In order to import or export goods at an international level you need to get an accurate freight rate quote. This will give you clear idea of how much it will cost you.
However, that can sometimes get tricky because there is certain information you need to give to your freight forwarder. That is why we wanted to help you figure out the most necessary things you need to get a good and accurate freight rate quote.
1. Shipping Items
The most important aspect of shipping is knowing what you are shipping. The shipping items can range from lumber to small house hold items and that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean you can ship it without a problem. What matters is making sure that your goods or items are on the transportation list, legally. By legally, we mean that your items meet all of the necessary criteria and paperwork.
For example, shipping lumber requires meeting more guidelines than shipping wooden furniture. Yet, household goods like furniture require different insurance than commercial shipments. This is why it’s essential to know exactly what you’re shipping. Also, your items need to be checked in advance in order for the freight forwarder to know whether the goods are valid for transportation and their cost of transportation.
Shipping prices change from time to time and season to season and also depend on the nature of route like air or ocean as well as the distance. The more accurate you are about your shipping items the more accurate freight rate quote you will get.
2. Shipment Size & Weight
Knowing the type of goods exported or imported goes hand in hand with the size and weight of your shipment. This aspect also has to be as accurate as possible because as a shipment grows so do prices. For instance, goods transported in ocean freight containers are measured in cubic meters and charged accordingly. While air freight prices are based on weight and size. But extremely heavy shipments can affect ocean freight pricing too even though they generally focus on the size.
However, if you are a regular international shipper that uses whole containers or multiple containers for transporting of goods, inform your freight forwarder in advance. Let them know your freight weight and they will let you know the charges for those types of shipments. This sort of information is more helpful to plan your budget as well as the number of containers you will need for shipment.
3. Location & Destination
It is obvious how essential knowing where goods are being shipped to and from. That’s transportation 101, but what isn’t so common is knowing that there are different types of destinations. These includes Port to Port, Door to Door or Port to Door.
For Port to Port shipping you must simply tell your freight forwarder what ports you’d like your items shipped from and to. In the case of Door to Door shipping, things can get a little complicated because trucks are usually forbidden from entering residential areas.
Therefore, the best method of shipping goods either, for pick up or drop off, is to have the to and from addresses ready, especially if there will be multiple destinations. With this your freight forwarder can easily get you the most accurate quote.
4. Shipment Time
If you struggle with spot rates, which are rates based on the value of an asset at the moment of the quote. Then you know how often spot rates change especially when you look for space on the carriers’ ships.
A great way to avoid dealing with this issue and plan your budget ahead of time, you can do 2 things:
1) Call a freight forwarder and ask them for the rates your type of shipment is currently going for or…
2) Get a freight quote within a month of your shipment since freight rate quotes are good for about 30 days
This way you can plan ahead of time and look around for the best pricing. However, in order to get an actual quote for your shipment you must wait until the month of your shipment time. So, even though it is great to plan ahead, don’t rely on near time prices completely. Remember, spot rates are mainly based on the moment of the quote. Therefore, the closer your quote is to the time of shipment, the more accurate it will be.
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