Here are 5 strategies that you can adopt..
Another incentive you can offer the carrier in exchange for the best rate is to sign something like a volume based service contract whereby you commit a certain volume within a fixed period of time to the carrier who in turn will be able to give you a better rate compared to your competition..
Be open and upfront with the carriers that you use and describe the full scope of services to them so that they can be upfront with you and advise all the applicable charges so there are no surprises later to you, your shipper or their consignee..
But for your own benefit do remember Shopping around ≠ Horse-trading.. There is a big difference between the two and if you start Horse-trading then better be ready to face the consequences such as shipping lines going out of business and taking your cargo with it..
Check and ensure that the freight rate that you receive from the carrier and the quote to your client is comprehensive and has all the required charges as per the terms of contract – Door to Door, Port to Port etc and covers all areas..Although every client may have a preferred Carrier that they would like to use, it is prudent to shop around with a couple of carriers in order to ascertain that you are being given the best rate by your preferred carrier..
Whichever the route, always select the quickest routing (lesser transhipment ports) and transit time as that is one of the main items that your customer would be looking for and as their agent, expect you to take care of (unless otherwise they require a longer transit)..While getting the best possible freight rate is important, I am yet to come across many customers that would compromise getting their cargo to the destination on time and in good condition in favour of cheaper rates..
Depending on the country, destination, cargo, type of container, volume etc, there are several other strategies that you can follow in order to secure the best ocean freight rate from the best suited carrier, but above are the 5 key strategies that will eventually pay off for you..
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