Tips to save costs when shipping from China to USA


Due to the outbreak of epidemic, freight forwarding industry is also affected greatly, especially for the route from China to the United States. At present, China’s foreign trade is facing an increasingly serious “container shortage”. Under the recovery of foreign trade, Chinese cargo ships have been shipped fully, but only a few containers back to seaports. According to the China Container Industry Association, only one container for every three it exports returns in China ports. The shortage of domestic containers is so severe that many foreign trade factories have begun to limit their own production. However, a large number of empty containers are piling up overseas, which causes ports to be blocked.

As production and consumption takes the lead in recovering, the global demand for new containers rises rapidly, and the price of new containers rises due to capacity supply constraints. Container rates continue to soar to levels well above long-term sustainable levels. The world’s top three container equipment leasing companies, Textainer said the supply and demand of containers will not return to balance until mid-February in 2021, and container shortage will last until after the 2021 Chinese New Year. Shipping analysts company, Sea-Intelligence also said the shortage of container equipment will continue until January. Thus, in this severe case, shipping from China to USA could be a more tough task. Here, to those who tend to ship cargoes, especially when New Year’s Day is approaching, it is suggested that you’d better make a early decision and arrange booking in advance.

Facing with the high cost of using a container, then how to save cost becomes an important skill when you plan to ship items by sea. It is undeniable that understanding the shipping market and knowing how to deal with shipping companies can indeed save a lot of costs for you who want to go by sea. But the importance of your own preparatory work should not be ignored. The fully preparations and cooperation done by you are also very important. So with the more and more transparent sea freight prices, how to save the cost from the transport link is an important issue when selecting sea freight from China to USA. Therefore, here we will introduce a few ways and skills to save sea shipping expenses, for the majority of sea freight owners to solve the difficulties.

Choose a good shipping company or freight forwarding company:

At present, many world’s major well-known shipping companies have landed in China and set up their offices in major ports. There are certainly many advantages to doing business with these shipowners: their strength is strong, their service is good, and their operation is well regulated. However, if you are not a large cargo owner, actually you cannot get preferential rates from them. It is better for you to find some freight forwarders networks. First, their price is reasonable. Second, after long-term cooperation, the cooperation between you is more tacit.

Learn to bargain with shipping company or freight forwarding company:

No matter shipping company or the business personnel of freight agent, the quotation sheet they show is always the highest freight price. And the lowest quote you can get depends on the ability that you haggle price. Some skills to haggle price are introduced as below. Hope you can learn some essential from them.

  1. If you are really a big customer, you can directly sign a contract with shipping company or freight forwarding agent, and apply for preferential rates.
  2. Make clear the different freight rates obtained by declaring different goods names. Most shipping companies charge separate rates for goods. Some of your items may be sorted in different ways.
  3. If you do not catch the shipping date, you can choose slow or non-direct ship. Of course, there is a premise that it does not affect the arrival on time. Freight prices in shipping market is changeable, you had better master some of this information. Few salesmen will take the initiative to inform you of the reduction of freight. Of course, they won’t let you know when shipping costs go up.

Implement clever packaging design:

Provided, it is not economical to pack your goods after calculating the quantity of goods, then please make a suggestion with freight forwarding agent that if they can change the quantity of goods. For example, place two orders and put them together by FCL; or cut down the excess quantity and ship it next time. In this case, the savings can be considerable. Therefore, before shipment, you should require the freight forwarding company to carry out scientific calculation on the packaging of your goods. The specific practice is to design the packaging according to the volume of the container and the order quantity. Then according to the container size, design carton size, research out a best packing scheme, make the container to achieve an ideal state. However, this way will cause many troubles to freight forwarding company. So hope you are lucky to find a reliable and patient partner.

Good coordination with freight forwarding agent:

If you want to save money on sea freight from China to USA, it is important for you to understand the freight forwarding company’s procedures. So what are the specific requirements?

  1. You can do advance booking and prepare goods in time. Those experienced shippers generally will understand the operation procedures of their cooperative freight forwarding companies. Then getting into the warehouse according to their arranged time so that the delivery will not be too early or too late. Because if you couldn’t make it into the deadline of the last ship, your cargo will be delayed to the next ship and there will be overdue storage costs.
  2. Whether the process of customs clearance is smooth or not directly plays an important role in the cost, which is extremely evident at the Shenzhen port. Each shipper who wants to ship by sea should carefully check whether the customs declaration documents are complete and correct, and then discuss with freight forwarding agent you cooperate about the shipment of the goods. Generally speaking, almost each freight forwarding agents provide custom clearance service. They will tell you what you should do.
  3. If the actual packing situation change, then the declaration documents should also be changed. Every customs office conducts a routine inspection of goods. If customs officers find that there is some differences between the actual quantity and declaration quantity, then your cargoes will be detained for investigation. This will not only produce the inspection fee, but also wharf storage costs. The customs fines will certainly make you heartache for a long time. Especially it is another peak period in the New Year’s Day, it must be more cautious and careful to go through customs.

Although these are some details before shipment, if you do not pay more attention to them, on the one hand, it will cause more unnecessary expenses to you. On the other hand, the resulting delay in shipping will bring more troubles to you.

To handle LCL with skill:

Compared to FCL, LCL cargo transport procedures is much more complex and the freight is relatively changeable. The transport company that does whole container is much and its price will be relatively transparent in shipping market. Of course there are open market rates for LCL shipments, but additional charges vary widely from carrier to carrier. So the rates listed on the shipping company’s list will only be a part of the final rate.

Although some transportation companies offer a lower price, they often exaggerate the weight or size of the cargoes in order to get a high quote. Generally speaking, it is very necessary to make a careful calculation in the transportation link.

As the New Year’s Day is approaching, in order to ease pressure of container shortage for shipping from China to USA, Ningbo Municipal Government also carries out some measures.

  1. Increasing ship-route capacity Encourage, guide ship company to increase Ningbo port’s directional route, transport capacity supply, and peed up efficiency of ship turnover, especially ensuring the transport capacity supply of key routes such as the eastern and western United States and the European Mediterranean.
  2. Ensuring empty container supply Encourage and guide shipping companies to make full use of empty containers and pay attention to the flow direction of import and export goods.
  3. Maintaining stable posts and retaining workers The territorial governments, industry competent departments, industry associations should take the initiative to do a good job to make stable posts for drivers who work for container enterprises or work in ports during the Spring Festival this year to ensure the smooth cross-border logistics.

Actually except for the Ningbo port, a lot of measures are taken to release the port stress in other ports in China. However, don’t be careless. In this peak period, doing what you should do in advance is a key point to your successful shipment.

If you are hesitated about which freight forwarding company you should hire, then please think about China Freight, which mainly engages in global air transport business, sea transport business, set warehousing packaging, logistics distribution of bulk groceries. After years of development, China Freight has expanded its logistics services throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world. 

Since its establishment, China Freight has always adhered to the purpose of standardized management and humanized service, in line with the purpose of “integrity is gold, service is supreme”, and with “first-class equipment, first-class management, first-class service” as its goal.

China Freight also has been expanding its customer service network to provide customers with goods circulation, packaging, freight storage and other quality services. In order to meet the needs of yours, telephone or internet consultation can accurately help you grasp the business opportunities at any time. Experienced and skilled freight forwarding team, professional service attitude, whether it is small package or large transport, will make sure that your shipment can be quickly and safely arrived.

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