Shipping Info

Outbound Logistics

Cafe Imports can ship your coffee anywhere on this, or another, continent - minimums do apply for international shipments. 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: Minneapolis, MN (HQ), New Jersey (Continental Terminals), London, and Melbourne.  
•    Generally, we can often ship  your coffee same day out of Minneapolis 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 Minneapolis warehouse from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.  
•    We do ask that those picking up coffee at our  warehouse place their order a half-day before pickup to ensure that the order  is ready.

Your coffee is strapped to wooden pallets and wrapped in our warehouse for its journey. With all the wrapping and strapping we do here, and the care the drivers give the coffee, we have less than one tenth of one percent of bags arriving damaged. IF THE COFFEE ARRIVES DAMAGED, RIPPED, OR MISSING A BAG OR TWO, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THIS IS NOTED BEFORE you sign off with the driver. After you have noted any damage with the driver, give us a call and we will file any and all claims with the trucking line.

International Orders

We have an extremely experienced team of logistics specialists that are very well suited to handle international orders of all sizes ranging from container loads to single pallets from all of our warehouses. Phytosanitary certificates, certificates of origin, freight, and even clearance can be handled by us for your shipment. You taste the coffees and decide what you really like, and we will handle the rest. We love nothing more than seeing the coffees we source end up on the other side of the world from us as a roasted product. 

Contact a member of our international sales team to learn more about how we can serve you. 

Inbound Logistics: FAQ

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 a bag of green coffee from a coffee producing country to us:

1.    How does green coffee travel from origin to destination?

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. 

2.    With so many moving pieces in the shipping process, how does Café Import ensure that coffee is shipped quickly, efficiently, and safely? 

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

3.    What ports does Café Imports use to bring in green coffee?

Café 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 Café Imports and our customers.

4.    How many warehouses does Café Imports have? 

Café Imports’ primary warehouse is located in northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota. This warehouse, located just blocks from our headquarters, is what we consider to be our “home base.” However, Café Imports cooperates with and stores coffee at other third party warehouses in New Jersey, Oakland, Felixstowe, UK, and Melbourne, AUS.

5.    Where can I find out more about customs and import regulations for my country?

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.

6.    What regulations does Café Imports have to meet to import green coffee?

As an importer, Café 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, Café Imports is a Certified Food Handler by the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture, and a Certified Organic Handler through the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association. 

7.    What challenges may arise when transporting green coffee? (port backups, lack of space, etc)

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 (mill breakdowns or lack of transport equipment, for example). Café Imports traffic works to combat these issues by maintaining close relationships with representatives at ocean carriers, working closely with 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.

8.    What do the statuses of “OPEN”, “AFLOAT”, and “AT DOCK” mean in our system?

OPEN: The coffee is still at origin and will be heading to Café Imports 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.