International freight shipping in Albany is a complex procedure that requires the services of an international freight forwarder.
A freight forwarder is essentially a company or a person whose duties are to organize shipments of corporations or individuals, and to get large orders from manufacturers to the market or to the final point of distribution.
Freight Shipping Company in Albany contract carriers to facilitate the shipment of goods. The forwarder himself is not a carrier per se, but is skilled in supply chain management. Basically, these forwarders can be thought of as a travel agency for the cargo industry or as a third party logistics provider.
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Freight Shipping can be booked for a whole host of carrier types, which include ships, trucks, planes and railroads. Some shipments can use multiple carrier types on route before it reaches its designated destination.
Freight shipping in Albany calls for very specific documentation as it has to go through multiple custom checks before being allowed to pass through. The forwarder would organize the carriage of your international shipment, along with helping the handling and processing of all the necessary paperwork. International forwarders also make sure that your shipment is arriving at the correct place at the specified time.
An international freight Company in Albany should traditionally guide you through the complicated process of international shipping, as they are the experts on the international freight shipping process. This way you can understand and aid your shipment and your freight forwarding company can benefit from this information.
A day in the life of a freight forwarder would consist of the following tasks:
The primary task of a Freight Shipping Company at work would be conversations and negotiations with clients and warehouses that they deal with worldwide. This is because they need to gather information for the purpose of passing it on to the concerned parties that they are doing business with or need to report to as authorities. These would include an SSL – Steam Ship Line, the United States Customs or they might even be the customer themselves.
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Selecting or finding a freight broker or transportation carrier is one of the most critical decisions you will make in your business.
Why? Because if your orders are not delivered on-time and in one piece or without damage you will have likely lost a customer. Like it or not freight shipping services can make or break your company and they are an extension of your business.
The trucking and transportation industry is huge. On a typical day in the USA, about 43 million tons of goods, valued at about $29 billion, moved nearly 12 billion ton-miles on the nation's interconnected transportation network. These domestic numbers are according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and give you a simple snapshot of the scope or importance of this sector. It is staggering how crucial this business is when it comes to moving our goods and it can literally cripple a nation if it is shutdown for any length of time.
First lets define freight shipping services, freight broker and some other terms used in the shipping industry.
- Truckload: This is where the amount of cargo typically fills the truck. The owner of the goods is paying the cost for a full load to go from point A to point B.
- Consignor: Shipper, person or firm (usually the seller) who delivers a consignment to a carrier for transporting it to a consignee (usually the buyer) named in the transportation documents. Ownership (title) of the goods remains with the consignor until the consignee pays for them in full.
- Consignee: the person to whom merchandise is delivered over to or receiver.
- TDG: Transportation of Dangerous Good. A regulation used to ensure safe delivery and identification of hazardous goods.
- WHMIS: The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada's national hazard communication standard. The key elements of the system are cautionary labelling of containers of WHMIS "controlled products", the provision of material safety data sheets (MSDS) and worker education and training programs.
- Intermodal: Is when your shipment involves more than one mode or form of transportation during it trip from origin to destination. Your shipment might start off on a truck, get loaded on rail then ultimately end up in an ocean carrier or a ship.
- Air Freight Services: Carriage paid for goods transported in aircraft or air cargo.
- Freight Broker: A freight broker is an individual or company that serves as a liaison between another individual or company that needs shipping services and an authorized motor carrier.
- Customs Broker: Assist importers and exporters in meeting Federal requirements governing imports and exports. Brokers submit necessary information and appropriate payments to regulatory bodies behalf of their clients and charge them a fee for this service.
- LTL: Less than Truckload.
- FOB Point: Free on board aka freight on board. This term determines when legal title of goods passes from shipper to buyer. This RFQPro provides a detailed explanation on the importance of FOB Points and how they work.
We have put together some tips we hope will help you make a decision regarding selecting the right freight shipping service for your organization.
- Request routing or coverage areas. Smaller firms interline or join forces with other networks.
- Ask about fleet size and number of employees. Do they own their own trucks, how big is their fleet and do they sub-contract work (independents). This may not matter to you but an actual employee of the company versus and independent contractor is the point we are raising.
- How long they have been in business.
- Request a copy of their Spill response plan.
- Emergency response plan.
- Do they have a safety coordinator on staff. How do they handle training. Get copies of all certifications for handling dangerous goods and proof of driver certifications. If you are shipping toilet paper this may not be on your priority list however if you are moving fuel, chemicals or any other products which could damage the environment much of the above applies.
- Safety Records - Sample of an accident investigation performed in their organization.
- Ask for their damage claim history.
- Copy of their liability insurance. You may wish to request anywhere from $5 - 10 million depending on commodities they ship on your behalf.
- Workers compensation coverage.
These are just a few of the areas you may wish to target in evaluating and selecting your service provider.
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"Cost and Freight". What does that mean? These were the very questions I asked when I first heard of it. Well today, I am going to give my explanation as best as I can about this shipping term.
Ok, I have previously gone through in my blog about Ex Works and FOB, if you have read about them, it will definitely help. CFR simply means you add your Ocean Freight cost, which is the cost you pay for booking a container to the other costs you are incurred when making a purchase. As I mentioned before, the container is a steel box that is used to contain all the goods you desire to ship. It comes in a 20 footer size, 40 footer size and 40 footer high cube size. I will dwell into that some other time.
So this is how CFR works. A buyer from Africa wants to buy 10 container loads of ginger bread man dolls from you and he asked you for a quote CFR (Tema Port). So what do you do? Well, firstly you calculate the quantity you can load, into the container, and then calculate the product's total price per container. This friend is ex works.
So now let's proceed to add the forwarding charges, which include the forwarding fee and also the haulage charges. Now with that done, you get yourself an FOB price.
Then we proceed by adding the ocean freight on top of the FOB price. This gives you the CFR price.
Recap: CFR = Product price + Forwarding and Haulage Charges + Ocean Freight Fee
So what is the benefit of quoting your customer CFR? The thing is, it will help your customer get the most accurate costing available to him at that period of time. If he is a serious buyer who needs to make a purchase confirmation within the next few days or week, then this is the most accurate cost he can rely on. Of course he will have to be aware of the import duties in his country to get a final nett price which he will be paying for your ginger bread man dolls.
Again, always remember to get your currency exchange rates correct and note the trend, is the US dollar going up or down these past few days, what's the movement going to be tomorrow and onwards, especially the time the products are meant to be shipped.
Remember to place a short validity to your CFR quote because it will protect you from the crazy fluctuations of transportation and ocean freight prices. Always double check your shipping costs before you make your delivery. Get a verbal confirmation AFTER you get a black and white or documented quote from your transporter, forwarder, haulier and forwarding agent. This way, you free yourself from the risk of quoting the wrong prices. Your ginger bread man dolls would really blow your business away!
So there you go, the meaning of CFR made easy for you. If you are new to shipping, make sure you consult your shipping agents to learn these terms better. If you do your homework, it will just make your job and theirs easier. Ultimately, making your customer's job of buying from you an easy as ABC 123!