You’re all set to mail your goods. However, choosing a cargo transportation business might be a challenge. There are a number of things to consider before you make your final decision on a cargo shipping firm.
Here are some tips on how to shortlist an ocean freight company for your business.
Tips to select a sea freight company
1. Check for registration and licensing
Cargo shipping companies must be fully compliant with moving industry regulations. Compare the details of their registration and license to see how they stack up.
If the company is based in the United States and delivers goods there, it must be registered with the states where it does business.
Many international moving firms are linked with AMSA, FIDI, or RIM, which is one of the most respected associations for high-end moving companies to join.
2. Ask about loading services offered
Each company offers many cargo-loading services. Inquire about a moving company’s loading services.
The most popular is the door-to-door delivery option. Choosing this option means shipping providers will take over packaging and delivering your items (including shipping, warehousing, and last-mile delivery).
3. Check container sizes and capacity
You’ll need a container for your shipment and your leave-behind items. Most reliable shipping companies offer 20′ and 40′ shipping containers.
This method transports household goods and cars. Perishables or temperature-sensitive goods may need temperature-controlled containers called offshore reefers.
4. Cargo tracking tools
Customers may easily use freight tracking solutions, thanks to technological advancements. To find out where your package is in transit, shippers provide various tracking software options.
While some cargo shipping companies may charge a separate fee for this service, others offer it as part of the overall cost of the shipment. Investigate the company’s tracking methods in-depth.
5. Ask for a price breakdown and overall price
In some cases, ocean freight shipping businesses may quote a price for ocean freight and then include additional costs and surcharges later.
Evaluate shipping costs and inquire about additional charges like gasoline, insurance, and tracking.
Be sure to be aware of any additional costs upfront. Additionally, you can request a detailed invoice with a breakdown of the total cost before engaging the company’s services.
6. Make sure they meet industry standards
When transporting goods to other countries, there are set rules and regulations. Make sure the ocean freight company you choose complies with the laws and regulations of the country to which you are shipping your goods.
Choosing a freight forwarder that has a global network of agents who can manage the container after it gets to its final destination is critical.
Unpacking and delivering your belongings will be their responsibility and those are critical steps in the process.
7. Check safety records
Your goods will be transported by one of the main steamship lines, most of which have been around for a long time, have trustworthy vessels, and follow well-established operating protocols.
You can check the company’s website to find out about their safety certificates and values regarding transferring your belongings.
8. Ask about insurance
Even though most shipping companies are in charge of the process from start to the end, you should still inquire regarding their insurance provisions. Your belongings must be covered if the ship sinks.
Minimum insurance of $0.60 per pound is usually covered by major shipping carriers. Supplemental insurance can be purchased if you desire additional protection for your possessions.
In addition, the shipping cargo company may recommend an insurance provider with whom it has a working relationship.
9. Holding facilities
Products may arrive early or late. What will they have to pay in either case? Asking this question saves money and time.
Also, check for the late-pickup fees and the location where your stuff will be stored before sending it to the designated warehouses.
Check with the storage facilities to see if they can accommodate products that require refrigeration. Ask about air conditioning if your items are sensitive to heat.
10. Look for discounts
When evaluating cargo transportation firms, don’t forget to seek offers. In the world of ocean freight, there is always room for compromise.
Alternate dates, if you’re open to it, might also be worth a shot. Traveling throughout different times of the year may cost less.
11. Customer service
Trust and communication are linked. If you update clients throughout the logistics process, they’ll know your company is comprehensive and reliable.
Informing a consumer of a delay, however discouraging, allows them to make plans on how to adjust their arrangements.
Both, inbound and outbound logistics require good communication.
Other factors to consider when choosing an ocean freight company
More than anything else, choose a shipping company that specializes in your package, route, and mode of shipment.
When arranging your shipping, consider asking the following questions yourself:
- How will you ship?
- How will you convey your goods?
- Do you need port-to-port or also door-to-door services?
- How well do you know the shipment’s origin and destination countries?
- How much do you want to track your shipment’s progress?
- How soon do you need a quotation?
If you frequently transport FCL goods to China, you should use international shipping companies with offices in China or those that specialize in FCL delivery. This will help with language barriers.
Cenports offers end-to-end fulfillment which includes strong tip-ups with major ocean freight firms to help you save the best deals.