Tips on Shipping Items by Ocean Freight

If you are planning on shipping merchandise or personal items for an overseas move there are a couple of options to choose from. Air and shipping are the only real two choices as trucking and rail are only possible if it is not necessary to cross a body of water. When deciding which to pick it is important to remember the most cost-effective mode of transporting to an overseas market or home base is by ocean freight. However, there are some drawbacks.

Shipping goods across the ocean by boat takes a lot longer but if time is not important it is your best choice. There are some things to know before preparing your goods for international travel, like logistic on the other end. Companies offering transloading may be a good bet when it comes to retrieval at the other end, as they can help make it more manageable and easier once your items arrive at the port. Here are some things to do when shipping by boat.

  • Prepare for Strain on Goods 

Making sure your goods are well packed should help lessen any wear and tear on your shipment. Your items may be moved around quite a bit so do your diligence when packaging and packing the shipment so there is minimal or no damage. If there are any fragile pieces put them in with the right cushioning and ensure they are clearly marked as fragile. This way those who are handling your freight will know to be more careful when shifting it around.

  • Protect Against Moisture 

Dampness and condensation can be a problem as it often develops in the hold of the ship or if foreign ports lack properly covered storage facilities. Moisture in your containers is never ideal and can cause serious damage to the merchandise or personal items you are shipping. There are things to do to counteract this such as choosing a filler that is moisture resistant as well as ensuring the containers you choose are of good quality and also seal properly.

  • Avoid Theft 

One of the risks of shipping goods and other items long distances is there are times when security is not as tight as it should be. With your goods so far from home and passing through so many hands there is always the chance of it getting pilfered and you losing some of your things in the process. It is never good to write the contents of the packages on the outside of the containers. Also consider adding straps or getting it shrink-wrapped to keep the contents safe.

  • Minimize Weight and Volume 

As shipping costs are typically calculated on both the weight and volume of what you are shipping it is a choice to buy containers specifically designed for ocean freight exporting. They are reinforced, lightweight and can help to cut costs in the long run. Ensure your product is tightly packed to keep the size down and be sure to choose packing materials that do not add much bulk or weight to what you are shipping.

  • Educate Yourself on Taxes and Tariffs 

It is advisable to spend time doing research and educating yourself on all of the taxes and tariffs your shipment might be subjected to. Depending on where you are sending it and what you are shipping there will be different guidelines you need to adhere to. Knowing which customs forms you must fill out is very important so your cargo does not get held up anywhere in the shipment process. Also be aware of the tax and tariff costs so you aren’t surprised later.

  • Be an Expert Packer 

The packaging is a very important part of shipping items overseas and becoming an expert in this is key to successfully getting your cargo from one port to another and beyond. Research the best containers and packing materials to maximize volume and weight restrictions keeping them both to a minimum. This also helps to ensure nothing gets damaged in transit so you get your merchandise or belongings in one piece on the other side.

  • Prepare for Port Arrival 

For some packages ocean freight shipping is only a part of the journey. If the product or your personal items are continuing on in another mode of transport such as truck or train it is vital that there is a plan for the other end. Some companies can help with transloading while others will offer storage until you are able to pick it up.

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