Posted On : 06 Dec 2018
Choosing which freight forwarder to partner with can be tricky. Especially with the many freight forwarders that are available to deliver your shipment. The first step to choosing the right freight forwarder for you is researching the company.
Their website will be filled with information about them. From their policies, company profile, years of experience, to their procedures. Make sure that you are comfortable entrusting your packages to these competent people. Check out if their tracking methods are convenient and accurate.
Next step is to ask for a quote. Shipping different cargos are priced differently for different companies. It’s important that you get a written quote direct from your company of choice. Make sure that there are no hidden charges and how they would handle damages and claim compensation. A written quote ensures a price freeze when you decide to go partner with them.
Lastly, meet up with them face to face to discuss the procedure. If possible, ask if you can be present to oversee the loading procedure. Before signing the contract, read the full of the contract and verify all documents.
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Preparing your package does not only mean turning over your cargo to the shipping company. It is important that you, yourself, also protect the cargo you wish to transport. This preparation also lessens the possibility of damage to cargo and may even quicken the turnaround time.
It is crucial to measure your cargo properly. An estimate will not only create an unreliable quotation for your transport needs, it may also impact the loading and off-loading of your cargo as well. If needed, cargos may be placed in crates or pallets to improve protection.
Shipping containers may also be subjected to extreme conditions such as extreme humidity, strong winds, and even sub-zero temperatures. Though shipping containers should be well prepared to protect your cargo, a little bit of extra protection also helps. If transporting fragile items, do pack them as much as you can in one crate as possible to limit the movement inside while in transit.
Labeling your cargo properly ensures smoother shipping.
Please be sure to label each and every one of your cargos completely and accurately. Make sure that complete names and addresses are visible on each cargo to make sure that the entire shipment arrives in their correct location.
Organic cargo needs to be declared, especially those with shorter shelf life. Without declaration, your cargo may be delayed in port and subject to quarantine and testing.
Do ask your shipping company their prefered contents and label standards. Some companies have their own labels for your convenience.
Once the shipment is completely ready for transport, call your company of choice to schedule a pick up. If you can, double check your packaging and labels prior to the pick up of your cargo. It would be ideal if you are present during the pick up to oversee your cargo. It is ideal in case the shippers have last minute questions and reminders for you and vice versa. Face to face communication is clearer and easier.
One of the most important forms for transporting cargo is the Bill of Lading. This is basically your contract between you and the shipper. It states what is being shipped, how many pieces, their dimensions, and where the cargo is being transported to and from. Most companies require a fully filled out and processed bill of lading prior to pick up or loading the cargo.
Another form that you must read and comprehend, as well as fill out is the company’s terms and conditions. All relevant information could be written here and signing it would imply that you are aware of the company’s protocol in case of emergencies and damages.
Different companies make use of different tracking methods. Some companies offer real-time updates. Hopefully, you have chosen a shipper that you are comfortable with tracking. Do note that if your cargo has multiple pieces, they should not be separated from each other during the transport.
Though most shippers take very good care of your items, it is still possible for accidents and untoward incidents may occur. To protect yourself financially from unfortunate events that may happen to your cargo, it is advised that you purchase an insurance.
From product damage to lost items during the shipping, you may incur unwanted costs that you can easily avoid. If you have an insurance company you trust, you may discuss with them your concerns. However, cargo insurance can also be taken care of by your shipper.
Hopefully, this guide helped you in your journey towards your first shipment. We wish that while reading the article, you may have picked up new tips and learnings that we can all share and learn from. Happy shipping!