5 Tips for a First Time International Shipper--Import or Export Well

There is a wide range of international shippers whom we help with importing and exporting needs from businesses that have been importing and exporting regularly for years to individuals importing or exporting for the very first time.

Of course, we love our regular and faithful customers for whom we've been shipping goods internationally for years, but we want you first time shippers and one time shippers (like those doing an international household move) to know that you are valued by Universal Cargo Management as well and we are here to help your imports or exports to go smoothly.

Often we are asked by first time shippers if we have any advice for them. With 25+ years in the international shipping industry, we absolutely have advice for you.

We answer this question with the following 5 tips (although, extra information has been added here and there in this blog):

Tip #1 

Save container transport cost by preparing to load your container in less than 2 hrs.

When the driver shows up to your site, the first 2 hours are included in your fees. We recommend staffing up and preparing in advance to load the container as quickly as possible to avoid overtime charges.

This tip is directed mainly at shippers exporting out of the U.S. through Universal Cargo Management using door service. If you are not using Universal Cargo Management as your freight forwarder, it is likely you will still have two hours to load the container trucked to you.

However, it is a good idea to ask the questions of whoever is helping you with your international shipping needs about how long you will have to load your container before you accrue extra fees on the trucking of your shipment.  

Tip #2

Prepare Shipping Container Contents for Extremes

Containers are subject to extreme conditions. There are wild swings in temperature and humidity inside the container - they go through the Panama Canal and sometimes around the Cape. Containers are subjected to triple digit heat and humidity to sub-zero temperatures while in storage or in transport.

Tip #3 

Carefully Declare ANY Organic Cargo

Plants, Edible Plants, Vegetables, and Fruit are all treated differently depending on the origin and destination of the shipment. If customs finds any undeclared organic cargo, they can quarantine your container and charge you daily holding fees.

Tip #4

Properly Insure Your Cargo 

Plan for “attrition”. All of the contents don’t always make it all of the time.
There will be some "attrition" - containers get inspected, sometimes by unscrupulous dock/deck hands...this isn't REALLY considered stealing, as the items in transit, technically are the property of the shipping company*. See our blog entry on securing, insuring and properly declaring your container contents to manage risk of inspection, suspicion, mistakes and "attrition".

Tip #5

Understand that Freight Forwarding is both an art and a science.

Many companies and handlers are involved in moving your container, here are just a few possible examples: Trucking company(ies) outbound (your door to the port of origin or train yard), Crane Operations transferring container from truck to train, and train to ship. That's just to get the container to the ship, then the reverse happens on the other side...it can be a REALLY rough ride, even in good weather.

Original Source: universalcargo.com

Posted by Eggie Egbert Green

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