We discovered that the manufacturer will deliver the docks to us FOB. Then we discovered FOB means "Free On Board." Then we discovered that "Free On Board" means that the manufacturer will put them on a shipping vessel. Then we discovered that we need to arrange the whole boat thing with a freight forwarder. Does anyone have a 40,000 to 50,000 DWT Panamax cargo ship they aren't using for the weekend? We've had products shipped around the world before, but it amazing how much we still have to learn about the details and lingo that make global commerce run smoothly. Fortunately, Alex was able to get a list for freight forwarders from the manufacturer. The freight forwarders are much more receptive to small businesses than we had anticipated. Cargo is cargo. That, and the shipping industry is hurting right now. They are going to take care of the import paperwork by acting as our customs broker. Sending a shipping container is surprisingly inexpensive when compared to the cost of air shipping a standard package to Hong Kong via FedEx or UPS.
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