In this series, we go through the most frequently asked questions or issues that are of concern to our customers. In this blog post, Natalia, our Business Development Manager, goes through a few topics that are frequently asked, such as the pricing of shipments, booking shipments, and what to expect at destination.
Pricing of shipments
There are two main variables that conditions the pricing of shipments:
The weight of the shipment refers to the actual weight in kg's, whereas the volume of the shipment refers to the dimensions of the cargo. The relationship between these two is the density, which is the number one factor that determines the pricing of shipments.
For example, in sea freight, there is usually more space available, so weight doesn’t affect the pricing as much as the volume, unless the cargo is highly dense. Therefore, for shippers dealing with sea freight, you may deal more in volume, rather than actual weight. On the other hand, air freight is the opposite, in that it is cheaper to transport light, small sized items, and so you usually will deal with kg's when requesting for a quote for air freight.
When booking a shipment with Whale, we need both the weight and volume of the cargo to determine the most accurate quote. This is where density comes into play, and most of the time your quote will be determined based on the level of balance between the weight and volume of shipment.
Your rates can also be affected by the type of commodity. Some countries and trade lanes are sensitive to the nature of the goods or commodity type. Rates vary according to the commodity type because each shipping line will have their own preference on certain types of commodity.
When booking shipments with Whale, our Customer Success Managers also require two other pieces of information are also crucial for smooth sailing:
- Packing Declaration (relates to nature of the goods)
The Incoterms refer to your agreement with your supplier regarding the responsibilities of the goods between point A and B.
The packing declaration is related to the nature of your cargo. Border Protection laws in Australia have strict rules governing products that are of natural origin (wood, seeds, etc.). These types of goods and packaging are highly regulated and sometimes your cargo may require fumigation as a result. Normally it is much cheaper to do this at origin, however, if you are unsure, contact your Customer Success Manager to find out approximate fumigation costs plus duty costs, etc. at destination.
What to expect at destination
Before your cargo arrives at destination, make sure you understand the term 'transit time'. Many are mistaken when they refer to transit time as time from door to door - however, this refers to the time taken for the goods to be transported from port to port only.
At destination, you may be unable to pick up your freight directly from the airline, or shipping wharf. This is because containers are not unpacked at a wharf or terminal, and your shipping agent is responsible for picking up, sorting out your freight, and deliver your cargo to your warehouse or office. Therefore, allow for extra time for this to occur.
When your goods arrive at destination, you may be required to provide further information for customs or border quarantine. If this is the case, Whale will be in contact with you to resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.
A few tips
Many first-time importers jump straight into shipping without doing much research. When you ship with a freight forwarder or shipping agent, you don’t have to fill up a full container to ship, but there are some minimum charges that apply for both air and sea.
Generally, you want to ship at least 1 cubic meter in density for sea freight. Whale can provide the best rates when there is more volume, as we are able to negotiate these rates on a regular basis with the respective shipping line. Alternatively, if you do not have enough to fill 1 cubic meter, it may be a better option to go with air freight, depending on the density of your cargo. Shipping even less than that? Couriers may be your top choice when it comes to importing a few samples or small volume freight.
If you found this article helpful, check out more articles on our 'Whale Knows' series. If you have any questions regarding any of the topics above, or just want to chat to our friendly Customer Success Managers, click here.
Whale Logistics are Australia’s leading Freight Forwarder and Logistics company located in Sydney and Melbourne. We deliver digital-focused freight forwarding services such as Australian customs parcel tracking, parcel delivery box, and comprehensive ocean, air and road freight solutions. For cost competitive and innovative freight forwarding solutions, or if you want to get in touch with one of our Customer Success Managers, drop us a line and we will be in touch shortly.