One of the most efficient ways of importing or exporting your goods is to use ocean freight forwarders. Choosing a qualified international shipping company to handle the shipping logistics can help you understand all your viable options, such as offering custom container solutions, helping you calculate costs, revealing hidden fees, assisting you in necessary packaging requirements, and preventing delays.
Before you start the process of shipping your goods, consider the following pointers to help assuage some of the stress you may initially feel about using ocean freight forwarding services.
1. You may not need a whole shipping container to transport your goods
A common mistake made by first-time shippers is that they assume they will need full shipping containers for their product. Though this is true, you can check if other freight forwarding companies can help you ship less-than-container loads (LCL), rather than feeling forced to use full container loads (FCL). Going the LCL route means that your goods will be consolidated with other shipments, so this will ultimately save you money on shipping costs. Additionally, freight forwarders who are looking for smaller shipments for their incomplete shipping containers can offer you great rates.
2. Pricing is simpler than it sounds
Calculating the costs of importing and exporting goods across international borders can seem complicated in theory, but ocean freight forwarding services are easier to price out than using air freight forwarders. For instance, LCL shipments can be determined by this simple formula: length x width x depth = total volume in cubic feet. Although this formula works for most situations, some variables might affect the outcome, like if the goods are very fragile, or extremely lightweight.
3. Be wary of hidden fees
One of the more obscure costs on your shipping invoice may be fuel charges, which is to be expected, yet most shippers don’t consider the possible fluctuations in oil and gas pricing. Don’t be afraid to ask about the fuel surcharges so you can get a better grasp of your quote and understand how long that quote is good for. Last week’s quote may differ than this week’s quote.
4. Take extra care of packaging your goods
No matter how experienced ocean freight carriers may be, there are many other external factors that you need to consider when properly packaging your goods. Your initial packaging could be satisfactory initially, but it may not hold up during the shipping container transport. The container will have to be lifted on and off the ship by a crane; then it will be traveling across the tumultuous ocean for an extended period. Enlisting the help of an ocean freight forwarder can be extremely beneficial because they can offer professional advice on how to aptly pack your goods for safe and protected travel.
5. Ocean vessels and carriers operate on a different schedule than ocean freight forwarders
Ships have sail dates, which differ than the delivery cut-off dates for ocean forwarders. For instance, if a ship’s schedule sails to a specific destination on a Monday or Thursday, the cut-off date for your goods to deliver to your forwarder is likely to be one day before the sail date. Make sure you get acquainted with your carrier’s schedule to avoid delays. Furthermore, when your goods arrive at your destination, it can take up to two or more days for shipments to clear customs and be off-loaded, especially if your goods traveled by LCL.
Get in Touch
Ocean freight forwarding can be made easy if you choose the right shipping agency. Asiana USA, a premier logistics and freight forwarding company and its team of experts can assist you or your business at all stages of ocean freight forwarding. You’ll be offered numerous consultations and an in-depth cost analysis without being subjected to hidden fees. Contact Asiana USA at 855-500-1808 or email us at email@example.com.