Freight Contract Negotiation: How to Avoid International Shipping Problems


Freight Contract Negotiation: How to Avoid International Shipping Problems

You can avoid many of the most common international shipping problems if you follow a few simple steps. Keep in mind that it's not easy to compare services and prices when you're dealing with an international shipper. When you negotiate freight rates for international shipments… "let the buyer beware" when signing a shipping contract. A few suggestions:

Number one: If you negotiate freight shipping strictly on price, you're sure to run into problems. Unscrupulous brokers, rogue operators and professional scammers will exploit your greed and ignorance. So don't automatically go with the lowest quote. If you do, you'll not only have more headaches, but your final bill will invariably be higher than the lowball quote you were given. Go with a low-ball quote and you'll suffer from "sins of omission" (what the shipping contract didn't include—and what that will cost you) as well as all manner of fees.

Number two: Get a visual survey before you sign the shipping contract. It lets the shipping company evaluate what's being shipped. It also gives them an idea of your street layout, parking regulations or restrictions and the size and type of truck they'll need. You'll meet the company rep who will be packing your shipment, their name and address and some background info on who you're dealing with. When you negotiate freight shipping after a carrier visual survey, you'll avoid some unpleasant surprises on your bill.

Number three: The devil's in the details whenever you negotiate freight shipping. It pays to read the fine print. If you do your due diligence, you'll realize that some things are not included in the quote simply because the shipping company can't predict a variety of influencing factors. Whatever the salesperson said or omitted on the phone won't matter when you get the final bill. They will simply refer you to the fine print in the shipping contract.