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- by Miranda
Handling freight shipping sometimes can be rocket science. Some business owners may be presented with difficulties when engaging in transporting their cargo. What comes top of the list is affordability.
How to control the costs then? If you are going to march into wider markets, you are sure to deal with freight rates. However, it is worth noting that the total rates are in constant flux because of daily fluctuations, the volume of cargo, sail date, shipping route, and more. In order to plan a better shipment and get the best possible rates, you need to request for freight quotes prior to booking.
As a customer, you can make an inquiry with your freight forwarder to get a quote. In this article, we will elaborate on essential information required in the inquiry and walk you through how to ask for freight quotes.
- 1. What Is a Freight Inquiry?
- 2. What Are the Benefits of an Accurate Inquiry?
- 2.1 To Free up Time for Both Parties
- 2.2 To Reduce Risks in Freight Shipping
- 3. What is the Required Information?
- 4. How to Ask for Freight Quotes with Seabay?
- 5. Additional Information for an Inquiry
- 6. What if Your Information is Incomplete?
- 7. Conclusions
1. What Is a Freight Inquiry?
Be it an importer or an exporter, anyone with shipping needs can reach out to freight forwarders to send a freight inquiry. The customer provides detailed information, so freight forwarders are able to offer quotes.
Freight quotes or freight quotations refer to estimated charges generated in the shipping process. It is measured based on the information provided by the customer.
Please remember that incomplete or incorrect information can lead to unnecessary bills or even economic losses. Ensuring an accurate inquiry is the first step towards a time-efficient and cost-effective shipping experience.
2. What Are the Benefits of an Accurate Inquiry?
2.1 To Free up Time for Both Parties
Unclear and inadequate information offered by customers will spell troubles such as poor communication. Freight forwarders can hardly know your demands unless you clarify. Besides, the time difference is another factor that plays a role in inefficiency. To avoid talking past each other and communicating back and forth, customers should provide accurate shipment details in advance.
2.2 To Reduce Risks in Freight Shipping
Specific requirements by customers should also be presented to freight forwarders. Every stage in the carriage of goods needs to be taken with good care. Every blunder in the handling of cargo can bring along substantial losses. That is why customers need to expound their basic demands and special requirements.
Are there special-care items? Do you need specialized shipping services? Is there a fixed deadline? Does the destination have extra requirements? If yes, you should talk to your freight forwarder. Your efforts in sending an accurate inquiry will turn the voyage simple, easy, and safe.
3. What is the Required Information?
Please offer the following information so your freight forwarder can provide a detailed and best possible quote.
- ● Official Cargo Description
- ● HS Code
- ● Cargo Insurance
- ● Container Type
- ● Shipment Weight
- ● Shipment Volume (Height*Width*Length)
- ● Shipment Value
- ● Shipment Ready Date
- ● Shipment Delivery Date
- ● Mode of Transport e.g. FCL/LCL (when making an ocean freight quote)
- ● Incoterm
Additionally, if you have a preferred route, a preferred paying method, and a Customs clearance request, make sure you will negotiate with your freight forwarder and go through all the details.
4. How to Ask for Freight Quotes with Seabay
You can get instant freight quotes via the Request for Quotes page of Seabay. At Seabay Logistics, we propose professional and reliable logistics solutions, including offering the best possible rates for you.
Taking sea freight shipping for example, there are two modes of freight methods in sea transportation: LCL and FCL. We have covered the differences between FCL and LCL in our FCL&LCL guide. Check it out and ensure you opt for the best-suited one for growing your business. And now, we will show you what you need to fill in when going with FLC/LCL.
4.1 What Information is Needed When Opting for FCL/LCL?
● Click to choose the Full Container Load option or the Less than Container Load option, depending on your actual needs.
● If you opt for FCL, then you have to decide how many containers you will use. In the Container Type & Quantity field, set the number of containers.
● Origin and Destination are essential. You need to decide which one out of the four delivery options you will go with. And then fill in relative information in text fields: pickup address/delivery address/city's name or port's name/destination country. Heads-up, you can select the Cargo Origin from the drop-down menu.
● Detailed cargo information is also required. Commodity Name is a must. Shipment Volume/Weight/quantity is optional. Don't forget you can select the Cargo Ready Date from the calendar.
● Any necessary attachments can be uploaded by clicking on the field.
● If you have other specific requirements, you can type them in.
● The last step is leaving your contact details. Fill in the text boxes so you can send an inquiry and start your quote.
● What your cargo is can determine whether the shipment booking will work out, so use patience when providing commodity description.
● The maximum loading capacity of containers calls for enough attention. Shipping companies have the right to refuse cargo exceeding the maximum allowable weight. It is really advisable to inform your freight forwarder of the shipment volume in advance.
● Freight-rate gyrations are inevitable. So figure out the Cargo Ready Date, and your freight forwarder can approach an accurate quote.
● LCL consignments require some extra considerations because a unit measure, Revenue Ton (R/T), is sometimes applied in the freight rates. R/T needs to be converted from volume. That is why Shipment Volume should not be left out.
4.2 What About Air Freight?
Information required in air freight quotes is quite similar:
- ● Commodity Name
- ● Airport of Departure
- ● Airport of Destination
- ● Gross Weight
- ● Shipment Volume
- ● Packaging
- ● Cargo Ready Date
● Gross weight and volume of air freight shipments play a big role in the quotes. The actual weight and volume weight will balance out for air freight, and whichever is higher will be taken as the chargeable weight. In order to get an efficient air freight quote, you'd better keep your freight forwarder informed of the weight and volume of your cargo.
4.3 And International Express Delivery?
You can also get international shipping quotes for forwarding documents and parcels with Seabay. Key information needed in the inquiry includes:
- ● Commodity Name
- ● Pickup Address
- ● Delivery Address and Zip Code
- ● Shipment Weight
- ● Shipment Volume
- ● Cargo Ready Date
● Express delivery is generally door-to-door. Sub-charges may be accumulated when there are remote locations. So the address has to be accurate and clear.
5. Additional Information for an Inquiry
● Special Documentation & Certifications
Special documentation or certifications may be the prerequisite for Customs clearance. Make sure you put it across to your freight forwarder when asking for quotes. For example, shipments from China to Saudi will be unable to navigate the clearance procedures unless there is an invoice certified by the Saudi Embassy in China and a Certificate of Origin issued by CCPIT. By stating what paperwork needs to be done in advance, you will be aware of charges that may apply to your shipment. Your cargo is more likely to have a hassle-free journey.
● Shipping Route
Let your freight forwarder know if you have any preferred shipping route in mind. A more accurate freight quote can be calculated.
● Your Budgets
Chances are that you are tight on budgets. It is encouraged to make that clear when sending an inquiry. Your freight forwarder can propose sensible budget deals, allowing you to choose one that best fits your demands.
6. What if Your Information is Incomplete?
It is not uncommon that you have to calculate the shipping costs even before placing an order. Then how do you cope with incomplete cargo information? You can get an estimated shipment volume and weight so your freight forwarder can offer an approximate freight quote. Of course, you can request a much more accurate one when you have access to all the information required.
The complexity of freight shipping favors those who use care and caution. When there are multiple factors having bearing on freight quotes, detailed and correct information offered by you will move you closer to an accurate quote, thus helping rein in the shipping costs. At Seabay Logistics, we propose professional logistics solutions and simplify shipping internationally. You can get instant and accurate quotes with us via our official website. Besides, we can be found at Seabay on Alibaba.com, waiting for you with the most current freight quotes. An economical and satisfying cargo transportation is just one inquiry away.