What is a freight forwarder?

Freight forwarding is a service used by companies that deal in international or multi-national import and export. While the freight forwarder doesn’t actually move the freight itself, it acts as an intermediary between the client and various transportation services. Sending products from one international destination to another can involve a multitude of carriers, requirements and legalities. A freight forwarding service handles the considerable logistics of this task for the client, relieving what would otherwise be a formidable burden. Freight forwarding services guarantee that products will get to the proper destination by an agreed upon date, and in good condition. The freight forwarding service utilizes established relationships with carriers of all kinds, from air freighters and trucking companies, to rail freighters and ocean liners. Freight forwarding services negotiate the best possible price to move the product along the most economical route by working out various bids and choosing the one that best balances speed, cost and reliability.

Why are the shipping rates so volatile?

While there are several factors involved, the primary is market demand. Traditionally from Dec through April for imports, especially from Asia to the U.S., it is called the “slow season.” Because the retail market slows down after Christmas. However from mid January through early February there is an upsurge of cargo moving to beat the Chinese New Year deadline whereby factories all over China shut down for weeks. This usually keeps rates high as there is always space problems for cargo getting on vessels. From May through November this would be the “peak season” where there is a big demand for cargo moving into the U.S., so the Carriers raise the rates during this period, with the GRI (general rate increase), and PSS (peak season surcharge).

Does size matter for air shipment?

Yes, air freight is based on both the actual weight and changeable weight of the cargo.

What is the maximum size or weight?

This varies depending on the airline so please ask us. As a rule of thumb, maximum normal cargo dimensions: 120 x 80 x 60 in. As the weight and size increase so will the cost. If your cargo is over sized or requires special handling, ask us about special rates.

Can I pack my items in suitcases, bags or plastic bins?

No, the airlines will reject any cargo that is not properly packed. Must be packed in a box, crate, or on a pallet. If there are any over sized items or cargo requiring special packing, please ask.

What is typically transit time?

Airport to airport 3-5 days on average. Door to door varies depending on customs clearance, estimate 5-7 days.

Are there types of cargo that cannot be shipped via air freight?

Yes, anything hazardous, flammable, dangerous, chemicals, computer batteries, live animals, perishable items, etc.