Unplanned shipping expenses you should think about

Shipping internationally has become the norm. Since people move around, they want to send presents and items to their families and friends. In addition to this, if you are moving from Japan, for example, you might want to ship your furniture to your country. Running a business yet another reason for shipping internationally. For this reason, you should be familiar with shipping logistics. The best way to ship packages is to find a good shipping company. Each shipping company offers their services for a certain price. However, sometimes, you may encounter unplanned shipping expenses. Therefore, here are all the additional expenses to think about.  

Find a reliable shipping company 

How to avoid unplanned shipping expenses? Find reliable overseas shipping companies. There are several ways how you can find one for yourself.  

  • Ask your friends and family – this is the most reliable source that you can have. If your friends, family member, colleagues, business partners use a certain shipping company, you should hire that company as well. 
  • The Internet – as always, when the first option fails, turn to google. You can find many shipping companies in your country.  
  • Local newspapers – smaller companies advertise their services in local newspapers.  

If you are not using the first option, you should find at least three companies. Compare their prices and services. In addition to this, see what other people on the Internet think about those companies. Lastly, make sure to contact those companies as well. See if they are forthcoming with the information.  

two women reading on their phones about unplanned shipping expenses
You can find reliable shipping companies on the Internet

Unplanned shipping expenses – Incoterms 

People in the shipping industry are familiar with incoterms. However, an average user might have trouble understanding all the shipping terms. Simply put, the Incoterms are rules that define actions, costs, and risks of shipping goods. Incomers act as a contract where all the costs, risks, and details regarding the transport are explained. However, it is not an official contract, it accompanies the official document. There are several terms of Incoterms. 

Why is it important to understand Incoterms? Incoterms reduce the ambiguity that might happen in the world of trade. These terms define each point. When you are shipping internationally, your packages can pass through several foreign countries that speak a different language and have different rules. For this reason, having one paper that defines the path of your shipment from point A to point B prevents additional shipping costs 

Customs’ fees 

Again, if you are shipping internationally, for example from Japan to the United States, your package might stop by several countries. First of all, check with your shipping company about the content of your package. Can your package be classified as a forbidden or hazardous item? Make sure to check before shipping out your package. In addition to this, check if your quote includes the customs fees. Usually, it does not but it does not hurt to check. Also, check all the paperwork. The customs can be very strict with the paperwork. Most people get surprised when they receive their package with a note from the customs. You can get hit with customs fees. If you receive additional expenses, you can always contact the customs. For example, visit the official page of the Japanese customs if you are shipping to Japan.  

customs service checking bags
You may get fit with customs fees regardless of the contents

Unplanned shipping expenses – Detention/Demurrage & Palletizing 

Sometimes, your goods might end up at a destination port for too long. Usually, employees at the dock will put your items in a storage unit. As you might know, using storage units is not a free service. Just on the contrary, you will have to pay for storage fees. Each dock has its own rules for detention. Your items may stay for several days at the port for free. However, when that time passes, you need to pay for the fees. If this is your first time shipping, make sure to ask about demurrage. This is a quite common unplanned shipping cost many people do not take into account. In addition to this, palletize your goods. This way you will prevent possible damage or loss of your items. But, make sure to check if fees for palletizing your items are included.  

General Rate Increases, Insurance, & Documentation 

As you might know, timing is everything in life. Shipping logistics is no exception to the rule. For this reason, pay attention to general rate increases. When your shipment departs, rates might increase. This will affect your package as well. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, as about surcharges before the departure. Next, there is shipping insurance. Having insurance is important. If you are shipping valuable items, you need to have coverage. Anything can happen during the sea or air freight. Sometimes, items get lost or damaged. It is not a pleasant feeling to receive an expensive item in a horrible condition and you cannot do anything about it. Therefore, get insurance as shipping companies only offer a basic one that covers almost nothing. Lastly, make sure to have all the necessary documents and permissions. A little heads up – you will need a lot of papers. 

person holding papers
You will receive many documents regarding your shipment

Unplanned shipping expenses by understanding the shipping logistics 

You do not have to be an expert in logistics to ship your items when necessary. However, understanding the basics is important. As you can see, you should find a good shipping company. Make sure to understand all the terms and conditions of your shipping contract. Then, watch out for restricted items. They will most certainly cause trouble. In addition to this, understand all the shipping taxes, tariffs, and duties and rights as a customer. Then, you need to know about country-specific regulations and requirements. You can find these pieces of information on the official websites of the customs, or even on the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Lastly, ask about your shipping costs and possible additional fees.

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