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Tip of the Week: How to Save on Sea Freight?

Tip of the Week: How to Save on Sea Freight?

Sea Freight Companies in Dubai UAE


Over the last decade, brands and retailers have increasingly started to offer their products internationally in order to reach a wider audience. Having dependable shipping and logistics companies in UAE available is of importance in any international company’s supply chain, especially when it comes to saving money while still maintaining an efficient flow of goods. With popularity among business owners, one of the rising issues became the need to save money on international shipping. Here at FreightLink FZE, we are dedicated to helping all of our customers reduce their shipping costs. In this article series we are going to explain many different ways you can save money on sea freight UAE. This includes tips and tricks the shipping industry don't want you to know.

Reputable forwarder that offers great buying power

The key to saving money on sea freight is to work with a reputable forwarder that offers great buying power. Your freight forwarder from any leading sea freight companies in Dubai can save you money on sea freight by knowing how to navigate the complexities of international shipping.

A professional freight forwarder will know how to pack, route and ship your cargo in the most cost-effective way. They'll be experts at everything from tariff codes to negotiating contracts and knowing which port is best for which product.

What's more, a great freight forwarder will also have excellent customer service and be able to spot potential problems before they arise. This gives you peace of mind when shipping with them and means there are less likely to be delays or additional costs.

Of course, when shipping internationally you also want to save time as well as money on sea freight. So it's important that your forwarder arranges smooth transitions between the different stages of your shipment - from port-to-port and from one carrier's responsibility to another.

To help you understand how a freight forwarder can help you save on sea freight, we're going to explain the different types of rates and surcharges that go into your final bill. These are some of the most common:

Freight charges. This is the cost of moving cargo from port to port and includes getting it onto and off the ship.

Documentation fees. These are charged by shipping companies and cover preparing documents necessary for an international shipment, such as a Bill of Lading (BOL). Port charges. These are the expenses incurred while your cargo is in port, including storage and retrieval costs, loading/unloading fees, etc. Terminal handling charges (THC). This is a charge assessed by ocean carriers when your cargo arrives at or departs from a terminal gate. Fuel surcharge (BAF). As fuel prices rise or fall, carriers have the ability to pass that cost along to shippers through fuel surcharges applied to individual shipments. Security surcharge (ISPS). Shipping companies assess this fee at check-in at any airport in the world.

Ship from the most competitive ports.

The sea freight UAE rates fluctuate every week depending on demand and supply. They are also influenced by factors such as seasonality (rates are usually higher during high season for importation in Europe, e.g., Christmas), holidays, capacity of vessels, etc. There are also major differences between ports. A good indication is to compare the port indices from Container xChange. You can select from a variety of ports and look at where you can save money by shipping from the most competitive port for your product.

Ports that have a lot of shipping lines competing with each other on a given route will offer lower prices than those where there are only one or two main players in the market.

There are three ways to find out which ports ship to your destination most efficiently.

   1. Review your past shipping records and see where you were getting better rates.
   2. Look at your competitors’ websites and see what ports they ship from.
   3. Ask your freight forwarder for advice and recommendations.

Shipping full containers can save you money.

Shipping full containers is usually the most economical option, because it eliminates the need to pay for unused space. Shipping your goods in smaller quantities also requires them to be handled more often, increasing the likelihood of breakage or loss.

For many importers, shipping a full container is not an option. This is primarily because they do not have enough cargo to fill the container but may still want the advantages of shipping in bulk.

Should you consider LCL or standard sea freight?

When considering international shipping, there are several options to choose from. Many businesses will opt for full container load (FCL) when sending out cargo by sea. This is because FCL allows you to ship your goods in an entire container, which can be more cost-effective and efficient, depending on how much you’re sending.

If you don’t have enough cargo to fill a full container, then LCL might be the better option. This stands for less than container load, and allows a company to share space with other people who are shipping their goods in the same direction. Although it’s not quite as efficient as FCL, it is much cheaper, with lower shipping costs and fees. As such, it’s an ideal option for smaller quantities of cargo that aren’t time sensitive.

For companies looking at international cargo services in Dubai for the first time, LCL is often the best option because it offers flexibility and ease of use when compared with other options available.

Be Flexible With Your Delivery Dates

Saving money on international sea freight UAE is possible by being flexible with your delivery dates. This will help you to be more cost-effective, as shipping costs are lower during the low season. Moreover, if you are flexible about the date, it can save you money by avoiding extra charges for emergency deliveries.

The high and low seasons for sea freight vary from one port to another. The high season is when there is a surge in demand for transportation of goods and services while the low season is when demand is at its lowest. During the high season, the supply of cargo space becomes limited as more people are sending their products at this time. This drives up transport costs due to increased competition. However, during the low season, less cargo space is demanded so it becomes easier to find an affordable route that meets your deadline.

Another benefit of being flexible with your delivery dates is that carriers may have some available capacity at short notice or they could have some special offers running during certain periods of time so if you can be flexible with your delivery dates then there are greater chances of finding a good deal on your shipment.

Choose port-to-port shipping over door-to-door shipping

Sea freight is a good option for shipping heavy, bulky or oversized items. It's also the primary method for transporting most manufactured goods internationally.

When you're first starting out with sea freight UAE, it can be tempting to choose door-to-door shipping. With this type of shipping, the seller takes responsibility for delivering the goods to the buyer's address — an appealing prospect if you're worried about how to manage ocean shipping from your location.

Door-to-door shipping may sound like a good idea, but there are several disadvantages compared to port-to-port shipping:

It's more expensive. The seller has to pay for additional transport costs within their country and at their destination — which can include rail or trucking fees. They may also have to pay more in customs and import duties. Some sellers even bundle these charges into the price of their product, making it seem like door-to-door shipping is a better deal than it really is.

It takes longer. Door-to-door shipments often require more paperwork and international freight forwarding (the process of transporting goods between two countries). This makes them more complex and time consuming than port-to-port shipments which tend to be straightforward and simple.

In sum, ocean freight can be either a huge money saver or a great expense. You simply have to know how to handle the process both correctly and carefully. And with our tips above, you can be assured that your shipment will be handled right!


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Freight link FZE is a global Ocean and Air freight forwarder, a multimodal Transportation and Logistics Services provider head quartered in Sharjah, UAE. Our line of services include specialization in vehicle movement by Air and Sea freight.

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