In the export and import business, firms must lower their freight costs to successfully compete against local competitors. Here are five ways companies can save both time and money on international shipping:
1. Manage Customer Expectations of Speed
Usually, the faster the delivery, the more expensive it will be. Therefore, you must balance your need for speed with your budget and your customer’s demands. Customers don’t always only want the fastest delivery possible, but a reliable delivery time as well. Therefore, your best strategy is to provide them with a variety of delivery options to choose from. That way, they can decide how much they will pay and how long they can wait for their goods.
2. Optimize Your Packaging
One of the most neglected ways to reduce international shipping costs is to optimize your packaging. The ideal packaging can keep your products secure while reducing shipping weight and box size to eliminate additional charges. Look for boxes that fit your goods and take factors like weight, height, and volume into consideration to find the optimal packaging for your items.
3. Invest in Cargo Insurance
Just like you have insurance for your health, home, or car, it is also necessary that you have coverage for your cargo. Having cargo insurance will keep you covered for damaged products, theft, losses, and any other unforeseen events that may affect your goods. However, it is also important that you don’t rely only on liability insurance because it may not be enough to cover the costs of severe damage. On the other hand, cargo insurance will give you a more comprehensive level of protection, allowing you to recover the full value of your damaged and lost goods.
4. Find the Right Forwarder
The lowest quoted price may not always lead to the lowest spending. If a forwarder initially offers a low price but does not explain all the costs involved in shipping, you may find yourself with a higher bill than expected. Make sure to choose your forwarder carefully and thoroughly review all costs involved.
5. Consider a 4PL
If you find that a majority of your sales occur thousands of miles away from your location, you should consider partnering with a 4PL. A 4PL can assist with every phase of your goods’ journey while managing technology, external 3PLS, infrastructure, and resources to develop supply chain solutions for companies.
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