Sea freight is the lowest price mode of international transportation. When it comes to bulky and regular large volume shipments, businesses mostly rely on sea freight over air freight due to economy and the flexibility that it offers. While many Operations Managers believe that they are maximising their spend on sea freight, there may be more that you can do to get more out of it. In this blog, we will share 4 lesser-known solutions for using sea freight. These secrets include opting for single-window services negotiation, using a well-drafted yearly contract, impeccable documentation and getting a door-to-door solution. Apart from making your sea freight more economical, these solutions will also assist you to make your sea freight faster, more reliable and more customer-centric.

Read on to learn about 4 secrets that may assist you to make your sea freight operation more economical.

1) Opt for single-window service

Delivering a shipment through international sea freight forwarding requires flawless management of numerous operations that include customs clearance, surface transportation and spot warehousing. Managing all these operations requires the engagement of expert service providers. Operations Managers have the flexibility to either outsource all these operations to different service providers or engage an efficient freight forwarder that provides all of these services under one roof. Using different service providers means managing many service providers, which requires more resources and hence increases your costs while reducing control. Engaging with a single service provider will save time and costs as you can negotiate with one provider for higher ticket shipments. With a single-window freight forwarder, businesses can get more in terms of both costs and service.

2) Sign yearly contracts

For sea freight forwarding, both the options of spot negotiation for a shipment or the signing of a contract based on annual volumes exists for any business. In per shipment basis negotiation, businesses may sometimes get the benefit of lower rates due to low crude oil prices or less congestion. However, the rates can be quite high during other occasions and in times of urgency. On the other side, signing a yearly contract with your freight forwarder not only makes your freight cost stable but also lower because of the yearly volume and long-term relationship possibility. Smart businesses know that signing a yearly contract with your freight forwarder is the fundamental key to making your freight economical.

3) Ensure impeccable documentation

In international sea freight forwarding, products go from one country to another and this makes it essential for businesses to fulfil all the compliance requirements of the countries that the shipment touches. Based on country-level requirements, every importer/exporter must present the satisfactory documents to ensure compliance and hence a hassle-free movement. Incomplete, unsatisfactory or documents with errors are the foremost reason for cargo detention and associated costs. Pre-discussion of the shipment routes with your freight forwarder informs you about all document requirements and provides sufficient time to prepare all the documents so that all the unnecessary detention, demurrage and penalties are avoided to make freight forwarding economical.

4) Go for the door-to-door option

While using ocean freight transportation, business have options to choose pick-up and delivery points. Sea freight services have long transit times and are subject to many conditions changing between the chosen points while the shipment is in transit. There can be transport strikes, port congestions, natural calamities, and policy changes that could affect shipments and result in additional charges. Opting for a door-to-door pick-up and delivery option protects you from many of the additional charges that might be incurred due to uncontrollable circumstances and this will assist you in keeping your costs stable and predictable.

The fact that sea freight is the most economical way of transportation should not make you complacent. The 4 solutions above will assist you to get more from your freight budget allocation. In addition, a continuous effort from you and your freight forwarder will find more ways to cut down unnecessary costs. For efficient outcomes, Operations Managers should associate with efficient and professional freight forwarding companies, such as BCR. Their knowledge, experience, high-in-hand volumes and relationship with shipping companies, boost their negotiation power and assist them to get the best deal available in the market. These benefits are passed on to customers and assist them in making their freight forwarding more economical.

For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including BrisbaneSydneyMelbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).