- Find total cost of shipment
- Speed verses Cost of shipment
- Analyze the total cost of each method
- Negotiate with freight agent
- Build relationship with your freight forwarding agent
Sea freight, Air freight or Courier - Quick decision guide
If shipment is less than 40 Kilograms use a courier service (DHL, FedEx) that offers to pick from suppliers place, clear customs in your country and delivery to your doorsteps in about 3 days and its total shipment cost will be cheaper than air freight.
If shipment is over 40 Kilograms and below 250 Kilograms it is better to use indirect air freight consolidation service offered by freight forwarding agent. They will deliver to your customs port in about a week and you will need to custom clear using services of a customs broker.
If shipment is not needed urgently and over 2 cubic meters (more than 335 Kilograms) ship by sea as Less than Container Load Typical shipment time is about four weeks
Speed Verses Cost
Find total cost of shipment
- Charges at the origin (place of export): Origination charges are mainly charges related to taking goods to the port and customs clearing charges. Document fee, container stuffing, fumigation, custom clearance, export fees, etc., are some examples of charges at origin.
- Sea or air freight charges are typically paid to the airline or shipping line for shipments booked through a freight forwarding agent. Your freight agent normally gives you quote for this part only unless specifically asked about other charges.
- Charges at destination (country of import) are mainly paid by importers once goods have reached destination port. THC, haulage, container de-stuffing charges, custom clearance fee, agency fee, etc., are some examples of destination charges. In addition customs department will charge applicable duties and tax bases on tariff published by the government.
Analyse the total cost of each method
Tips for negotiation with a freight forwarder
- You can appoint a freight forwarding agent in your country or country of import so compare their prices
- Typically a freight forwarding agent will give you very competitive price for freight but slap heavy destination charges later on their invoice. This is common among freight agent who book sea freight services.
- If shipment is more than 20 cubic meters do not book Less than Container Load. Book a 20 feet container as it will be faster and cheaper than the Less than Container Load
- The airline offers the price of direct services (faster) or slower indirect services (cheaper) as shipment goes first to a transshipment hub and await consolidation. Many agents may give you price for direct flight and later signed by indirect flight so negotiate before shipment.
- The airline offers discounted freight rate at 45 Kilograms - 100 Kilograms - 300 Kilograms - 500 Kilograms - 1000 Kilograms. Which means 280 Kilograms shipment may be more expensive than 300 Kilograms shipment as applicable discount rate changes with 300 Kilograms.
- Airlines offer different prices for shipment so check with freight forwarding agent which airline they will use.