There is a wide variety of shipping services available today for both domestic and international shipping such as Air, Ocean and Ground freight services. Each has its own policies, shipping methods, pricing, and procedures. Here are a few things to look for when selecting a shipping company to protect your pocketbook and your merchandise or personal belongings.
Bonded and Licensed
Shipping services that are bonded and licensed can give you peace of mind because their services are guaranteed to meet your requirements satisfactorily or you’ll be reimbursed financially. Being bonded gives the company validity to its claims of good customer service.
In addition to being bonded, a shipping company that is licensed by a governing authority (such as an air cargo or maritime cargo authority) has agreed to uphold the values and standards set forth by the governing agent. Therefore, you can be assured that the company is not a fly-by-night shipping service. Shipping services may also be approved as members of certain organizations that can greatly add to their validity.
It’s good to note that most popular and well-known parcel shipping services such as UPS, USPS, FedEx, DSL, etc. are bonded and licensed. There are, however, hundreds of other companies that offer freight shipping that may or may not be bonded and licensed.
Shipping Requirements, Added Services, and Fees
Look for shipping services that have the least shipping requirements (within reason), added value for your money, and reasonable fees. Shipping requirements can vary from one company to the next. To put it simply, some shipping services make it easy to work with them while others make it almost impossible. Consider all the steps required to use their services and don’t be afraid to ask why these steps are necessary to ship your package. Shipping internationally does require more paperwork, fees, etc. with larger cargo, but be sure the company is being reasonable in their dealings.
Consider “How” Your Packages will be Delivered
Shipping services are available for air freight, ship freight, and domestic freight by truck. These have varying prices from company to company. The method of delivery usually determines how quickly your packages will reach their destination. Air freight shipping is much faster than truck or ship deliveries, but is also usually more costly. With some international shipping services, air freight can mean the difference between two days and two months for delivery! So it’s wise to consider the method, cost, and duration of the shipment before signing on with a freight company.
Discounts for an Ongoing Shipping Relationship
Some shipping services offer huge discounts to their regular customers. If you own a business and plan to ship products to customers on a regular basis, ask each shipping company about possible discounts for using their services frequently. You might be surprised at the savings you’ll enjoy simply by comparing these offers.
Luckily, there are many resources available online to help you compare shipping companies, prices, and methods. With all the shipping services available today, you can easily find one that fits your needs and your budget.