How do I know if the costs I am paying for freight are fair?
The best way to ensure that you are getting a fair deal is to shop and compare. Just like buying a car or other items, it pays to get more than one quote. Using freight calculators on freight forwarder’s website is a quick and easy way to get several quotes in a hurry. Be sure your quotes are itemized and broken down so you can see what each type of service is contributing to the total cost.
Why can’t I do my own shipping and avoid using a freight forwarder?
There is no specific requirement that an individual or company use a freight forwarder. However, most companies believe that managing all of the documentation, communication and regulations associated with international shipping is something that is best left to the people who do it exclusively. Think of a freight forwarder as your personal travel agent for cargo.
What is the safest mode of shipping?
For international shipments, ocean freight using an FCL or full container load, is the safest (and cheapest) mode of transport. On an FCL, your goods are the only cargo in the container, which means that the container won’t be opened from the time it leaves your port until it arrives at its destination. Proper packaging and a commensurate amount of insurance are also good practices when shipping between different countries.
What's the difference between shipping a parcel and shipping freight?
What we typically think of when shipping a parcel internationally is perhaps a book, gift, or small item that can be handled by the government owned and operated postal service in whatever country you are located in. For larger items or shipments with multiple components, it is generally the best option to engage a freight forwarder to handle the customs declarations, booking of transport, insurance and dockage fees that will need to be handled.