As an importer or exporter, you will likely have had some experience shipping goods via ocean freight shipping. International ocean shipping services comprise of the majority of freight transportation around the world. Ocean freight services allow heavy, large, and sensitive goods to move easily from port to port. Whether your business has a heavy and consistent supply chain or just imports on occasion, the goods will likely travel via ocean or sea at some point in their journey.
Once your goods arrive at a port, they will need to be unloaded, cleared, then moved onto another form of transportation to reach their final destination. These shipping lines make up a dense network that allows cargo to reach you efficiently. The ability to ship thousands of containers on a cargo ship is the core of such an industry. Ocean shipping accounts for about 90% of total transportation of goods.
If your business has a supply chain, then understanding and optimizing your ocean shipping services will help you grow in the long run. Here are some good places to start and things to consider when looking for reliable ocean shipping services.
1. Know Your Terms
Shipping via ocean involves many considerations and the planning of careful details. When you are importing and exporting, your goods are moving from one country to another, and subject to fees, restrictions, and legal issues, especially if not handled carefully. It is important to research these things or work with a shipping partner who knows them. In addition to customs, duty, and fees, foreign shipping can lead to surprises.
Getting customs clearance for your goods is the most important thing. Providing a correct estimation of the quantity and value of your goods, with the applicable duty paid will help expedite the processing of your shipment, keeping everything running on time. At Asiana USA, we are experienced with the biggest global ports and have experience handling customs, duty, and fees for all kinds of shipments.
2. Weigh Your Options
There are a number of options and shipping lines available to importers and exporters. Finding one that makes the most sense for you may depend on what you are shipping. Weight, size, and sensitivity may all be important factors. Services may offer different shipping rates for your freight quote and cost alone can be a strong determining factor.
Another consideration to make is whether you will be shipping a full container load (FCL) or less than a container load (LCL). This will also affect your shipping quote, as well as provide the flexibility to have your own container, even if you have less than a full load. Additionally, if you have less than half a load, your shipment may be combined with another to optimize shipments and keep them moving on schedule.
Asiana USA offers a number of customizable shipping solutions to help your business run the way you need it to. By incorporating these services, you can increase the efficiency of your business by focusing on your deliverables.
3. Plan Your Supply Chain
Once you know what and how often you will be importing or exporting, you can start to plan, or modify a regular supply chain. A consistent supply chain allows you to keep your operations as scheduled and uninterrupted. As ocean freight takes more time than some other methods, you make opt for direct shipping in the event that time is a strong consideration.
Air freight transportation allows goods to travel quickly to their destination. However, this can be more expensive than other methods and should be used when time is of the essence or with sensitive cargo, such as food or certain chemicals. Using ocean freight shipping as a main method of transport, and expedited air freight, when needed, can offer the best of both worlds for shipping cargo.
When choosing your shipping companies and methods, these three items are important to consider. A company who can act as your customs brokerage is vital, helping you deal with difficult or surprise situations at foreign ports. It is also important to make sure you get competitive rates and great customer service.
Explore what shipping options you prefer, from warehousing to door to door services, to suit your business needs. Call Asiana USA today at (323)-250-9386 to learn more about your shipping options.