6 big tricks to save shipping costs

01. Familiar with the transportation route


 "It is necessary to understand the ocean transportation route." For example, to European ports, although most shipping companies have the difference between basic ports and non-basic ports, the difference in freight charges is at least between 100-200 US dollars. However, the division of different shipping companies will be different. Knowing the division of different companies can obtain the freight rate of the basic port by choosing a transportation company.

For another example, there are two modes of transportation for ports on the east coast of the United States: full waterway and land bridge, and the price difference between the two is several hundred dollars. If you don't meet the shipping schedule, you can ask the shipping company for the full waterway method.


02. Carefully plan the first journey transportation

There are different costs for cargo owners in the mainland to choose different inland transportation methods. "Generally speaking, the price of train transportation is the cheapest, but the procedures for delivery and pick-up are complicated, and it is suitable for orders with large quantities and short delivery time. Truck transportation is the simplest, the time is fast, and the price is slightly more expensive than train transportation." "The most expensive The best way is to directly load the container in the factory or warehouse, which is only suitable for those fragile items that are not suitable for multiple loading and unloading. In general, it is best not to use this method.”

Under the FOB condition, it also involves the first-leg transportation arrangement before shipment. Many people have had such an unpleasant experience: under the FOB terms, the pre-shipment charges are very confusing and have no rules. Because it is the shipping company designated by the buyer for the second journey, the consignor has no choice.


Different shipping companies have different explanations for this. Some require the owner to pay all the expenses before shipment: packing fee, dock fee, trailer fee; some only need to pay the trailer fee from the warehouse to the dock; some require different surcharges on the trailer fee according to the location of the warehouse. . This charge often exceeds the budget for freight costs when quoting at the time.

The solution is to confirm with the customer the starting point of the costs of both parties under the FOB terms. The shipper will generally insist that the responsibility for the delivery of the goods to the warehouse is over. As for the towing fee from the warehouse to the terminal, the terminal fee, etc. are all included in the sea freight of the second journey and paid by the consignee.

Therefore, first of all, when negotiating the order, try to make a deal on CIF terms, so that the initiative of the transportation arrangement is all in your own hands; secondly, if the deal is indeed on FOB terms, he will contact the transport company designated by the buyer in advance, Confirm all costs in writing. The reason for this is firstly to prevent the transportation company from charging more after the goods have been shipped; secondly, if there is something too outrageous in the middle, he will negotiate with the buyer again and ask to change the transportation company or ask the buyer to bear certain charges project.

03. Cooperate well with the transportation company

The cargo mainly saves freight, and it is very important to understand the operation process of the transportation company. If they arrange according to the requirements of the shipper, the two parties cooperate tacitly, not only can save some unnecessary expenses, but also can make the goods shipped as soon as possible. So, what aspects do these requirements refer to?

First, it is hoped that the consignor can book the space in advance and prepare the goods in time. Don't rush to place an order one or two days before the cut-off date of the shipping schedule, and notify the transportation company after delivering the goods to the warehouse or dock by yourself. Sophisticated shippers know their operating procedures and generally don't. He introduced that the general liner schedule is once a week, and the owner of the cargo should book the space in advance and enter the warehouse according to the time arranged by the transportation company. It is not good to deliver the goods too early or too late. Because the cut-off date of the previous ship is not in time, if it is postponed to the next ship, there will be an overdue storage fee.

Second, whether the customs declaration is smooth or not is directly related to the cost issue. This is especially evident at the Shenzhen port. For example, if the goods are shipped to Hong Kong via a land port such as Man Kam To or Huanggang Port to catch the second shipping schedule, if the customs clearance is not passed on the day of customs declaration, the truck towing company alone will charge 3,000 Hong Kong dollars. If the trailer is the deadline for catching the second ship from Hong Kong, and if it fails to catch up with the shipping schedule due to the delay in customs declaration, then the overdue storage fee at the Hong Kong terminal will be quite large if it is sent to the wharf the next day to catch the next ship. number.

Third, the customs declaration documents must be changed after the actual packing situation changes. Each customs has a routine inspection of the goods. If the customs finds that the actual quantity is inconsistent with the declared quantity, it will detain the goods for investigation. Not only will there be inspection fees and dock storage fees, but the fines imposed by the customs will definitely make you feel sad for a long time.

04. Correctly choose the shipping company and freight forwarder

Now all the world's famous shipping companies have landed in China, and all major ports have their offices. Of course, there are many advantages to doing business with these shipowners: their strength is strong, their service is excellent, and their operations are standardized.However, if you are not a big cargo owner and cannot get preferential freight rates from them, you might as well find some medium-sized ship owners or freight forwarders

For small and medium cargo owners, the price of large ship owners is indeed too expensive. Although the quotation is lower for a freight forwarder that is too small, it is difficult to guarantee the service because of its insufficient strength. In addition, there are not many offices in the mainland of the big shipping company, so he chose some medium-sized freight forwarders. First, the price is reasonable, and second, the cooperation is more tacit after long-term cooperation.

After cooperating with these medium forwarders for a long time, you can get very low freight. Some freight forwarders will even truthfully inform the base price, plus a little profit, as the selling price to the shipper. In the shipping market, different shipping companies or freight forwarders have their own advantages on different routes. Find a company that has an advantage in operating a certain route, not only will the shipping schedule be closer, but their freight rates are generally the cheapest in the market.

Therefore, it is recommended that you classify according to your own export market. For example, the goods exported to the United States are handed over to one company, and the goods exported to Europe are handed over to another company. To do this, you need to have a certain understanding of the shipping market.

05. Learn to bargain with shipping companies

No matter the quotation presented by the shipping company or the freight forwarder's business personnel when soliciting goods is only the highest freight rate of the company, how much discount you can get on the freight rate depends on your ability to bargain.


Generally speaking, before accepting a company's freight rate, you can inquire with several companies to understand the basic market conditions. The discount that can be obtained from the freight forwarder is generally about 50 US dollars. From the bill of lading issued by the freight forwarder, we can know which company he finally settled with. Next time, he will find that company directly and get the direct freight rate.

The skills of bargaining with the shipping company include:

1. If you are really a big customer, you can directly sign a contract with him and apply for preferential freight rates.

2. Find out the different freight rates obtained by declaring different cargo names. Most shipping companies charge separately for the goods. Some goods can have different classification methods. For example, citric acid can be reported as a food, because it is a raw material for making beverages, and it can also be reported as a chemical raw material. The freight rate difference between these two types of goods can be as much as 200 US dollars.

3. If you are not in a hurry, you can choose a slow ship or a non-direct ship. Of course, this must be under the premise of not affecting the arrival on time. The freight price in the sea freight market changes from time to time, it is best to have some information in this regard yourself. Few salesmen will take the initiative to inform you of the freight reduction. Of course, they won't fail to tell you when shipping costs go up. In addition, among the business personnel you are familiar with, you should also pay attention to the "familiarity" of the other party in terms of freight rates.

06. Skills for handling LCL goods

The transportation procedure of LCL is much more complicated than that of FCL, and the freight is relatively flexible. There are many shipping companies that do FCL, and the price will be relatively transparent in the shipping market. Of course, LCL also has an open market price, but the additional charges of various transportation companies vary greatly, so the freight price on the price list of the transportation company will only be part of the final charge.


The correct thing is, first of all, confirm all the items charged in writing to see if their quotation is a lump-sum price, so as to prevent the carrier from taking action afterwards. Secondly, it is to calculate the weight and size of the goods clearly to prevent them from tampering with it.

Although some transportation companies offer lower prices, they often increase the price in disguise by exaggerating the weight or size charges. Thirdly, it is to find a company that specializes in LCL. This kind of company directly assembles containers, and the freight and surcharges they charge are much lower than those of intermediate companies.

No matter at any time, it is not easy to earn every penny. I hope everyone can save more on transportation and increase profits.

Post time: Jun-07-2023