Which of these products would most likely be exported air freight? Or by road transport? Or by sea?  bananas, computer equipment, cosmetics, whisky, books, meat, iron ore, televisions, furniture, toys

  Here are two interviews which were reported in a trade journal. Some of the sentences are missing. Decide where each of the eight sentences printed below fits into the spaces in the text.

  Jane Harris:

  We normally send all our exports by air now.


  But we discovered that it didn’t cost as much as we thought it might. This means we have less capital tied up in transit and as it encourages our customers to pay more quickly, this improves our cash flow.


  And the packing costs are very low – we can usually shrink-wrap and palletize most of what we send out.

  Our customers appreciate our using air freight: they know that they will get the goods in prime condition and promptly.


  Surprisingly, perhaps, although the rates are high in comparison to other modes of transport (and these rates are standardized, so you can’t shop around), the savings in insurance and packing costs help to compensate for this.


  And because we can fill an order so quickly, or sales force can take an order from a customer by telex and actually get it to the customer within a few days of taking the order.

  Bill Young:

  We tend to use road transport for all our exports to Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. We’re a small company and our export trade fluctuates enormously. One month there may be just a steady trickle of orders and another we have enough to fill several 38-tonne trailers. Often, though, even the bigger orders are for a variety of destinations.


  There are several reasons why we use road transport: first of all there’s a very low risk of goods being damaged or lost in transit – that’s because the driver accompanies his vehicle throughout the journey, and has to report in to his office during the journey too. He’s personally responsible for the safety of the cargo, though, obviously, the consignment is insured against theft, damage or loss.



  With our large orders we can get a swift, reliable door-to-door service with the trailer using a Ro/Ro ferry, so this means we can ship to a customer as quickly by road as we could by air freight – and at much lower cost.


  Of course, the goods have to be packed well – though we don’t use any special export packing. We don’t find that the documentation or customs procedures delay our shipments either.

  1. We started to do this because we wanted some of our products to arrive quickly, because they had a limited shelf life and our kind of product can go out of fashion quite quickly.

  2. Our customer isn’t going to appreciate it if he doesn’t get the goods when he expected them or if they’re damaged and he has to wait for replacements!

  3. And the simplified documentation makes the procedures very much easier than other modes of transport – that’s something my export staff certainly appreciate!

  4. And because they’re pleased and impressed, we can rely on them to pay promptly and we get a high proportion of repeat business.

  5. Another thing is that there is almost no risk of part of any shipment being stolen or lost or damaged in transit.

  6. Even with the smaller consignments that are collected and handled by the freight forwarder, we can get the goods to the customer quickly and in perfect condition.

  7. The kind of product we sopply is fragile – it has to arrive quickly and undamaged.

  8. We use a freight forwarder, who can find space for small and large consignments.


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