OptimalShip's Helpful Shipping Tips

What to Look for (and Avoid) in a Freight Forwarder

Posted by K. Sterrett on May 30, 2019 11:42:00 AM

A freight forwarder's marketing strategy -- or lack of one -- can say a lot about how they will be to work with. As you select your freight forwarder, keep these do's and don'ts in mind.

If a freight forwarder falls in the "Don't" category, be careful. You'd likely be much better off with a different freight forwarder. If a freight forwarder falls in the "Do" category, they are likely a good choice. Here are our Marketing Do's and Don'ts for how to choose a freight forwarder, followed by an infographic reference with this information.

Do's: What You Should Look for in a Freight Forwarder 

Experience

It's easy to get into the freight forwarding business, but harder to do it right. 

Country Agents

Does the freight forwarder have connections in the country you're exporting/importing from?

Correct Services

Not all freight forwarders offer the same services. Does this one have everything you're looking for?

Good References

How are the reviews across the web? Do you know anyone who uses this freight forwarder? More references are better.

Responsive

Your freight forwarder should answer the phone, emails, and any correspondence in a really reasonable amount of time.

 

Don'ts: What You Should Avoid in a Freight Forwarder

No Website

No website is a no-go. Make sure your freight forwarder has a presence online.

No Phone Number

Some freight forwarders try to save money by not providing "live" customer service, or upcharging for it. The best do not.

Lack of Reviews

Are there just no reviews across the web? They could either be silenced by the company or too new to have any yet.

Dormancy

Does the freight forwarder have a consistent online presence, or do they come and go? Watch their website for up-to-date information, as well as their blog and social media accounts -- if they have them.

Unwilling to Help

Customer service isn't helpful when they don't know what they are doing or can't help you. They should go above and beyond to help you. Don't settle for less.

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Topics: Export Basics, International Shipping, Freight Forwarder

What Determines Shipping Costs?

Posted by K. Sterrett on May 18, 2019 11:03:17 AM

Shipping costs are determined by numerous complicated factors. We know you probably didn't want to hear that!

While some of the factors can be difficult to predict, with some proper guidance and research, shipping costs can be predicted within reason.

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Topics: Export Basics, International Shipping, Domestic Shipping, Import Basics, Exports

DHL's Hours During the Chinese New Year

Posted by L. Thompson on Feb 2, 2019 11:52:15 AM

 

If you ship to China regularly, you know well that the Chinese New Year impacts international shipping during the holiday. If you plan on shipping to China or Southeast Asia soon, here's what you need to know about the Chinese New Year, closures, and DHL's hours during the holiday. If you are new to shipping to China, here's some important information for you. And, whether or not you ship to China, I'll share a checklist for shipping during any holidays that impact countries you export from and to that you can keep on file.

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Topics: International Shipping, China, holidays

Tips for Shipping to India & a Few Costly Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by L. Thompson on Jan 18, 2019 6:39:46 PM

foreign nationals-4

Unfortunately, India's Customs will no longer accept revised shipping documents. All documents must be correct and included with each shipment. Furthermore, India's Customs will not allow that shipments be returned to the origin location. This certainly raises the bar on accuracy for shipments to India (and stress levels). This new change has already taken effect, so please read below so that you can avoid any problems with future shipments to India.

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Topics: International Shipping, KYC Documents, Shipping to India, Exports

Where Do I Find a Country's Import Requirements?

Posted by L. Thompson on Dec 4, 2018 7:11:00 AM
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Topics: International Shipping, Import Basics

Can I ship heavy or large shipments through DHL Express?

Posted by L. Thompson on Nov 30, 2018 7:15:00 AM

UPDATED: January 2019

DHL Express is the quickest way to ship internationally—1, 2, 3 business days (depending on destination) to nearly every location in the world. Express shipments are in constant motion from pickup to final delivery. For 95% of Express shipments, customs clearance is completed while the packages are in the air so that they are delivered the day they arrive at the destination.

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Topics: Export Basics, International Shipping

The 15 Tiniest Countries Where You Can Ship a Package with OptimalShip

Posted by L. Thompson on Nov 27, 2018 7:15:00 AM

 

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Topics: International Shipping, Fun Shipping History

What are the Benefits of Using OptimalShip?

Posted by L. Thompson on Nov 20, 2018 7:13:00 AM

So, you ask, why should I use OptimalShip for my international shipping?

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Topics: International Shipping, About OptimalShip

KYC Documents for Shipments to India

Posted by L. Thompson on Nov 16, 2018 5:14:42 PM

 

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Topics: Export Basics, International Shipping, KYC Documents, Shipping to India

Does my shipment include a "Dangerous Good"?

Posted by L. Thompson on Sep 25, 2018 11:38:41 AM

 

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Topics: International Shipping, Import Basics

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