Dove Shipping FAQ

May 6, 2019

Welcome to Dove Shipping. If you have any other questions, please call or email our office.


Does Dove shipping handle Imports & Exports?

Answer: Yes


Does Dove Shipping ship for individuals?

Answer: Absolutely, we work with companies and individuals. We will spend time to make sure our customers understand the shipping process.


Does Dove Shipping Ship Automobiles?

Answer: Yes, we handle all titled vehicles and equipment with bills of sale. We arrange the validation through US Customs.


Does Dove Shipping ship only from Houston, TX?

Answer: No, we can arrange shipping from anywhere to or from the USA.


Are Transit Times Guaranteed?

Answer: No, when shipping internationally there are too many variables to guarantee the estimated transit time. Track your cargo through our tracking tool.


Should I buy Insurance?

Answer: Yes, we always recommend it. While you do not need marine cargo insurance and aren’t required to buy it, having it is usually a good investment. Just as with home or car insurance, you are protecting yourself from potential damages or losses that may occur. Specifically, marine cargo insurance can cover damage, loss, theft, non-delivery, etc., while your goods are in transit. One thing that makes marine insurance different than your home or car insurance is a concept called “General Average.” A general average scenario occurs when some cargo is sacrificed to save the voyage. This sacrifice might involve jettisoning some containers to stabilize the ship in a severe storm. General Average states that all cargo owners are responsible and will share in the loss (even if your cargo was not lost). Marine insurance can protect you against a general average situation and avoid the additional expenses with retrieving your cargo.


What are my payment options?

Answer: We accept all major credit cards through PayPal through our website. We also accept wire transfers, cash and checks (checks must clear our bank before the freight is released for shipping.) We must have payment in full by the cut off date for exports and the arrival date for imports.


Can Dove shipping handle Customs Clearance?

Answer: Yes, in most instances. For anything importing to the USA, Yes. We can arrange clearance in most destinations, though there are some countries that the clearance must be arranged at destination by the importer of record. We will put our clients in contact with the destination agent for the declaration.


Does Dove Shipping have limited liability?

Answer: Yes, we have a limited liability of $50 per shipment. Therefore, we highly recommend insurance.


What does the freight rate include?

The freight rate includes the base rate plus all surcharges except the following: Local Customs Clearance, duty, taxes and port charges. If Port-to-Port rate is selected than the rate does not include Delivery to the Port at Origin or final delivery to the door at Destination

Port to Port includes: Ocean or air freight, BAF, origin customs clearance, and export documentation. This does not include port charges, customs clearance (unless required by the shipper), import duty, or origin charges.

Port to Door includes: Ocean or air freight, BAF, export documentation, and delivery to the shipper’s door. This does not include port charges, destination customs clearance (unless required by the shipper), import duty, or origin charges.

Door to Door includes: Ocean or air freight, BAF, all origin customs clearance and documentation charges, and delivery to the shipper’s door. This does not include port charges, destination customs clearance (unless required by the shipper), and import duty.

Door to Port includes: Ocean or air freight, BAF, all origin customs clearance and documentation charges. This does not include port charges, destination customs clearance (unless required by the shipper) an import duty.


How many pallets fit inside a container?

Answer: Standard Pallets (40”x48” or 48”x48”)  10 pallets on the floor in a 20’,  20 pallets on the floor  in a 40’ or 40’ HC.


Should I ship via air or ocean?

A better question would be: How soon do you need your cargo? If you need it as soon as possible, air freight is a far faster shipping option than ocean freight. However, that speed comes at a cost — shipping rates for air freight are significantly higher. In most all cases, ocean freight will be the most cost-effective mode. There are exceptions, of course: If your cargo is less than 100 pounds, shipping via air is often more cost-effective. Also, if your goods are perishable or sensitive (e.g., flowers or medicine), air freight is often the best option. Additionally, high-value merchandise may be better suited for air freight because of concerns over damage, theft, or the time value of money. Environmental impact may be another factor to consider. The carbon footprint of shipping via air freight is massive compared to shipping via ocean.

Is there a Weight Limit?

Answer: Yes. There are different weight limits depending on how you are shipping. For example, ocean freight usually has fewer weight restrictions than domestic freight. That’s because trucks can only carry so much weight; not to mention, state and federal laws govern how much a truck can carry on U.S. roads. The weight restrictions for trucks can range from 38,000 pounds to 44,000 pounds, depending on container size and other state restrictions. Heavier loads require Tri-axle chassis.

Why do I need to fill out a power of attorney (POA)?

There are two main reasons a POA for import shipments is required. If you hire a customs broker, they need to have the authority to conduct Customs business on your behalf. Also, you will need a POA if your customs broker or international freight forwarder submits your Importer Security Filing (ISF) to U.S. Customs. The ISF must be submitted 24 hours before being loaded onto a U.S.-bound vessel, which gives time for customs to screen your cargo for any safety and security concerns. If the ISF does not get to customs on time and accurately, you can face fees and penalties. For Exports you will fill out a letter of Authorization that allows Dove shipping to file your export clearance with US Customs.


What is a customs bond and do I need one?

Answer: A customs bond is an insurance policy that ensures payment of your duties and taxes to the United States government. In the industry, they are often simply referred to as a “bond.” In this case, by requiring you to have a bond, the government is guaranteed payment of your duties and taxes, even in the extreme event, your company cannot pay for them (bankruptcy for example). Bonds are required to cover shipments traveling both by ocean and by air, and without proper coverage, you can face fines and severe delays.

When should I ship FCL vs LCL?

 The larger your shipment is, the more likely you will want to ship full container load (FCL) to help reduce landed cost, potential handling damage, and receive your cargo faster. If your shipment is less than 15 cubic meters (CBM), it will be the most cost effective to move it as less than container load (LCL) cargo. Dove Shipping can help analyze market rates for your shipment to determine the breakeven point for shipping less than container load (LCL) or FCL.

Why are the commercial invoice and packing list important?

U.S. Customs requires them. Breaking it down, however, these two items are important for different reasons: Commercial invoice: Like other types of invoices, the commercial invoice describes the transaction happening between the exporter (your supplier) and importer (you). It lists your goods and the price you paid your supplier. Details on the commercial invoice will be used to determine the duties and taxes applicable to your shipment. Packing list: At first glance, the packing list may look similar to the commercial invoice. However, where the commercial invoice focuses on item prices, the packing list focuses on the physical count and breakdown of the related shipment. For example, a packing list would include the size, weight, and count of individual boxes/cartons matching a corresponding commercial invoice. Therefore, the packing list can be used in insurance claims to identify losses or by Customs when inspecting cargo or by your warehouse to reconcile quantities expected vs. what was received.

What is an NVOCC?

NVOCC stands for non-vessel operating common carrier and is a type of Ocean Transportation Intermediary (OTI). Although the term NVOCC is often used synonymously with the term freight forwarder, there are some technical distinctions. NVOCCs act as “virtual” carrier and issues their bill of lading. Per Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) requirements, an NVOCC must also publish and maintain a regulated tariff and be bonded by US Customs.