How to Get the Best Bang for Your Buck when it Comes to International Shipping

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Basic economic theory tells us that ” There is no such thing as a free lunch” i.e., if you want something you have to pay for it.  I wish I could tell you that isn’t true when it comes to international shipping; honestly we know it would make our customers very happy if we shipped for free, but sadly this is not the case.  So since you can’t get it for free, you should definitely try to get the best price and the best service possible.  Even if you are an expert at international shipping or you are part of a global company that has shipped for years, you can always make the international shipping process smoother.  When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, in terms of international shipping, I always offer my favorite customers (i.e. you) the following tips to help ensure they get the best international shipping service at the right price:
  
Tip #1: Provide the Proper Cargo Details
You want to ship a Caterpillar motor grader to Peru and you don’t know the model number, any of the dimensions or where the Caterpillar is located except that it’s somewhere in Illinois.  Sorry buddy, there’s not much we can do for you.  It is extremely important and essential that you have all the proper details for your cargo before we can provide you with an international shipping quote.  Especially when you are shipping cars, trucks, buses, construction equipment and machinery overseas, we need to know the length, width, height, weight and exact location of the unit in order to quote.  The rate is based on all of this information.  If you need to ship containers make sure to indicate the location where the goods are located and/or where you will load the container, the total gross weight of the cargo, whether it is hazardous or non-hazardous, and the size of the container you will need.  It may seem obvious, but this is the #1 reason for delays in providing international shipping quotes to our customers in a timely manner.

When shipping bull dozers and other construction equipment overseas it is always important to make sure you provide your international shipping company with the full dimensions of your unit.

Tip #2: Know What You Want – Always Indicate What is Most Important
“Know what you want….”  who doesn’t know what they want!  But believe it or not, most international shippers don’t and if they do…they don’t tell us!  There are several options when it comes to international shipping.  Are you looking for the most affordable price, fastest shipping time, least amount of international transfers?  Can your cargo go over the rail or can it only go over the road?  Do you have a particular time schedule you need to meet?  Whichever is most important to you, make sure you indicate that to your international shipping company (hopefully us, K International Transport).  By giving us a very clear indication of what is important for your shipment, we can provide you with the best possible rate to meet your specific needs.  Additionally, it saves time shopping around for the best shipping prices for you.  Speaking of money, we’re giving you a lead onto our third tip…

Tip #3: Have a Reasonable Target
If you followed our second tip and have decided that the cost factor is the most important, then your next step is to set up a target rate you are willing to pay.  Everyone has a budget and if you have shipped the same commodity to the same place before you should have a certain expectation of what you should pay.  Bear in mind however, costs do fluctuate and the price difference can be a couple hundred dollars between now and last year.  Nonetheless, we shouldn’t be too far away from your target.  If you let the international shipping company know what you are looking to pay we can begin to negotiate the best possible price for you.  But keep your target within reason.  Oftentimes customers try to get a price that is way below the current tariff and market rates, and there’s no way we can secure a price that low.   Understandably, sometimes you may not know what the price should be.  In this case, by shopping around you can get a reasonable expectation of what you should pay to ship your cargo.  Now when you do shop around, make sure to follow tip #4….

Tip #4: If it Sounds Too Good To Be True…It Probably Is…Make Sure You Know What the International Shipping Company is Offering You
Sometimes there is no price on good service.  But oftentimes there are also a lot of tricky international shipping companies out there willing to make a quick buck on you.  So you received a price to ship a Toyota Corolla to Nigeria, and the price is $600 less than all other quotes!  Of course, the savvy shopper in you wants to go ahead with the cheaper company, but wait a minute, double, triple and quadruple check exactly what that company is offering you.  When looking through international shipping quotes check to make sure they offer you everything you will need.  Does the rate include customs clearance, documentation, pick-up, loading, insurance and shipping cost?  Does the rate include everything you asked for?  Does the rate come with specific terms and conditions so you know what’s covered and what’s not?  Always make sure to check through your shipping rates and ask questions. We couldn’t tell you how many times we had customers come crying to us because they received an invoice $2000 higher than what they were quoted!  While the highest price doesn’t always mean the best service, neither does the cheapest price.  If possible ask for recommendations or double check a company’s background before you dive into an international shipping contract you can’t get out of.

Tip #5: Read All Terms and Conditions
Company A gave you a nice quote – it was short and sweet, just listed the overall price.  K International gave you the price and another page worth of Terms and Conditions.  We’re not trying to annoy you, those terms and conditions are there to protect you!  For example did you know a steamship line could cancel service, delay your container, or not honor a quoted price.  A line can even quote you for service that is completely booked for the next 4 months! Customs may seize your cargo, inspect it and then charge you $2000 for the inspection, and there’s nothing we can do about it.  All of the above is usually outlined in the terms and conditions.  The terms and conditions are especially important for customers who are selling shipping costs to customers who purchase products from their company.  When something happens the customer may blame you for not letting them know the terms and conditions.   Some companies will also hide additional fees in their terms and conditions, make sure you read through everything so you don’t end up being scammed!

Don’t get scammed by unreliable international shipping companies- Protect yourself and your international shipments!  Always make sure the company provides you with clear terms and conditions

Tip #6: Some Destinations are Hotter Than Others
Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this, but I will because I like you.  Some destinations are much easier to get affordable international shipping rates than others. I know, most of the time you have no control over where your customer is located, but if you know which areas to market your products in you might be able to score an overall deal.  When vessels aren’t completely full to Asia or Europe, steamship lines drop their prices in hopes of filling up their mega container vessels.  If you’re interested in knowing which destination steamship lines are desperate to move cargo to, ask us.  We’re more than willing and happy to help you find the best international shipping rate and to help determine the next “hot” destination for international cargo shipping.

And there you have it, some of our basic tips to help you secure the best international shipping prices and the best service.  For more information or to put our tips to the test, don’t be afraid to contact us at 212-267-6400 or on skype at kinternationalny.  We are one of the best international shipping companies in the United States, and we ship to just about anywhere!  To receive international shipping quotes send us an email with the full details (see tip #1 above!) to sales@kinternational.com.  We respond to all request for international shipping prices within 1-2 business days.

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