How To Get Accurate Freight Rate Pricing (5 Simple Steps)

 In Freight Forwarder, freight rates, International Shipping

So you need to find out the cost of international shipping.

How To Get Freight Rate PricingMaybe you’re getting into international business,importing goods from China to sell here in the U.S. or exporting your goods to another country to gain a whole new market for your product.

Perhaps you’re about to move internationally and want to ship your household goods overseas.

There are many situations that could cause you to need accurate freight rate pricing for international shipping. But in order to get an accurate freight rate quote, there is specific information a freight forwarder is going to need from you.

Here are some guidelines to help you get the freight rate pricing you need so your importing or exporting can be handled smoothly. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to get freight rate pricing effectively and efficiently.

1 – Request Your Freight Rate Pricing Within a Month of Shipping

I know this doesn’t seem ideal, but shipping rates (and the international shipping industry in general) are very volatile, especially in the spot rate market. You can’t get a quote for a shipment you want to export or import a year from now. In fact, you can’t even get a quote for cargo you’re shipping a few months down the line.

Quoted shipping rates are usually good for about 30 days so for accurate freight rate pricing on your shipment, you need to get your quote within about a month of shipping it.

If you have no idea what the cost of shipping is and need to get an idea of rates, you can get a quote on what it would cost if you were shipping now. But it’s important to remember due to the volatile nature of this industry, rates could be quite different when it comes to the actual time you plan to import or export your goods.

Click here to find out why shipping rates are so volatile.

2 – Know What You’re Shipping

This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people try to get shipping rates without the specifics of what they’re shipping.

Rules and costs change for different types of goods being shipped. Shipping household goods is very different animal from shipping metal, wood, or mass produced T-shirts.

Different types of items cause a freight forwarder to have to ship through different carriers they have contracts with and also can affect the customs requirements and cargo insurance of exports and imports.

3 – Know the Size and Weight of Your Shipment

Are you shipping by the cargo container or are you shipping LCL (Less than Container Load)?

If you’re shipping air freight instead of by ocean, your freight rate pricing is going to be based on the size and weight of your shipment.

For ocean freight, usually your shipping by the container. But you’ll need to know if you need a 20′, 40′, 40’HQ, 45’HQ, 53′, or reefer (refrigerated) shipping container. The most common are the 20′ or 40′ cargo containers.

Of course, it’s possible you’re shipping LCL over ocean. In most cases, you’ll be charged by the cubic meter in such cases.

Weight can still be a price factor in ocean freight. Usually, things that are extremely heavy like heavy machinery are the sorts of things that have weights which will affect shipping rates in ocean freight.

4 – Know Where You’re Shipping To and From

Again it seems obvious, but there are a number of options when shipping internationally.

Universal Cargo Management offers door to door service as well as port to port service. You might need your goods picked up at your factory and delivered only as far as the port in the country/city you’re exporting to where your business partners will handle things from there.

Being specific about the the pick up and delivery addresses for your international shipping will allow your freight forwarder to give you accurate pricing on the trucking portion of your import or export.

5 – Have All Information Ready When You Contact Freight Forwarder

Be ready to give your freight forwarder all this information: When you’re shipping, what you’re shipping, the specific size and weight of your shipment, and where you’re shipping to and from.

Having all this information together before contacting a freight forwarder will ensure you get freight rate pricing efficiently and accurately.

Universal Cargo Management is ready to give you freight rate pricing on your ocean freight or air freight imports and exports at any time. You can call us at (866) 826-2276 or fill out our easy online freight rate form.

Click Here for Free Freight Rate Pricing
  • Lloyd Bronson

    I have a friend from high school who would greatly benefit from your article. I am glad that your article mentions the importance of being knowledgable in what you are shipping as well as the size and weight of the freight. To help make his job easier, I think that I will recommend to him hiring the services of a truck load board software to help keep track of everything.

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