The seven steps of international sea freight are: export shipment, origin processing, export customs clearance, sea freight, import customs clearance, destination processing, and import shipment.Export consignmentThe first part of transportation is export transportation. This involves the movement of goods from the shipper to the freight forwarder’s premises. For goods less than container load, the location of the freight forwarder is always the export consolidation center (origin warehouse), where the freight forwarder has its own personnel or designated agents. Goods are usually transported by road (by truck), railway, or combination. If the shipper is agreed to be responsible for this part of the transportation, it is usually arranged through the local transportation company.sea freightExport customs clearanceEvery piece of exported goods must go through customs procedures to meet regulatory requirements. Customs clearance refers to the procedures that should be carried out in accordance with various laws, regulations, and provisions when importing, exporting, or transferring goods into or out of a country’s customs territory. The export customs clearance step must be completed before the goods leave the country of origin. If it is not done by the freight forwarder, it usually needs to be completed before the goods enter the freight forwarder’s warehouse of origin.Origin processingOrigin processing covers the handling and inspection of all goods from receiving goods at the origin warehouse to loading them onto containers for shipment. Freight forwarders need to inspect (tally), plan loading, merge with other goods, load them into containers, and then transport them to the port for loading when they receive the goods. During these processes, the expenses incurred are paid by the shipper or consignee.Sea freightThe freight forwarder has decided to choose a shipping company to carry out sea freight from the origin to the destination in order to meet the required shipping schedule. Freight forwarders have container transportation contracts with shipping companies, in which case the shipper or consignee has no direct interaction with the shipping company.Import customs clearanceImport customs clearance can usually begin before the goods arrive in the destination country. Import customs clearance is handled by the freight forwarder or their agent, or the customs broker designated by the consignee. The import customs clearance procedure must be completed before the goods leave the bonded zone of the destination country, or it can be understood that the import customs clearance needs to be completed before the goods leave the destination warehouse of the freight forwarder.Destination processingDestination handling includes transferring containers from the ship to the shore and from the port to the destination warehouse of the freight forwarder. It also includes unloading containers and preparing goods for the consignee to pick them up.Import transportationThe final stage of transportation is the actual delivery of the goods to the consignee. It can be executed by a freight forwarder or a local transportation company designated by the consignee. If this part of transportation is arranged by the shipper, it is usually meaningful to use a freight forwarder who can also arrange import transportation. Import transportation usually includes transportation to a specific address, but does not include unloading from a truck, which is the responsibility of the consignee.