Common International Freight Shipping Oversights
Navigating the problem areas
Freight shipping can be an exceptionally harrowing exercise if you fail to follow proper procedures and recommended guidelines. Listed below are five of the most common mistakes that individuals make when shipping freight overseas.
Thinking that shared “less than container load” shipments always represent the most cost effective solution. Many people make the mistake of thinking that less is more when it comes to packing freight into containers and that shared LCL are always the way to go. In reality however, if your load is big enough FCL containers can work out to be a far more economical option.
For the transport of small volumes of freight, it is often also worthwhile to look into shipping by air as opposed to by sea. In addition to being quicker and less of a hassle, in some cases shipping by air may actually also work out to be cheaper.
Not checking on local customs regulations for your incoming freight. In most cases taxes, duties and additional costs will not be charged by customs officials for the international shipment of personal effects to the destination country in question. In most cases this rule will only apply if items have not been bought within the last year and owners have no intention of putting them up for sale. There are however exceptions to this rule, especially when it comes to the shipment of extremely valuable items and motor vehicles. It is vitally important to contact the embassy or consulate of the country you are planning on shipping your goods to in order to ascertain precisely which duties and taxes are in place. In the case of goods such as furniture, it’s pointless shipping an item to another country if it is going to cost you more to get it past customs than to replace it.
Failing to delve into precisely which services are included in shipping quotes. Just because one shipping company quotes you substantially less than the rest to ship your freight does not necessarily mean that they are offering you better value for your money. Companies differ in what they include in their quoted rates. Make sure that you are clear on what is included in the price before you accept an offer. Some of the most important charges to enquire about include ocean freight charges, port charges, customs fees, storage fees, transport fees and delivery fees.
Not packing freight into boxes correctly. If your freight is packaged incorrectly then chances are good that it may become damaged during shipment. Over packed boxes are likely to burst, while under packed boxes are likely to cave in as soon as they are lifted. Liquids should be stored in leak proof containers, and important documents should be rolled into triangular containers that will not role around during transit. The use of bar coded labels is highly recommended as these allow for goods to be tracked from the beginning to the end of the shipment process.Any freight that arrives without a label will either be returned or will need to be stored at the port which costs both time and money. Any freight that arrives without a label will either be returned or will need to be stored at the port which costs both time and money.
Sending an incomplete inventory and incorrect documentation with your freight. If you have elected to package your own goods for freight shipping then it is vital that the inventory list you compile corresponds directly with the items you have packed. Any inconsistency will result in a delay in cargo being cleared through customs and a hefty fine being imposed. Any necessary import and export documentation must accompany the freight, as must a copy of your passport. Regulations pertaining to the shipment of vehicles are particularly strict and more often than not a wealth of documentation will be needed including vehicle emission certificates, licenses and credit agreements.
Failure to produce necessary documentation can result in fines and additional charges and in some cases in the freight being returned.