Popular freight shipping questions and answers

Shipping things around the world can often be difficult and confusing. Sometimes there just seems like there are endless papers to fill up, and your questions might only keep piling up. Sometimes, you will be searching for the answer to all your freight shipping questions, and you will find none. Lucky for you, here at Kokusai Express Japan, we are well aware of this. We know just how valuable your time is, and how complicated the shipping process can be. This is why we have gathered a list of some of the most popular burning questions about freight forwarding. But that’s not the only thing we have for you! What kind of professional freight forwarders would we be if we also didn’t offer the answer to these!

How long will the shipping process last?

One of the most popular freight shipping questions is how long the whole process will last. Once people pay for their goods, it is only natural for them to know when they can expect the cargo. However, there are just so many things that influence this. It vastly depends on where you are shipping from and what your location is. Then, the shipment speed also depends on the various ports the ship needs to visit before yours. Also, the time will vary based on whether you are using air or sea freight.

A man looking at his watch.
When can you expect your shipping?

Then, the shipment speed also depends on the international freight forwarding company you are using, and what type of load it is. It’s not the same if you are shipping whole containers or if you have less than a container load (or LCL). However, on the average, shipping from China to the United States will approximately take two weeks when shipping by a boat. The thing is, this is only the time by which they will reach the port. Then, they need to be unloaded and pass through the customs before you can pick them up. You will wait some more time before the package is at your door.

Should I get the insurance?

All international movers Japan will highly recommend you use the insurance. However, this is only a superficial advice, and there are just so many things and details you should consider. First, we generally recommend it because it is somewhat similar to your car or home insurance. In case of anything bad happening to your package, you will have protection. If it gets damaged, goes missing or gets stolen, you will be reimbursed for all the damages the package suffered.

A padlock - the insurance is one of the most common freight shipping questions people ask.
Make sure your cargo is secure.

However, unlike the other types of insurance, there is something called a General Average when it comes to marine insurance. This situation happens when the cargo is voluntarily lost. For example, if there is a storm, in order to stabilize the ship, the workers might need to toss some things overboard. If this happens, then all cargo owners share the costs of reimbursement. In order to “fight” against this, you can look into the marine insurance that will cover the costs of general average. This way, you won’t have to pay for it if something similar happens.

Freight shipping questions about air and ocean

One of the freight shipping questions that we hear the most is whether you should use international air freight forwarders or does it pay off more to ship by the sea. There are many advantages and disadvantages to both of these options. Which one you pick depends mostly on your preferences.

A plane on the runway.
Air or ocean?

If you need your items quickly, you will probably want to go with air freight. The planes are fast and efficient, and you can get your item as fast as one day. However, there are reasons why not everyone is using airplanes. First, they are pretty expensive. This is one of the major drawbacks to this type of shipping. It is because of the price of the plane fuel, as well as the limited amount of space in the cabin. They are also fairly dangerous to the environment because they emit harmful gases.

On the other side, the sea freight forwarding is fairly cheap. However, you will need to keep in mind that freight shipments by sea take some time. The ship needs to visit every port on the way from the starting point to the destination. At every port, the cargo goes through unloading and cargo processes, which take extra time. Another disadvantage is that you might not be able to track your shipment well.

Should I go with FCL or LCL?

FCL and LCL are one of those freight forwarding term that you will need to learn more about. A lot of people have freight shipping questions about them, and in this part of the article, we will answer them all. First, FCL stands for full container load, while LCL is less than container load. What this tells the forwarders is how much cargo there is in a container on the ship.

If you have larger shipments, then you will want to go with full container load. This will help you in reducing the cost of the shipping. Another benefit of going FCL is that there will be less risk of handling damage, and you will also receive your cargo faster than when going with LCL.

On the other hand, if you have less than 15 cubic meters of cargo, then we suggest you go with less than a container load. This will be cheaper for you because you will not need to pay for the full container for the cargo. Both professional air freight forwarder and ocean freight forwarders can help you decide which one you should go with. They can also help answer all your burning freight shipping questions. This is why it’s important to work with them thoroughly when shipping items overseas.

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