How to Estimate Shipping Costs
Domestic and International Freight
Calculating freight and shipping costs of your goods can be mind-bogglingly complex as there are so many different factors to take into account. The type of goods being shipped, the size and weight of boxes and the distance they need to travel and the type of service you select all have a bearing on the overall price that companies will quote you.
However, the good news is that most shipping and freight companies have comprehensive websites that contain information about their services as well as estimate price lists. In most cases their will be a grid containing all the services the company offers, the destination countries that they serve and the shipping cost per kilogram or ten kilograms. Using the grid and the weight of your shipment you will then be able to calculate how much it will cost you to ship your goods to a specific destination. Heavier shipments are often cheaper per kilogram than lighter shipments and if you have an extremely large shipment it may work out cheaper in the long run to ship an entire container than a groupage LCL container.
For larger moves, most professional shipping companies provide a service where they an evaluator comes to your home and evaluates everything that needs to be shipped. The company will then make you a bid based on the amount that you need shipped and the destination that goods will be shipped to. If you have the time it is a good idea to get quotes from a few different companies and compare rates to find the best possible deal.
Make sure you are clear on exactly what is included in the quoted price that you get from each company. Many people make the mistake of believing that they are paying for certain services when in fact those services aren’t even included in the quoted price. Costs to enquire about include storage charges, port fees, ocean fees, customs fees, taxes and documentation drafting charges. Also make sure that you are clear on what the company’s policy is once goods have arrived at the port of destination. In most cases, shipping firms will expect you to come and collect your own goods from the port and will charge extra for door to door delivery.
Shipping companies usually offer a variety of services, ranging from door to door shipping to port to port shipping only. Door to door services cost far more, but have the added advantage of allowing you to relax in the knowledge that a professional is taking care of everything from the packing to customs to delivery and unpacking. By contrast, if you are looking to save on shipping costs then there are a number of surcharges that you will want to avoid.
Packing, transporting and loading your own goods will all minimize shipping costs, as will doing your own paperwork and clearing your own goods through customs.