Shipping Information

OUTBOUND LOGISTICS

Cafe Imports can ship your coffee anywhere on this, or another, continent. We can orchestrate the entire shipping process—leaving you free to roast and sell coffee, not spend valuable time searching out freight companies and calling for rates. We have an excellent network of shippers, and pass on our bulk rates directly to you.

  • We warehouse in several locations: Minnesota, New Jersey (Continental Terminals), and California (The Annex) in the United States, and in England, Germany, and Australia internationally.
  • Generally, we can ship  your coffee same day out of Minnesota if we receive orders before 12:00pm CST.
  • Orders out of Continental Terminals must be received before 2:00pm CST in order to ship next day.
  • You will be advised at the time you place your  order of the expected shipping time.
  • Local customers can pick up your own coffee at our Minnesota warehouse between 9am–4pm, one half-day after placing the order.

Your coffee is strapped to wooden pallets and wrapped in our warehouse for its journey. We are proud to say that less than 1/10th of 1 percent of bags arrives damaged. If you notice any missing or damaged bags or have any disputes about the quality of your coffee when it is delivered, please notify the driver before signing any receipt paperwork, and reach out to us immediately at sales@cafeimports.com, or by phone at (651) 209-6102. We will file any  claims with the trucking line on your behalf.

OUTBOUND LOGISTICS F.A.Q.

Q: What is the minimum size of order you will ship?

A: There is no minimum order: We’re as happy to ship 1 bag to you as we are to ship 100. (Though shipping rates are more economical on full-pallet orders.)

Q: How do full bags of coffee ship?

A: Full bags of coffee (59–70kg) will be stacked, wrapped, and strapped onto a wooden pallet. Even single full-bag orders will typically need to be shipped on a pallet. The coffee is palletized in our warehouse, and we routinely inspect the quality as well as provide customer support upon receipt of the pallet.

Q: Will Cafe Imports arrange shipping to my location?

A: Yes! We have competitive rates with many national and international freight carriers, and can work with you to ensure you get the delivery service that you need throughout the United States, Canada, and Central and South America from our U.S. warehouse.

Q: Can I arrange my own shipping?

A: Sure! Simply inform your sales representative that you would like to elect your own freight carrier when placing your order, and arrange to share with us a copy of the shipper’s BOL and contact information.

NOTE: Our U.S. warehouse pick-up hours are from 2:30–4:30pm CST.

Q: What size are your pallets?

A: Our pallets are 48” x 48” and weigh approximately 50 lbs each.

Q: How many bags can fit on a pallet?

A: Depending on the size of the coffee bags, we can generally and safely fit between 10–12 on each pallet, though some shipping companies have weight-based maximums with which we need to comply.

Q: What should I do when the delivery arrives?

A: Before you sign off on the delivery release for any shipment of coffee, thoroughly inspect the pallet and the bags on it. If there is any damage or any discrepancies between what is delivered and what is on your delivery order, do not sign the driver’s paperwork. Simply e-mail your sales representative or sales@cafeimports.com for assistance. When in doubt, take a photograph of the damage as soon as possible.

Check for the following when you are receiving your delivery:

  • Broken bags, spilled beans
  • Unwrapped pallets or damage to the wrapping/strapping
  • Broken pallets
  • Missing bags—please be sure to count and cross-check before the driver leaves

Additionally, be aware that extra services and accessories provided by the driver may result in additional fees: The use of a lift gate upon delivery, for instance, can incur additional costs. Be sure to communicate with the delivery person, and confirm that the documents you sign list only the accessories you authorize.

Q: What do I do if there is damage or another problem with my delivery?

A: We are dedicated to full customer service, and want you to be completely satisfied with the coffees you receive from us. If you have any questions or concerns about an order you have received, don’t hesitate to let us know via e-mail to sales@cafeimports.com or by phone (toll-free at 1-800-278-5065, or 651-209-6102), and we will do our level best to make it right.

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS

We have an extremely experienced team of logistics specialists who are exceptionally capable of handling international orders of all sizes, ranging from container loads to single pallets—even single bags—from all of our warehouses. Phytosanitary certificates, certificates of origin, freight, and clearance can be handled by us for your shipment.

Contact a member of our sales team to learn more about how we can serve you, or e-mail sales@cafeimports.com.

INBOUND LOGISTICS F.A.Q.

Cafe Imports has been sourcing green coffee from all over the world for nearly 25 years, and here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way about getting green coffee from a coffee producing country to us, before we sell it to you:

 

Q: How does green coffee travel from origin to destination?

A: Once harvested and milled, green coffee makes the long journey from origin all the way to its destination thousands of miles away. Through coordination with the good people at origin, bagged coffee is transported from the mill where it is processed after harvest to the closest ocean port. In some cases, coffee travels hundreds of miles by land on a truck before it even reaches the port of departure! At the port, the coffee is checked by the relevant authorities and loaded onto a giant ocean vessel with hundreds of other shipments heading the same direction. After a stop or two in other ports, the coffee will arrive at its destination and be transported to a warehouse where it can be unloaded and inventoried.

Q: With so many moving pieces in the shipping process, how does Cafe Import ensure that coffee is shipped quickly, efficiently, and safely?

A: The Cafe Imports logistics team is committed to making sure that the coffee we purchase is transported to destination in the most optimal way possible. For us, this means making sure that we:

• Ship the highest volume possible from origin at one time, for the most economical transport.
• Monitor shipment transit times closely to make sure that we are selecting the fastest possible routes from origin.
• Track shipments throughout the entire transport process, from their departure from the mill at origin all the way through the warehouse receipt at destination.
• Cooperate with reliable and well-known shippers, ocean carriers, and warehouses to ensure the safety of every shipment.

Q: What ports does Cafe Imports use to bring in green coffee?

A: Cafe Imports brings green coffee to more than seven ports around the world. Port selection depends on the final destination of the coffee and what location will be most economical for both Cafe Imports and our customers.

Q: How many warehouses does Cafe Imports have?

A: Cafe Imports’ primary warehouse is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This warehouse, located just blocks from our headquarters, is what we consider to be our “home base.” However, Cafe Imports also keeps large positions in third-party warehouses in New Jersey, California, Hamburg, London, and Australia.

Q: Where can I find out more about customs and import regulations for my country?

A: As raw green coffee is considered an agricultural product by the large majority of countries, the best place to look is the agricultural department or bureau of your respective country. Local customs brokers can also be an excellent source of information with regard to import regulations and shipment management.

Q: What regulations does Cafe Imports have to meet to import green coffee?

A: As an importer, Cafe Imports must maintain a customs bond with the U.S. government, as well as comply with the relevant regulations to clear customs each time a shipment is brought into the United States. In addition, Cafe Imports is a Certified Food Handler by the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture, and a Certified Organic Handler through the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association.

Q: What challenges may arise when transporting green coffee?

A: As with any international shipment, green-coffee shipments are subject to lack of space on ocean carriers, congestion at ocean ports, unforeseen weather, and difficulties at origin (e.g. mill breakdowns or lack of transport equipment).

Cafe Imports’ logistics department works to combat these issues by maintaining close relationships with representatives at ocean carriers, working closely with our partners origin, and not being afraid to get creative when a solution seems far from reach. Additionally, we keep managing expectations at the top of our priority list—keeping the customer informed of unforeseen shipment delays is extremely important to us.

Q: What do the terms “OPEN,” “AFLOAT,” and, “AT DOCK” mean?

A: There are several industry-wide terms used to describe the current status of a coffee that has been contracted for purchase.

  • OPEN: The coffee is still at origin and will be heading to Cafe Imports’ warehouse within the contracted time period.
  • AFLOAT: The coffee has departed origin and is on its way here.
  • AT DOCK: This coffee has arrived at its destination port and should be available to ship out of the warehouse within a week or two.
  • IN STORE: Coffee has arrived and been stripped from its container, placed in our warehouse in an organized fashion and ready for purchase and immediate release.