It is so important to make sure that the information conveyed to your agent is correct. Asking for a rate for euro size pallets instead of standards or forgetting to mention that all the pallets have overhang is the difference between getting an accurate rate or finding yourself in the dilemma that the haulier has no space for your cargo and you are left with escalating costs because of this.
The quick checklist below should help you to decide if you have provided all the information required to make sure you do not end up with any surprise additional costs:
- Provide the type of packaging, sizes in cms, weight in kgs and if stackable/non stackable and top stow – Top stow enables you to keep the cost down whilst still making sure nothing goes on top of your cargo. (cms and kgs are best when working Internationally).
- Where from/to: Postcodes please, they are universal and help with pricing structure.
- Are your goods hazardous? Class/UN number and packing group help to determine how we can ship your goods. If your goods are limited qty hazardous, you must still provide this information as it is a requirement by all shipping lines and the Tunnel crossing. You must provide a Dangerous Goods Note before the job is collected, this will help to iron out any paperwork issues beforehand.
- Do you or your customer have means to load/offload the vehicle. If you require a tail lift, you must state this as there is often a premium for this type of service.
- Do you or your customer have any access issues: ie located down a narrow lane, up a mountain or on an island.
- Are you or your customer’s business hours different from 9-5pm (Do you have a lunch break/You can only load in the morning/ Your customer requires a timed delivery). Any specific requirements must be communicated at time of quote.
- Are you looking for a specific delivery time frame – next day/48hrs or normal transit ok. This will also affect the rate and type of vehicle we can use.
- Does the collection/delivery require being booked in: If this is the case, please make sure a telephone number and contact name is provided.
- Deliveries of commercial Freight will be Kerbside delivery only. If your customer requires delivery into a building, removal of packaging etc… this also must be stated.
- Do you require additional insurance? Recommended for high value goods especially.
- Take into consideration where you are shipping the cargo to and make sure you allow for a contingency in case you have issues: ie, convoy charges in Russia on high value goods, delays in customs clearance, etc…. These are all charges that you should consider when including transport rate to customers in CIS countries. Also national holidays, lengthy closures etc…
- Use your agent to seek advise on any paperwork. Talking to your local Chamber of commerce also helps.
This is by no means a complete list, a list should be scrutinised for each country and specific customer as each shipment is unique and should be treated as such. It is always good not to assume anything! Your customer may change address without telling you. Their working hours may differ. A new warehouse manager may want things done a different way. Ultimately if you are paying for the freight, then you are responsible for this until the terms have been discharged. Ultimately The more homework done ahead of shipping the smoother the shipment will run.