Securing the best pricing with freight forwarders involved comparing available prices between multiple forwarders and knowing the size of your moving freight.
As with most purchases: the more options you have to buy, the better.
Competition between forwarders prevents any one company from jacking up rates or including unnecessary charges. But some larger forwarders that can leverage their size and reserve larger areas on container ships can then offer lower rates.
Within your business, you can try to combine your shipments to full container load (FCL) shipping, which is typically less expensive than less than container load (LCL) shipping. FCL comes in 4 main sizes: 20 FT, 40 FT, 40 FT High Cube, and 45 FT High Cube. Being able to consolidate your shipments to FCL allows for cheaper rates from forwarders.
Visibility into the timing of your shipments can give freight forwarders the time to organize and consolidate their deliveries, and reserve room on the container ships. Careful and effective planning can create better visibility and give forwarders the flexibility to offer competitive rates. On the other hand, last minute or unplanned shipments may cause more expensive choices such as air shipments or rushed deliveries. While this may be unavoidable at times, it is best practice to arrange deliveries strategically when possible.
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