How to Reduce Your International Shipping Costs

Shanghai

International shipping costs are a huge investment for many types of businesses as well as individuals who are moving home. Despite international supply chains being partially disrupted in recent times due to the pandemic, it seems that global logistics are now up and running, more or less as usual.

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s simple to find the right shipping or fulfilment option for your business. And when it comes to the practicalities of transporting cargo across borders, there’s still a lot to consider. We’ve included some useful strategies you can use below.

Get to Know Market Prices

Before you do anything, try to get a sense of what shipping actually costs with some high and low estimates. Searches online can help here, or you can take a look at a digital freight network service that helps to put shipping customers in touch with hauliers.

There are several platforms like this today, with many allowing you to enter specific destinations and vehicle requirements before receiving a number of quotes from potential suppliers. You may want to keep looking for other options, but this will give you an idea of what the costs will be for your items.

Admittedly, some digital freight networks are more suited to businesses who ship entire container loads of product and goods, so if you’re only shipping small items one-by-one to the end user, then you may need to get your quotes from a specific provider who can handle this.

Use Reputable Shipping Companies

There are so many reputable shipping companies out there, but there are also more than a few not so reliable vendors who probably aren’t worth taking the risk on. Retailers and businesses should perform some initial due diligence before they commit to shipping any significant volumes of product with a certain shipping company.

Negotiate with Multiple Carriers

Just because you receive a quote, this doesn’t mean it’s the final price. Every shipping company has its own unique pricing  method which is mostly based on the volume of shipments.

These can be adjusted and modified based on your needs and it’s possible to try negotiating lower rates with multiple carriers and see which one is the cheapest, or most suitable for your needs. Don’t forget to ask your potential future supplier how they handle any cargo insurance claims.

Get Third-Party Insurance

Many shipping companies offer some kind of insurance policy with their service, however, you can’t guarantee that this will be a good market price or that it is comprehensive enough for your needs. Typically, third parties will charge you less to insure your shipments, which means that if you ship large volumes or more expensive items, you could make large savings by finding your own insurance provider.

Consolidate Your Carriers

You may use multiple carriers when you’re first starting out, but once you find one that suits your shipping needs, it’s best to consolidate your activities in this area. This will increase  your bargaining power since you’ll be shipping a higher volume with one carrier. It will also keep your administration more streamlined and help you to stay on top of any shipping issues.

Calculate Your Total Shipping Fees

Some businesses focus too much on the cost of individual items and forget the bigger picture. Shipping involves many different things, including your packaging costs, and local delivery once items are delivered to the relevant country.

To make sure you’re not paying too much or misunderstanding your total costs, factor in all your shipping fees before you bill your customers. There are many charges that could apply to each of your shipments, including higher delivery fees, fuel surcharges, and signature fees. Make sure this is included on their final bill or at least be aware that you will be the one to absorb the cost

Reduce Your Shipping Costs with the Insurance Broker

One of the major factors that determine the success of your business is the extent to which you reduce expenses. If you want help to reduce the amount you pay on your insurance with a third party policy or find a supplier who handles cargo insurance claims in a way that is less costly to your business, we can help you find a provider at the Insurance Broker.