Cost and timeliness of the delivery of cargo are two essential factors for businesses to remain competitive globally. Timely production of the goods and arranging for the most efficient route for the shipment are essential for delivering the goods on schedule. Unfortunately, the cost of shipping can vary a lot due to various factors. Exporters must attempt to get a fix on shipping costs and do everything they can to reduce them so that they can make their quotes competitive and not lose out on market opportunities. Some practical tips for slashing your cargo shipping costs:
Choose the Right Shipping Mode
Generally transporting goods by road or rail is more expensive than the ocean freight. However, you need to also optimize the number and volume of the units you are shipping to prevent your shipping costs from escalating. You need to choose “Less than Container” or LCL if you don’t have enough to fill a container, according to Shipping and Freight Resource. However, choosing FCL or “Full Container Load” is ideal if you have sufficient cargo to warrant taking on an entire container. LCL rates are generally more than for FCL, but if you don’t have sufficient cargo, LCL is the way to go, even if the shipping time is usually more. However, FCL rates have a history of being far more volatile than LCL rates, says a leading freight online service provider.
Ship during Off-Peak Times
Regular shippers know that ocean freight costs tend to be cyclical and the difference between the peak and off-peak seasons can be significant. If the nature of your industry permits, you should attempt to make your shipments during the off-peak times to take advantage of the lower freight costs. You can plan and adjust your shipping by finding out from your shipping company regarding the application of Peak Season Charges (PSS) so that you can avoid paying the premium. By keenly observing the movement of freight rates and negotiating hard with your freight forwarder, you may be able to save up to 25% of the freight costs, otherwise applicable.
Optimize Packing and Product Design
The space you need for shipping your goods depends significantly on the size and design of the packaging. If you are not packing the goods by yourself, you need to work with the freight forwarder. It will ensure that the goods can be stacked to allow the maximum number of cartons in the container. If done properly, you can ship far more and save significantly on your costs. If you are outsourcing product manufacturing, it may be worthwhile to examine the product design to ensure more compact packaging that optimizes container space.
If you are shipping your products to various destinations regularly, you should work with a freight forwarder on a long-term contract basis. Being a regular customer can let you enjoy benefits like discounted rates, priority shipping, lower insurance costs, and handling costs. All of which can add up to save a fair amount. By locking the frequency of your shipments, the freight forwarder can pass on the benefits of consignment planning that can potentially save around 25% over the regular shipping cost.
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