Is international shipping full of pitfalls? A beginner’s guide to avoiding them Are you sure you don’t want to learn more?
Beginner's guide to avoid pitfalls in international shipping Want to learn more?
International transportation involves different countries, so not only does it take a long time, but the process is also more complicated. Obviously, for a novice in international trade, such a complex process will inevitably encounter many pitfalls. Although it is said that experience is gained through mistakes, some pitfalls can still be avoided, as most mistakes will come at a cost.
Underestimating Freight Costs
Underestimating freight costs is basically unavoidable because it is impossible to estimate the goods accurately. In addition, different measurement standards may also lead to underestimation of freight costs. Therefore, the key is that international traders need to add a sentence at the end stating that the actual charges will apply. This way, even if there is an error in estimating the freight cost, it will not affect the final settlement.
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It is a common practice for new international traders to find freight forwarders to handle customs clearance and transportation-related matters. The quotation of freight forwarders is not a uniform standard, and some freight forwarders have particularly high quotes, but some have particularly low quotes. Some new international traders will choose freight forwarders with particularly low quotes in order to save costs.
We should know that you get what you pay for. Many freight forwarders advertise zero ocean freight fees for container exports, but in reality, the costs are added at the target port. Unless you have agreed with the customer in advance, the other party is definitely not willing to pay this additional cost. The end result is that the customer will abandon the goods, and the transaction cannot be completed, making handling the goods a problem.
In addition, the reason why some freight forwarders have very low quotes is that they are prepared to add a markup in the middle, which means that the seller will face the dilemma of increased freight costs and delayed delivery of goods. Therefore, new international traders should avoid only looking at the price when choosing freight forwarders, and should have a detailed understanding of the services, reputation, and credibility provided by the freight forwarders.
Packaging pitfalls can occur for both sellers and freight forwarders. Whether the packaging is complete and can withstand the bumps and jolts of transportation, and whether the logistics partner is reliable, will all affect the final logistics cost. If there are any leaks in the packaging, the rate of loss of goods will be very high.
If the freight forwarder is unreliable, there may be cases where the outer packaging of the goods is replaced, which can cause actual losses to the seller. Therefore, in terms of packaging, sellers should be more rigorous and seek a reliable freight forwarder or logistics partner.
Delivery issues, such as lost items, are not serious, but they do exist, especially in the United States. Therefore, when new foreign trade personnel choose logistics partners, they need to confirm clearly with the other party how lost items are handled, how compensation is made, etc., to avoid subsequent disputes.
Finally, for new foreign trade personnel, customs clearance pitfalls and freight terms pitfalls belong to the same category, and both exist due to insufficient understanding, so there may be some omissions. In addition to long-term accumulation, confirming multiple times before each shipment can help new foreign trade personnel reduce the probability of stepping on landmines.
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