For transatlantic freight forwarders like I.C.E. Transport, it's been interesting to see the sharp contrast in ocean freight prices and congestion issues between Transpacific and Transatlantic freight.
For global shippers of wood, metals and other dense cargo, heavy freight shipping companies will charge you more for over-the-road heavy hauls. But, in the process, they can help cut your total freight shipping costs as much as 20%.
The savings are on the ocean shipping leg of the journey.
“I have 10 pallets of product to ship in a container from New Jersey to Poland. Can I get a freight quote fast? I can provide specific details later.”
Believe it or not, quote requests like this are not unusual. But to get an accurate ocean freight shipping quote in a timely manner, you'll want to provide freight forwarders accurate details – and as much as you have.
These days lots of things can slow down your container – from carrier cancellations to port disruptions to labor shortages. Things that are totally out of your control. So why in the world would you risk delays and added costs from something that's totally in your control – shipping paperwork?
Get your shipping documents for export right and avoid shipment delays, customs inspections, unhappy customers, and disputes about who pays for added fees.
In 2019 (pre-COVID), Walmart imported close to 900,000 ocean containers worth of cargo (20-foot equivalent units) into the US.
We're guessing you shipped fewer than that.
Size matters in ocean shipping, and the big shippers leverage volumes to command better rates and better access to capacity. And better service – they may actually get their calls returned, while your calls to carriers and large forwarders go unanswered for days.
When you need a freight forwarder to handle your overseas shipments, you face a dizzying variety of choices – from huge global enterprises to smaller specialty firms. How to choose a freight forwarder that matches your needs? The answer isn’t simple.
Here’s a look at what to expect as you evaluate possible partners, large and small.
When you bring goods into the US, of course you expect to pay for transportation. But as you plan an import, remember that it also costs money to clear the cargo through US Customs, even when the product isn’t subject to any duties.
How much does customs clearance cost? As with so much in life, it depends.
Ocean container shipping has become very expensive – in some cases triple what it was pre-pandemic. So, you don’t want to ship more containers than needed for your volume of freight. That requires smart ocean container loading.
For decades, steamship lines have had an unspoken pact with shippers: If you’re willing to wait many weeks to have your cargo delivered, we’ll transport it thousands of miles for you, and do it for cheap. Even with relatively affordable rates, the lines made oodles of money by piling containers – as many as 24,000 TEUs on the latest ships – onto a single vessel.
All that changed with the pandemic as the lines cut capacity to address greatly decreased demand. As factories re-opened and as consumers starting shopping again, demand for container space soared – but vessel capacity did not.
Cargo that doesn’t fit in a container costs more to ship than cargo that does. It's also way more complicated to ship out of gauge cargo via ocean. A lot more rules to be followed to ensure safety and security, door to door. All that complexity creates time and headaches for shipping departments.
To ease the burden on your staff, and your wallet, we put together a detailed online eBook that covers just about every aspect of shipping out of gauge cargo globally. Link to that eBook here.