With the increased demand for companies to operate globally, it is more important to secure ways for seamless international trade. Of course, international freight forwarding is a complex service—with many different regulations and security to follow and countless of moving entities to ship goods from one point to another.
Whether you are someone who ships one container a month or 10 containers a week, it helps t be aware of the common mistakes shippers make when working with a freight forwarding services for transportation of goods.
Mishandling the Time of the Shipment
Like any other things in life, timing is key for international shipping. Estimating the shipping time can be tricky, making this a common international freight mistake, especially among smaller businesses.
Perhaps, you want your goods to be shipped fast. You ask for a quote and find out that the shipping time is more than two weeks. If you promised your goods will arrive sooner, this is going to cause you a serious problem.
Generally speaking, if you want your goods to arrive in the destination faster, have it shipped by air. But keep in mind that air freight is more costly than sea fright and is more ideal for shipping small- to medium-sized shipments. For your larger cargoes, give it more time to transport as it is safer to be shipped by sea freight.
How to Avoid: Researching the shipping time of a freight forwarder to deliver shipments, whether for outside or just within Singapore, is a crucial step to take when working with a cheap clearing and forwarding agent. You can conveniently look it up online, and you will get a decent estimate of how many days it will take to import and export goods to certain destinations. For more accurate details, talk to a reliable freight forwarding agent.
Another way to avoid miscalculations of resources is to get a freight quote within the month of the shipment date. Shipping rates vary all the time, but as a general rule, rates change every month. So, prepare the goods to be shipped, have the details ready for your shipping company, and request for a rate within 30 days before the scheduled transportation of cargoes.
Stolen or damaged goods are a common scenario. The ship may crash, encounter a storm, attacked by pirates or be on fire. All these things can possibly happen anytime. Usually, shippers improperly insure their goods or even skip getting a cargo insurance altogether.
Also, many do not know that there are different types of insurance for different types of goods. For example, household items require to be packed by a professional in order to be insured. Being clueless with such things can result to worthless insurance.
How to Avoid: Discuss about getting an insurance with your freight forwarding company, and make sure to clarify the conditions of it. Most freight forwarding services have insurance, so it is not entirely necessary to outsource your cargo insurance, whether for an international or local freight.
When discussing about the matter with your logistics company, do not forget to mention the type of goods included in the transportation, what are and are not included in the insurance coverage and any special provisions of the offered insurance policy.
Skimping On the Most Important Factors
In relation to the previous freight error, ignoring other important factors when choosing a logistics company for the transportation of your goods can result to horrendous and more expensive delays.
How to Avoid: One thing to help you decide which company to approach is to determine your priorities. When choosing a freight forwarding services provider, keep in mind your budget, timeline and any regulations associated with the transport of your goods. If the cost is the primary concern, then sea freight is the best solution. If One thing to help you decide which company to approach is to determine your priorities. When choosing a freight forwarder, keep in mind your budget, timeline and any regulations associated with the transport of your shipment. If timeliness is critical, especially if it is for your business here in Singapore, then delivery by air plane is the way to go. Air freight may be a bit expensive, but it is the fastest and probably the safest way to ship your goods. If cost is the primary concern, there are also other shipping methods you can choose from. For FDA-approved items, there are separate documentations and regulations for that as well. The best thing to do is to seek professional assistance from a logistics services company to ensure efficiency and legality of the shipment.
Transferring of goods internationally is one of the most crucial parts of handling a commercial business. By being savvy with the ever-changing international regulations and working with a certified international freight forwarder, it is easier to avoid these pitfalls and avoid any risks associated with global shipping.
Going For the Cheapest Freight Rate
This is the most common mistake among international shippers. You are a business owner about to ship a large amount of goods and make a good profit out of it, so you shop around and find the lowest international freight rate possible, and go with that freight forwarder.
However, remember that the rate is not the only factor to consider when choosing a freight forwarding company. Freight Master does their best to provide the best logistics services for a reasonable price for your freight forwarding needs to and from Singapore; but ultimately, they go the extra mile to give you smooth-sailing shipment of your goods.
Going for the company with the cheapest freight rate may even cause more costly problems if your cargo gets delayed, lost, damaged or held up at customs. As what they say, you get what you pay for.
How to Avoid: One of the ways to confirm the experience of a company in the freight forwarding business is to find out how long they have been in the industry. There is a big difference in the performance of a year-old company and a seasoned logistics company who has been operating for decades. However, make sure to check closely if the company who has been operating longer have good track record. Being in the business for longer time does not necessarily translate to excellent services. Read reviews and see for yourself if the company can truly deliver.