If you're looking for the best international shipping companies, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before making a decision.
We have some exciting news to remind you about: Optimal Ship supports Online Bill Pay! Our Online Bill Pay is a secure and simple to use bill pay system that affords you peace of mind. Here are some of benefits of using Optimal Ship’s Online Bill Pay:
DHL introduced an Emergency Situation Surcharge (ESS) back in April of 2020. Today they have announced new changes that will be effective as of May 24th, 2020.
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
It's easy to get into the freight forwarding business, but harder to do it right.
Does the freight forwarder have connections in the country you're exporting/importing from?
Not all freight forwarders offer the same services. Does this one have everything you're looking for?
How are the reviews across the web? Do you know anyone who uses this freight forwarder? More references are better.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.