As an importer, you will need to work with a freight forwarder at some point in order to get your goods from the overseas supplier to your door. While there are many different types of freight forwarders, ocean freight forwarding services specialize in handling shipments that travel by sea.
If you have never worked with a freight forwarder before, the process can seem a bit daunting. But don’t worry! We’ve put together a list of 10 tips to help you get started on the right foot.
1. Do your research
Before you start working with any freight forwarder, it’s important to do your research and make sure you find one that is reputable and has experience shipping to your destination country. Once you have a few options in mind, take the time to read online reviews and compare pricing.
2. Get a quote
Once you have chosen a freight forwarder, be sure to get a quote for your shipment. This will help you budget for the cost of shipping and make sure you are getting the best possible price.
3. Ask about insurance
When you are shipping goods overseas, it’s important to make sure they are insured in case of damage or loss. Be sure to ask your freight forwarder about their insurance options and find out what is covered under their policy.
4. Understand Incoterms
Incoterms are international trade terms that specify who is responsible for different aspects of the shipping process. Before you finalize your shipment, make sure you understand the Incoterms that apply to your shipment and what they mean for you and your supplier.
5. Know your deadlines
Be sure to discuss deadlines with your freight forwarder in advance so that you can plan accordingly. Make sure you know when your goods need to be delivered and allow plenty of time for unexpected delays.
6. Keep track of your shipment
Once your shipment is on its way, be sure to keep track of it using the tracking number provided by your freight forwarder. This will help you stay up-to-date on its progress and be aware of any potential delays.
7. Be prepared for customs
When your goods arrive at their destination, they will need to clear customs before they can be delivered to you. Be sure to have all the necessary paperwork in order and be prepared to pay any customs duties or taxes that may be due.
8. Inspect your goods
Once your shipment has arrived, take the time to inspect your goods carefully. If there is any damage, be sure to document it and contact your freight forwarder right away.
9. Give feedback
After you have received your shipment, be sure to provide feedback to your freight forwarder. This will help them improve their services for future shipments.
10. Stay organized
Throughout the shipping process, it’s important to stay organized and keep track of all the paperwork and documents related to your shipment. This will help you stay on top of things and avoid any delays or problems.
By following these tips, you can be sure that your experience working with an ocean freight forwarder will be a positive one.