Evaluating global and global shipping companies
What to ask and look for
The market is currently filled with worldwide shipping companies of different sizes and statures. Choosing the best company for your needs can be tough, especially when they are all vying for your business and promising you the lowest quote and the best service. Listed below are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking for a professional shipping company.
Give yourself sufficient time to compare bids:
Ideally you should begin your search for an overseas shipping company at least two months before you are due to move. This will give you adequate time to contact all the companies in your area as well as some out of your area and get them to come to your home and give you bids and total cost estimates. If you are looking for a pet shipping company, you will need to begin your search even earlier than this as many pet shipping companies like to provide you with a six month plan of how to prepare your pet for relocation.
Compare the variety of services that are offered by various companies and evaluate which one caters specifically to your needs:
Some global companies will offer you more options with regard to levels of service than others. Some of the smaller companies will only offer port to port shipping, while larger shipping companies will usually give you service choices that range from complete door to door delivery to partial budget services where you have to pack goods yourself and deliver them to port. If time is of the essence then make sure you look for a company that offers air shipping or express shipping as one of its service options.
Question the sales personnel extensively about what services are included in estimate bids:
Worldwide shipping companies may quote you what looks like a fantastic estimate price but fail to mention the fact that their quote does not include any additional services such as port fees, transport fees and storage fees. Make sure that you are clear on precisely which services are included in estimate price quotes and which services will cost you extra. Do not under any circumstances accept and sign a bid from a company until you are absolutely clear on the final total amount that you will need to pay. In the case of many shipping companies you will be surprised at just how many hidden costs there are that sales representatives do not even make mention of.
Check on insurance options and the amount of liability that companies are willing to assume in relation to your goods:
Ideally look for a company that form the start provides you with insurance against loss or damage. Make sure you are clear on the amount of cover that insurance provides and the degree of liability that that companies are willing to assume in the event that something goes wrong during shipment. Some global companies will require you to sign up with a third party insurance company at an additional cost to yourself, while others will only assume responsibility if your goods disappear completely. Make sure that you read the fine print on liability and insurance extra carefully so as to avoid getting a nasty surprise in the long run.
Don’t only base your decision on who has the lowest rates:
While cost will be an obvious factor that you will need to consider when evaluating worldwide shipping companies, do not make the mistake of automatically going with the company that makes you the lowest bid. Make sure that you take into consideration other factors such as the company’s reputation and whether or not there have been any complaints filed against them recently. This information can usually be obtained from your local consumer affairs department. Also seek the opinion of anyone you know who has used a shipping company and check who they would or would not recommend.