Shipping Options - International and Local Carriers
Rates and Costs
The international shipping industry has undergone significant changes in the last few decades, with shipping giants such as UPS and FedEx expanding their services to cover almost every segment of the globe. Regardless of whether your shipping requirements are personal, commercial or industrial, you are guaranteed to find at least one carrier with a transportation portfolio that caters to your needs.
Shipping companies typically offer a variety of services ranging from basic port to port shipping to overnight door to door delivery. The level of service that you select will depend on the nature and quantity of the goods you are shipping, the time frame that you are working in and your overall budget. Often, people tend to avoid express deliveries and all-inclusive services because of their cost.
While all inclusive express shipping options may initially appear to be more expensive than ‘doing it yourself’, all inclusive services often end up saving you time, trouble and money in the long run. When preparing to ship your goods, it is essential to set aside a sufficient amount of time to carefully review your options before signing up with a particular company. Quotes that initially appear economical are often laden with additional costs that only become apparent at a later stage. Keep an eye out for hidden expenses such as marine insurance, customs clearance, warehouse storage and trucking fees.
If you do elect to try and reduce overall shipping rates by packaging goods yourself, make sure that you use only the highest quality shipping supplies. Over packing, under packing, incorrect labeling and insufficient support are some of the main reasons why good fail to arrive safely at their final destination. In most cases it is advisable to use shipping software to print bar coded information and address labels. Attaching these to your goods will ensure that they can be tracked from the moment that they leave your hands to the moment that they arrive at their destination.
Regulations applying to the international shipping of certain cargo such as vehicles, generally prohibited items and pets are particularly stringent. If you are looking to ship any of these items to a foreign country, it is advisable to contact the customs bureau of the country in question well in advance. Make sure that you are clear as to precisely which steps you will need to take to ensure that your cargo is accepted on the other side.
In many instances it is not even worthwhile to attempt shipping the goods as they are guaranteed to be returned.