Questions to Ask Before Shipping Abroad

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If you have never shipped your goods abroad before, there are certainly plenty of questions you probably have.  While you want to make sure your goods are safe and secure and will be delivered when you need it, you also want to know how much it is going to cost.  While there is no one size fits all answer to that question, you can learn how to ask better questions to get the answers you need.  Here are a few questions you need to ask.

What are the packing charges?  Let’s say you’ve purchased something on eBay – a popular way to move luxury vehicles and motorcycles.  In these cases, the seller may not have everything all packaged up.  That will have to be done somehow, and there is a charge for that.  Commercial freight usually doesn’t have much of a packing charge.  But what about household goods?  Be sure you ask about packing charges so there are no surprises.
Will I be charged for pick up?  A company can pick up from your home via commercial truck.  Depending on what you are shipping, there may be specialized trucks (and charges) to pick up from your door.
Is anything oversized?  Sometimes there are additional charges for oversized equipment.  Some methods of packing require charges upon export (such as some roll-on/roll-off services). 
Miscellaneous charges?  Sometimes you can expect a fuel surcharge, currency adjustment factor charges, a bill of lading fee, documentation fees or other terminal handling charges.  While these may be standard operating procedure for experienced companies, they can come as a shock for inexperienced customers.  Ask what the miscellaneous charges will be.
Often it isn’t that the shipping company is trying to “hide” the real costs from you.  It is often the case that the customer just doesn’t know the right questions to ask to get to the real answers.  Being prepared means you will have a full understanding of your bill.