Blog. Choosing a Carrier

February 21, 2019

                                                         Tips for Choosing A Carrier

Hopefully by now you have decided if you want to ship via ocean freight, air freight or truck (to Mexico or Canada).

Choosing an international carrier may seem like a daunting task because of your vast array of choices. Of course in today’s i  information age we type in “International Shipping” e.g. into a search engine and it brings up a list of choices. This is not a horrible  place to start but beware of the PAID advertisers – a lot of these companies are not even in the USA and requires you wiring the money to them instead of paying with a check or credit card. The initial quote is cheap but charges and surcharges will mount with changes. Here are a few tips that will help you narrow the field.

   1) Call them. Nothing will give you a sense of security and trust then talking to an actual person on the phone. Ask them questions….  A lot of questions. Are they listening and answering you helpfully or rushing you off the phone or are they directing you to their website so they don’t have to deal with you? Here are some questions they should ask you:

       a) What is your time line for shipping out of the USA?

       b) What is your time line for importing into the foreign country?

       c) What are the Dims, weight, (or container size) description of cargo?

       d) How is it packed?

       e) Do you want us to pick up or will you deliver to the warehouse? Address, etc…

       f) Do you have a customs broker or agent you want to work with at destination?

  2) Check out their website, look at the information provided and forms, do they take online payments? Is their address listed? (Is it in the USA) <- some say they are in the USA but the address is a bank – so google it.   

  3) Ask if they are licensed and bonded by the FMC and CBP (Federal Maritime Commission and US Customs)

  4) Compare quotes with each shipping company you contact – make sure you give the same information to each as far as dimensions and weight so you are comparing apples to apples. (if you give vague information then your quotes will be all over the place.) If you are unsure about the size but want a comparable quote get a quote for 1cbm 500 lbs, 5 cbm 1000 lbs and 10cbm 2000 lbs. You can then decide how much you want to take with you.   

  5) If you are still unsure and they are local; make and appointment and go visit their office.   

  6) Check them out on the BBB.org! Facebook, Google business, Yelp business – reviews.

The best judge of character is you.

Shameless plug time… I would love to talk to you about your international shipping. While we are located just East of Houston, TX we can export from any port in the USA. I often have customers visit us here; we are located on a rural farm with cows and donkeys and is the greatest thing about doing only documentation in our office. I also meet clients at either of our warehouses in Houston, TX right inside Loop 610 on appointment. These warehouses do handle the actual freight. I understand how important your cargo is otherwise you would leave it here and I am committed to helping you make the best shipping decisions.

😊 I hope that this article was helpful to you. Please check out our upcoming article “Marine Cargo Insurance and Why You Need It!”



Sue Fitzgerald, GM, Dove Shipping International Inc. Houston, TX
Twitter @doveshipping, Tel: 281-328-4100 [email protected]