Friday, December 16, 2016

How To Choose The Right International Shipping Service

By Patricia Russell

Over the next few years, international trade is expected to grow by a considerably large margin. While this opens up more opportunities for smaller enterprises, things can be a bit trickier when exporting or importing goods. The process can however be made a lot easier when one works with the right partners. So how do you go about finding a reliable international shipping service?

Before you can start looking for ideal carriers, you first need to know what you're planning to ship. Different companies will have varying policies on the sizes, shape and types of commodities they can ship. In some cases, the shippers will refuse to accept fragile or expensive items. You should thus note down the details of your shipment and discuss them with the provider so that you're able to chart the way forward. Don't forget to check whether your items are restricted in the specific country you're sending them to.

Research the shipping companies you're considering. There are many websites you could use to learn from other customers' experiences and ascertain the professionalism and quality of service offered by various companies. While going through the customer feedback, remember to check each company's rating and take note of those with tricky terms of service.

The containers used by the carrier you pick have to be suitable for your specific shipment. Besides the availability of different sizes, containers are also goods-sensitive, with the most common being tank, refrigerated and dry cargo types. You should therefore check out the options provided by each company before making your decision.

Obviously, pricing is one of the crucial factors when choosing a shipping service. You however need to be careful when evaluating quotes from different firms. This especially applies for quotes that are unreasonably low; ensure that you won't be paying for any extras that weren't listed on the original quote.

Different ports will have their own customs policies and shipping protocols. For a smooth shipping process, your choice of carrier should be familiar with the regulations and rules that apply in the destination. Although examining each company's experience level could take some time, the knowledge you gain will be of great help in future.

When comparing carriers, turnaround time is something that you should take into account. Are you looking for an expedited service or is it okay if the shipment takes weeks to reach its destination? Depending on your priorities, there could be several companies offering suitable solutions. It's worth noting that delivery time could be affected by the route your shipment takes and restrictions in certain countries.

Trading beyond domestic borders can be somewhat tricky. That said, it could boost your business substantially by exposing you to a bigger market. It thus helps to choose the right company to ensure reliable shipping.

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