There’s a world of difference when looking at shipping domestically, versus looking at shipping internationally.
Even the domestic truckload and less than truckload market can be complex and volatile, throw in the rigors of trying to move goods to another country and there’s a whole extra list of complications.
Just spend 5 minutes trying to figure out how to rate the simplest ocean cargo shipment and you’ll begin to understand why. Ocean shipping rates are among the most volatile in the industry. According to data from Xeneta, the world’s largest database of contracted ocean freight rates; 40 foot container spot rates on the Asia to North Europe corridor spiked upwards of 99% from April 1st to May 1st this year – one month; completely contrary to the trend that has occurred for the months before April where long-term contract rates were down 20%.
Since ocean rates and surcharges are tariffed based, small and medium sized shippers don’t tend to have the amount of buying power, or the opportunity to benefit from positive market trends that otherwise allows larger logistics companies to negotiate better rates and conditions for shippers. And ocean freight is just one example of why international logistics works best with a partner. Here are a few others to consider:
International shipping often requires multiple modes of transportation.
A logistics partner understands and has experience with these routing options, which will optimize shipping cost, transit time, will positively effect inventory, and on-time delivery performance too.
Since international shipments cross the borders of multiple countries, shipments are accompanied by various forms and documents. Experience will prepare and plan ahead; navigating through the maze of international laws and regulations making sure that shipments are not held or delayed in customs and the right amount duties are paid – no more, no less.
Not only the negotiation of competitive freight rates, the selection of best routing options and experience with paperwork, but also technology systems that are used by logistics companies, help shippers with automation and control of workflows, optimization and visibility in logistics programs, and compliance with rules and regulations.
Clearly, there are a number of obstacles to overcome when shipping internationally. For many shippers, the key to overcoming and getting ahead of the competition is to have the right partner. Working with an experienced logistics provider can take the headache and hassle out of international shipping, offering the best customer experience.