Q: Any advice for a first time shipper?
A: We have 5 tips for you.
- Save container transport cost by preparing to load your container in less 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Properly Insure Your Cargo. (Photo from BundleBox Blog)
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*.
- 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’s a REALLY rough ride, even in good weather. Read our Blog about “What is a Freight Forwarder?”!