8 tips to make shipping from China easier PART II

Choose the right Incoterms® rules – it will help you handle risks, liability & cost easily

Selecting the right Incoterms®rules is essential in providing the best freight forwarding solutions. International commercial terms (Incoterms®) are widely used in the global freight network.

It comprises of a set of rules that clearly define and stipulate the responsibilities of the consignor and consignee.

The Incoterms® specify the risks borne by both the importers and exporters in the shipping procedure.

Expert freight forwarders have got vast knowledge and understanding of the proper Incoterms® for the clients.  Therefore, keeping in touch with a reliable freight forwarder would ensure that you incorporate a useful Incoterms®.

Incoterms® can be applied to all modes of transport – air, sea, road or rail. Simply choose the right Incoterms® since they will help you to:

  • Understand the obligations of buyer and seller like who organises carriage or insurance of the
  • goods or who obtains shipping documents and export or import licences;
  • Understand where the risk passes from the seller to the buyer; and
  • Understand which party is responsible for which costs

There are 11 Incoterms® rules for you to choose from in the latest Incoterms® 2020 version (and also the previous Incoterms® 2020 version) . Your chosen freight forwarder should have vast experience and expertise to guide you in selecting the right Incoterms® for your needs. 

Consolidate your shipments 

Let’s kick off from the basics.

Consolidated shipping means combining various consignments from varied suppliers into a single full container shipment.

Delivery of the total full container can then reach an agent in the country of destination.

On arrival at the destination port, the FCL should then be deconsolidated by the agent into its specific respective original cargo components.

It’s at this point that the various consignees now pick up their cargo.

Most shippers prefer consolidation since it affords them the opportunity of attaining reasonable shipping.

Why you should let experts consolidate a cargo?

  • It’s cost-effective.
  • It minimizes risks of damages to the cargo
  • Enhanced supervision and standard quality control

As you can see, you have every reason to let agent like NLINE consolidate your cargo.

Build long-term relationship with Chinese freight forwarders, suppliers & carriers

Many importers have got varying degrees of relationship with their shipping partners. From poor to excellent.

Once you acquire a reliable partner, it’s prudent that you maintain a professional and healthy contact amongst yourselves. The critical benefit lies in the fact that your transactions shall be prompt and cost-effective.

The rapport created would make your partners very willing to follow up and assist you whenever necessary.

Remember that sourcing for reliable and honest partners is quite a considerable task.

So how do you ensure that you maintain or even create such a long-lasting relationship between you and your partners?

Below are quick techniques to set things right.

Define your expectations and roles.

Duly plan for any emergency

Try to be in personal touch with each other

Few compliments and congratulatory messages

Remember, for Chinese freight forwarder and even shipping companies, long-term relationship matter a lot. You’ll most likely get better deals.

Ship during off-peak and avoid short notice shipping – it’s expensive

International freight shipping has got some few challenges. Occasionally, throughout the year it experiences some little issues commonly known as peak seasons.

The two main peak seasons are:

  • Mid – August through Mid – October
  • January – February Chinese New year

Throughout this period, the demand hikes, supply declines, containers become scarce,and hence the prices soar up.

This duration is much hectic for importers to meet their market demands.

The peak season is caused by back to school duration, the Black Friday allowance together with Cyber Monday.

In avoiding delays, it is advisable to do your business during the off-peak. You may as well place an advance shipping notice to your partners.

However, when trapped in the peak seasons due to unavoidable circumstances, here are a few tips to beat up the higher freight prices.

  • Make it clear to your shipping partners, which shipments are highly urgent and prioritized. This way your freight forwarders may find and plan before securing a space for your shipping. Furthermore, the highly demanded goods will reach the market in time.
  • If possible split your shipments so that you only transport the quantity that is possible enough to fit and handle during the time.
  • Ensure that your cargo is fully insured to avoid any loss due to damages. Remember, during the peak seasons there is much of cargo handling which may lead to severe losses.
  • Now, it’s time to bond with your trusted and loyal forwarders. You can rely on your partners to guide and direct you accordingly. That’s why the relationship between you and your forwarder need not be casual.
  • If caught up, you may choose to secure a space in slower carriers. The peak season is favorite for everyone trying to fight for the faster carriers.
  • Also following and tracking freight indexes will help.

What’s interesting is that the difference between the faster and slower ones isn’t much significant if you are a bit patient. Most likely it would be a difference of five to seven days.

What’s more, the slower freight carriers aren’t in demand at this time. An advantage is that they would cautiously handle your cargo with the aim of creating customer satisfaction to lure you back into their services.