as possible. Should any difficulties arise, such as customs exams or supplemental paperwork requests, we will smooth the way for you, providing daily updates.
A: A Carnet (also referred to as an ATA Carnet) is used to expedite the temporary import of freight into a country. Think of it as a passport for your freight. It tells customs officials that your freight is entering the country temporarily and that it will be returned to the country of origin within a fixed period of time. It allows you to avoid duties and taxes at the destination, as well as a second round of taxation when the freight returns home. Carnets are regularly used for trade shows, museum exhibits, touring performance groups and other temporary imports. Our customer service team can advise you on what it takes to obtain a Carnet.
A: Legalization is the process of certifying a document so a foreign country’s legal system will recognize it, thus allowing freight to be imported into the country. It is still required by approximately 80 countries around the world, but it is slowly being replaced by the apostile process. The legalization process generally consists of the validation of a signature on a document by an official of the destination country’s government, typically an embassy official. This process can take 5-7 working days and should be prepared for in advance to avoid customs delays and fines. Our customer service team can guide you through the process, if necessary.
A: Duties and taxes on import shipments vary widely around the world from one country to another. Duty and tax amounts are also commodity specific and can range from duty free to 25% or more. Our customer service team can usually get an accurate estimate of charges by forwarding a copy of your Commercial Invoice to our overseas partners in advance of the shipment. Final charges, however, are always subject to classification and ruling by local customs officials at the time of entry, and cannot be guaranteed.
A: We offer your business a local, national and worldwide logistics solutions. Whether it is a local, cross-town trucking delivery of your product or a critical, supply-chain link half-way around the world, our team is ready to help. We have a U.S. network consisting of hundreds of agent/partners in all 50 states, as well as an even larger network or global partners. With our team behind you, no destination is out of reach!
A: Yes, we always recommend that you take out cargo insurance. It is inexpensive and protects you from unforeseen hazards. We can insure your shipment for up to $100,000 for freight, or higher upon request. If you do not request insurance, each shipment is automatically insured for a maximum value of $100. Note that you may only insure your shipment for your replacement cost, not the amount that you are selling it to your customer for. You may not request insurance after-the-fact on a shipment that has already been tendered to us and is in transit. See our Terms & Conditions page for complete insurance details.
A: Transit time obviously varies with the mode of service you select. When you request your quote or place your order, or customer service team will give you an estimate of the transit time. Service levels can range from very exact, date-specific delivery to low-cost common carrier trucking with a 2-3 day delivery window. Ask one of our team members for the specifics of your shipment.
A: It depends on the service level you request. We offer two types of LTL service: Expedited LTL (date-specific) and Common Carrier (not date-specific). We will always give you an estimated delivery date for Common Carrier service, but it can vary by 2-3 days based on weather, seasonal volume and other factors. be sure to request Expedited LTL service for date-specific, mission-critical freight.
A: Air & Surface Logistics accepts all major credit cards. In addition, you may choose to pay by bank wire. Pre-payment by company check may be possible, but must be arranged in advance. For new accounts, overseas shipments will usually require pre-payment in full before we can process your order. Looking to establish terms? Visit our Welcome Center and download a credit application. We can usually review and approve credit in 24 hours or less.
A: Yes, we ask that you complete one of our Bills of Lading for every shipment. A copy should be attached to your shipment and a scanned or faxed copy should be provided to us prior to the driver’s arrival. In those instances where your company policy requires that you use an internal Bill of lading, you should still complete one of ours as well.