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Common International Freight Shipping Mistakes to Avoid

If you've never prepared a freight shipment in the past, or worked with an air or ocean freight forwarding service in the past, chances are the entire process can be very confusing and overwhelming. You've done your best to properly pack and prepare the shipment, and feel confident that it will arrive at its destination without any issue.
Unfortunately, there are several common mistakes that first-time international shippers make, and it can drastically impact the arrival time of your product. Here are a few of those mistakes you need to avoid.

Improperly Packing the Shipment

As a shipper, one of your biggest concerns is ensuring your merchandise arrives at its location with minimal or no damage. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes many international shippers make is also one of the costliest: improperly packaging their merchandise.
It is critical to take the time and spend the money to ensure your package arrives in one piece. Here are a few tips to help you properly package your shipment before it is placed on a cargo ship or plane:
  • Use sturdy cardboard boxes. Corrugated or heavy-duty boxes are the best option, if you're shipping heavy objects. If you're reusing old boxes, make sure there is no damage.
  • Correctly package perishable items. If you're shipping perishable items, it is important to package them inside leak-proof bags or boxes.
  • Don't forget inner packaging. One of the best ways to prevent shipping-related damage is to fill any empty space in the boxes with inner packaging materials, including bubble wrap or foam peanuts.
  • Only use permanent marker. When labeling the boxes, never use anything besides permanent marker.
It is vital that once you have all the boxes packed, you label them clearly and with the correct address. Many shippers make this common mistake, and it can have a dramatic impact on the timeliness of your shipment.
Finish the process by carefully stack them on pallets, and wrap the pallets and boxes with shrink-wrap. This will keep the boxes secure, and protect them from inclement weather.

Foregoing Insurance

In order to save on costs, you may be considering foregoing freight insurance. This is a horrible mistake because if the merchandise is lost or damage during the trip, you will be liable for the costs. Freight forwarding companies provide you with limited liability insurance. However, there are several outside insurance companies that will offer additional freight insurance, depending on your needs.
For example, if you are shipping your merchandise by sea, there are several inherent dangers that can seriously damage your freight. This includes water damage, sinking, theft, and even piracy. Shipping your cargo by air also places the merchandise to several different perils, such as unexpected weather.
Don't hesitate to look into a variety of different insurance providers until you can find a price that fits your budget.

Not Shopping Around for the Best Freight Forwarding Provider

Finally, because this is your first experience with freight forwarding, chances are you are looking for a variety of ways to save money, and find a service that is reliable. One of your first resources might be other individuals in your industry. However, before you utilize a freight forwarding service simply because it was recommended by a peer, it's important to do your homework to find a provider that will work for your unique needs.
Shipping a large order by sea or air with the help of a freight forwarding service for the first time can be tricky, and a little confusing. If you have any additional questions about the process of shipping freight overseas, including how to properly pack your boxes, the paperwork involved, or purchasing additional freight insurance, don't hesitate to contact the professionals at Dolphin Brokerage International.