Less than container load or LCL shipping rates can vary widely from provider to provider and as a business that probably runs on a tight budget, you want to get the best LCL shipping rates that you possibly can. But, when you get an LCL quote, how do you know if you’re getting a good rate? These tips can help you determine when a shipping rate is good or when it’s too good to be true.
Get Several Quotes
Unless you take the time to research LCL rates by getting quotes from multiple providers, you won’t know whether your rate is decent or not. By seeking quotes from at least three or four providers, you’ll be able to get an idea of what the market rate currently is for LCL shipments and determine which one is the lowest. This will also allow you to weed out any too-good-to-be-true rates that are significantly lower than the market rate. When you see such a low rate, you know they’re probably not disclosing all the fees that you’re going to have to pay as an LCL shipper.
Remember that cost is not the only thing you want to consider when choosing an LCL shipping partner and getting several quotes can help you compare services as well as rates. For instance, if one provider has a lower rate than others but doesn’t offer the same services, you may want to go with the higher rate to make sure your cargo is better packaged, secured, and tracked.
Get a Quote Based on Pallet Dimensions
A mistake that many shippers make is that they get a quote for LCL shipping based on their cargo’s dimensions. But, the actual calculation that’s used to determine your price is based on the pallet’s dimensions. For this reason, be sure you get the pallet’s dimensions from your supplier so you can get an accurate quote. Otherwise, you will end up paying for the actual amount of space you take up and not what your goods would have taken up if they hadn’t been on a pallet. You don’t want to end up paying more than you expected, so getting an accurate quote in the first place is key.
Allow Additional Space for Fragile Items
Shipping containers are packed as tightly as possible to maximize space, but if you’re shipping products that are delicate in nature, you don’t want anything stacked on top of them. This means you’ll have to pay for the space above your fragile shipments to ensure nothing is loaded on top of them. Again, the important consideration here is that you take into account all possible space-related factors that could impact the price you’re quoted versus the price you actually pay. Leaving out critical details like needing extra space for fragile items will only end up costing you more in the end. Your provider won’t just waive the fee because you didn’t remember to account for it in the first place.
Getting the best LCL shipping rates is really about getting multiple quotes and taking every factor into account before getting those quotes. If you feel like a quote is too low, it probably is and you’re going to get slammed with hidden costs once your shipment is delivered. Avoid this scenario by asking for an itemized quote that shows everything that’s included. Then, choose the partner that offers all the services you need at the lowest price.