international shipping

Decoding Shipping Symbols: International Shipping Packaging Symbols and What They Mean

In today’s society, there isn’t one business that’s gone untouched by technological advances. Even in the big business of shipping, technology and time have changed the way people send and receive their goods. 

Shipping goods is one of the oldest businesses in the world. Yet, the way we communicate where our packages need to go has changed over time. From handwritten labels to bar codes and scanners, the packaging symbols we use have evolved along with our language. 

This evolution is a must if we are to continue shipping packages across the globe. As maritime law changes, shipping regulations must change. Yet, there is one thing that’ll always remain the same, to maintain a safe environment, shipping symbols must be used. 

The Language Divide: Shipping Overseas 

When dealing with international shipping, there is often a language barrier between continents. With the number of people that must handle each box, communicating instructions is essential to the package arriving at its destination unscathed.

As in other industries, there are some guidelines that every shipping company must follow. 

  • If a shipment requires any special handling, it’s visible on the bill of lading. The shipping marks should be identifiable on the box as well. 
  • Keeping the goods inside of the cart safe is also a priority. So to protect the shipment from theft, coded marks should be used in place of trade names. These names should be changed periodically to help prevent theft. 
  • The port and identification marks that tell the destination and transfer points should be placed with waterproof ink on all three sides of the package. The image must be clear and easy to understand. 
  • When labeling a crate for shipping, stencils are a great way to keep all images easy to read.  
  • All shipping marks must be in the same language from the pickup point to the destination. Should those places cross, international lines the package should have instructions in both languages.

If you are shipping internationally, then it’s always a good idea to have all of the instructions on the crate as well as the package, especially if there are special handling instructions. 

Since there is often a language divide between shipping destinations, pictorial images help convey instructions. Similar to hieroglyphics, graphic images can communicate instructions across a language barrier to help keep your package intact. 

UN Packaging Standards

When businesses ship any hazardous chemical, it’s important to remember that the U.N. has strict guidelines on shipping and receiving of dangerous goods. 

Understanding the UN markings that must go into a shipment is no easy feat. You will be able to recognize this symbol by the UN marking that is in front of a string of code. Next comes the package identification code, packaging group level equivalent, then the mass and (or) the gravity of the package. 

Followed directly by the solids or inner packaging, then the year and location of the manufacturer, and finally, the certification of the manufacture. 

Without knowing the meaning, the code would look like a long string of numbers on the side of a box. 

Hazard Classes

For every shipment that contains hazardous materials, there are specific codes that must be present. This classification is vital to the security of the materials and the safety of everyone who handles the package.

Some hazardous materials are not allowed for air transport. This class includes anything that contains any explosive materials. This cargo falls within the following classifications:1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4F, and 1.5. 

Other than explosives, hazard class refers to anything that is either flammable or nonflammable toxic gasses, any flammable liquid, flammable solids. If it can catch on fire or spontaneously combust, it’s considered a hazard. 

There are also oxidizing materials that fall within this class, as well. 

Packaging Symbols

To close the communication gap with vendors around the globe, we had to find a way to speak in a language everyone can understand. This point in history is where a universal guide broken down into pictures was created. Elementary in design, these symbols are simple enough for anyone to grasp its message. 

Here are a few of the most common shipping symbols that you will see on your packages:

To explain that a box must stay dry, a stamp showing a picture of an umbrella with raindrops falling on top of it will be visible.

Indicating that the contents of a package are fragile, there will be a picture of a wine glass with a crack on it.

For instructions to handle the packaging with care, there will be a set of hands holding a box. 

To state that a package contains food products, a picture of a fork and glass will be present.

These are all commonly known throughout the shipping industry, and they rarely change to help maintain continuity. 

These symbols are not only on large shipping crates and containers but also on boxes in your local grocer. From glass bottles to cans of lighter fluid, if you search the packaging, you will see multiple symbols on there, letting you know that a product is recyclable, flammable, or a plethora of other reasons. 

The Importance of Symbols 

Packaging symbols are there to help protect everyone from the chain of events that will happen if mishandled or disposed of improperly. So before you send out your next shipment, take a moment to make sure to take a moment to check out the box and see what the symbols are telling you. 

For more answers to your shipping-related questions, take a moment, and check out our website. If you would like more details on how we can help you with all your shipping needs, give us a call for more information.

What Documents Are Needed for International Air Freight Shipping and Pick-Up?

Did you know that experts predict that airfreight will reach 63 million metric tons this year?

The popularity of air freight shipping is rising as businesses look to take advantage of its speed and efficiency.

However, air freight has its own list of documentation and terminology. This can be confusing for first-time airfreight customers. 

Why not take a minute to familiarize yourself with the documentation and vocabulary needed to air freight items internationally. You can learn everything you need from the article below.

1. Commercial Invoice

A good shipping company will provide daily services to even international destinations. However, this service is only possible if the documentation is correct and accounted for.

The first document that a company will need is a Commercial Invoice. This will be a specific document that includes a breakdown of every item that they will ship. Alongside a definition of each item is the value of the item and the total value of the consignment. 

This document will also explain who the shipper and seller are and where they are based. The seller will use this documentation to prove ownership of the shipment. 

2. Consular Invoice

Many countries require a consular invoice as a measure to control and check the goods that are being imported. It allows a country to learn about and control goods before they arrive to an air or seaport. 

A company can obtain this document by purchasing it from the consulate of the country they will be shipping to. Often this document is prepared in the language of the country of the consulate. 

3. Certificate of Origin

Each country will have its own, or be part of, a trade relationship with the other country. This means that before the shipment leaves the ground, a document must be prepared that indicates which country it comes from. It may also show which trade agreements it is subject to. 

This document may be prepared by a non-governmental company. This document may still be requested by customs even though some of the information it contains is found on other documents. 

4. Electronic Export Information Document (EEI)

The US government is currently requiring that shipping companies file a copy of an Electronic Export Information document.

This is required by the US Census office and is used by the government to compile official statistics. This means that it is important for all shipping companies to file this document. It is required for all shipments over the value of $2,500 regardless of export license type or end-user. 

5. Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is the basic contract between the owner of the goods and the company hired to ship them. It contains information regarding the parties and the quantity and types of goods in the shipment. 

Upon arrival in the destination airfreight receiving location, the receiving party will usually need to provide the bill of lading in order to accept the goods. 

6. Export Packing List

There are obviously many details regarding the materials that are in the shipment that may not be required by the government. However, it would be in the best interests of all parties to provide these to handlers.

This could include information regarding the storage requirements for the goods, or the perishability of the goods.

This information is usually provided in the export packing list:

  • Cost of Shipping in US dollars
  • Address of the shipper
  • Company ID
  • Contact details for the consignee
  • Specification of the shipment and its needs
  • Quantity and Weight
  • Location and Origin

The shipper will often make important decisions on the basis of this information including how to manage its weight. 

Custom and border officials may well check the contents of this list against the shipment contents itself.

7. Inspection Certification

In some cases, you may need to arrange for a third party company to independently inspect the goods. They will provide an Inspection Certificate. This will confirm that the goods are really the goods stated on their paperwork.

To obtain this paperwork you will need to learn the destination country’s specific requirements. A testing company will then provide this certificate after inspection. 

8. Destination Control Statement

Since international trade is strictly conducted according to existing trade agreements, a goods certification will need to show compliance. An example of this is the Destination Control Statement. 

This statement indicates to all handlers that the item may only be exported to permitted to certain destinations.  

9. Other Documentation

The requirements of countries around the world may differ from one another. While for most major shipping destinations the above information is sufficient, there may be additional requirements for other locations. 

Examples of some documents that you might need include the following,

  • Dock receipt of handling
  • Warehouse receipt of handling
  • Insurance certificate for the entire journey
  • Export license
  • Certificate of Handling
  • Declaration of dangerous materials

A shipping company will inform you of what is required in advance. In fact, many will handle these steps for you providing you can provide the necessary information. 

Air Freight Shipping and Much More

If you are interested in increasing the efficiency of your supply chain, then we are here to help!

We specialize in affordable and fast shipping of commercial and personal goods. This means you will receive a personal service whether your shipment is tonnes of industrial equipment or a simple envelope. 

We leverage our years of experience in the shipping industry, including air freight shipping, to provide freight services. We are based in the Florida area. Why not get in touch or follow our blog to see how our services can benefit your business.

Why Courier Shipping Services Are More In Demand This Year

Did you know that, among shipping services, couriers specifically have experienced great success over the past few years? We also believe they are one of the least understood modes of shipping.

Courier service is one of the most personalized modes of delivery and, therefore, one of the most reliable. It is also commonly used for local deliveries–especially in larger cities, where a hand-delivery could take up to half a day

You might say that couriers do their work right in front of our eyes without us even noticing. Perhaps that’s one reason for their popularity. And that’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

Shipping Services vs. Courier Services

It might be surprising to learn that UPS and FedEx, common household names, rank highest among those offering courier service, along with the U.S. Postal Service.

This is because all three also offer shipping as well as courier services. This is one reason why there is a fine line between shipping and courier services. We’ll try to sort this out now.

What is Shipping Service?

Shipping is a very encompassing term, referring to the “process of transporting an item, usually through the mail. Shipping is a very basic, common way of getting an item from one place to another, or from one person to another.”

Shipping services deliver both parcels (smaller packages weighing less than 70 pounds) and freight (200-10,000 pounds).

What is Courier Shipping Service?

What is a courier? This is somewhat more complicated. With courier service, an individual delivery person is responsible for carrying out the exchange of items between two or more parties.

Couriers are usually employed by companies that charge a flat rate to the party shipping a given item.

There are two main types of courier service:

Standard Local Courier Service

Commonly used by businesses, local courier service involves the local delivery of an item by an individual courier. This might be, for example, a confidential document of an office machine part needed for a timely repair.

Since this category also includes rush and on-demand services, it is sometimes used by individuals for urgent needs ranging from delivery of documents to emergency medical supplies.

In such situations, items might be handed off to a major carrier for expedited long-distance shipping and then delivered by a different local courier at its destination.

Local couriers also pick up and deliver luggage for airline and other mass transit passengers.

Regional Couriers

Also known as regional parcel carriers or delivery services, are hybrid shipping companies and local courier operations, with services such as overnight delivery and warehousing–sometimes even freight handling.

International Courier Service

Several shipping services deliver both freight and parcels overseas. However, courier services that specialize in international delivery will offer the best rates.

They will pick up the parcel at your location and hand it off to one of their international carrier partners. Then a local courier will deliver it to its destination.

International couriers have special expertise and certain advantages when it comes to international deliveries–for example, better connections with port authorities, ability to acquire permits, and tax discounts.

Regional and local courier services in the U.S. consist of air transit services, ground deliveries and other services including messengers and local deliveries. Couriers specialize in the delivery of envelopes and parcels, not items over 100-150 pounds.

While technically not courier businesses themselves, Federal Express, UPS, DHL, and the USPS all employ couriers to hand-deliver expedited mail and packages.

Recent Demand for Courier Services

Over 50% of online businesses plan on providing same-day delivery in the next 3-5 years. And 18% of consumers say fast delivery is the biggest factor in choosing their favorite store.

Given that last-mile delivery by local couriers has been key to expediting deliveries, this should signal a bright future for that industry if the trend continues.

E-Commerce

It won’t surprise anyone that much of the demand for courier services today can be attributed to the nearly daily supply chain innovations of Amazon.com and e-commerce generally (led by Amazon).

Amazon puts pressure on smaller operations to keep innovating in order to both keep pace with Amazon and serve its competitors.

So, it makes sense that much of today’s demand for courier services involves B2C (business to customer/consumer) orders, which often means the delivery of items purchased locally.

Local Businesses

Small businesses are also finding ways to use courier services to save their own staff time, thereby reducing their overall expenses.

Nearly all small businesses, especially those wishing to remain independent and local, have to find ways to hold their own against Amazon!

Food Delivery

The recent proliferation of food delivery services–a form of courier service if there ever was one–has increased demand for couriers generally, because of requests of traditional couriers to deliver food (in areas not served by others)…

This is also due to the many food-delivery services that have sprung up–including UberEATS, Doordash, Grubhub, and Postmates. And it’s because of the pressure on local restaurants to beef up their own delivery operations as well.

Expanding the Taxi Niche

Uber and Lyft emerged seemingly out of nowhere around 2010 and rapidly took on the long-standing taxi industry.

Now, not only have the new shared ride services expanded their services into areas such as food and package delivery, but they’re also setting a standard for other “ad hoc” courier services. What will we see next?

Regional Carriers

Yet another factor in the flourishing of local couriers has been the growth of regional shipping and transportation companies mentioned previously, such as Winnesota above, Lone Star Overnight, and US Cargo.

Couriers and Innovation

A sort of “dog chasing its tail” scenario has come about due to couriers’ well-established need and motivation to track their deliveries.

After all, they have to both compete and collaborate with logistics “giants like UPS, FedEx, and the USPS–not to mention Amazon. So they have entered the pursuit of innovating to create even more demand for innovation.

The investment advising company Market Realist reminds us how much these technologies and the increased reach of the Internet have led to greater transparency and advanced methodologies for online tracking.

Shipments can now be tracked online from the moment of ordering through the actual delivery. It has only grown more sophisticated.

Delivered on Time!

Shipping services, including courier services, seem to have played a significant role in defining and reinforcing 21st-century needs regarding shipping logistics and consumers’ parcel-delivery expectations.

This will be an interesting industry (or group of industries) to watch over the coming years. Time will tell whether or not their current role in accelerating other businesses’ innovations will continue.

Of course, we have a stake in all this ourselves. In fact, our services span a few of the areas discussed here. Keep an eye on where and our industry generally are going by reading our blog–which we believe is a great information source!

Everything Consumers and Business Owners Need to Know About Expedited Freight

Today’s global economy is moving at a breakneck pace. Getting reliable freight services is crucial. Pressing deliveries that are sensitive on time can mean the difference between business success and failure.

The freight industry is undergoing many different changes. With many groundbreaking disruptions in it, here’s the thing. The value of time-sensitive freight is becoming higher as time goes by.

Expedited freight is the future norm of delivery. Even then, there are many things that we still don’t understand about it.

In this guide, we’ll list everything that you need to know about expediting services.

From the meaning of expedited delivery to expedited freight tracking, this is a guide for you.

1. Expedited Freight Shipping: Meaning and Role

Before we try to go deeper, here’s the thing. We need to first understand freight shipping meaning and how expediting works.

The role of expediting services is to cut as much time as possible. Moving your goods from point A to point B takes time. Some customers need their goods in a time-sensitive manner.

When expediting, the logistics provider takes care of everything that slows delivery. This comes from several methods.

One of them is paying extra for the delivery vehicle to not wait before filling up. Methods like full truckload and less than truckload need the delivery vehicle full. The vehicle will start traveling as soon as they get your cargo.

There’s also the in-between resting for the drivers. Most forms of shipping allow the driver to drive between 12 – 14 hours, depending on the contract. This means they only drive up to half a day’s worth of work.

If you’re doing expedited freight tracking, you will see the travel is nonstop. Expediting services uses two drivers working in shifts to take care of your freight. This means it’s twice as fast as well.

Shippers use their best resources in freight shipping, meaning your cargo goes faster. This can be anywhere from land, air, and sea.

2. Who Need Expediting Services?

Those who need expediting services are people with products that have a deadline. Time sensitivity is an issue that needs a good freight company to take care of. Losing hours can mean the difference of a successful transaction.

Freight sent this way can range in sizes. This can be anything from a few stacks of documents to pallets upon pallets of cargo.

Companies who need such delivery options, including expedited freight tracking, include:

  • Medical companies for emergency supplies
  • Businesses with vital equipment parts
  • Factories that need raw materials

Freight shipping, meaning expediting deliveries, means measuring up to business demands. Every business would need freight sent in a short time at some point. Knowing that a company can provide expediting services is vital.

3. Why Expedited Freight Tracking Is Crucial

The value of logistics is key to helping a shipper to expedite their freight. When it comes to companies who provide such a service, here’s the thing. Expedited freight tracking can give them peace of mind.

Proper tracking gives the shipper an insight into how their product is coming. Instead of simple but vague information, giving exact logistic points to shippers provide peace of mind. Companies let you track the shipment’s progress and status through optimized logistics.

A fantastic company will make sure of superior logistics in freight shipping, meaning fewer touch points, shorter routes, and more up-to-date information in expedited freight tracking.

4. Is Expedited Limited To Small Shipments?

There are no limits to distance when it comes to expediting services. Even then, you need to be realistic. National level shippers still need realistic deadlines. The meaning of expedited boils down to “as fast as possible.”

Before you even check your shipment in, expert logistics providers will inform you of the realistic delivery time they can provide.

As delivery times go, many will give you times that will not put you in trouble but enough to give them leeway as well. This is where a superior understanding of logistics comes to play again.

There are different factors that your shipping company needs to know. These are crucial to give you the shortest time possible. Long distance freight deliveries need to streamline such factors to prevent any delays.

Expedited freight tracking gives shippers power to make the shipping companies accountable. This also means that it’s best to work with national shipping teams instead.

This should not be their first hurrah in expediting services. They should make sure that they get as little handling as possible to shorten delivery times.

If there’s any incentive to expediting services, here it is. Trusting a reputed shipper to do the job makes the difference.

5. Myth: Only Big Businesses Need Expedited Freight Shipping

Businesses big or small will get the best out of freight shipping, meaning it will work for anyone. Any business who needs to meet a certain time with their shipment can and should afford expediting services if they need it. Any experienced company with expedited freight tracking can do a full delivery whatever size it may be.

Urgent shipping means you need to provide peace of mind to your customer.

Why You Need Expedited Freight

When it comes to expedited freight, shippers will provide realistic times even before shipping. Understanding the level of logistics and supply chain needed to expediting services can provide you better peace of mind.

If you’re looking for a shipping company, you need someone who can deliver nationally. You need someone with expedited freight tracking. Hire us at Need It Now.

We deliver from many locations, some as fast as same day deliveries. With access to over 50 metro areas and experience in national level deliveries, you can have the peace of mind you deserve. Use their expedited freight tracking so you never miss a detail.

Check out Need It Now and deliver it today. Our logistics experts, all at your service now.

How to Get Quotes from a National Air Courier Service

In January of this year, over 2.2 million revenue tons of air cargo moved across the United States. Air cargo is used most often when time is of the essence. 

Because this form of shipping tends to be more expensive and more complicated, you need to know how the process works. You have more options than merely quoting with a well known national air courier.

We’ve created a guide to help you get the best rate for your next air freight shipment. Let’s get started! 

Preparing Your Shipment 

Before you can start getting quotes, you need to have your shipment packaged and ready. Freight carriers will want your shipment to be on a pallet. This allows them to easily move the shipment to and from the truck and plane. 

Pallet Hangover 

Place your items on the pallet. Walk around the pallet and make sure no part of your items hang over the edge of the pallet. If it does, fix it. 

The carrier will not accept your shipment if you do not do this. These overhangs will get damaged when they load multiple pallets next to each other. 

Secure the Items 

If you have an oddly shaped item, strap it down to the pallet using ratchet straps. If you have stacked your pallet with boxes, you can use plastic wrap to secure everything. Though we still suggest you use straps here too. 

Remember, you need to secure it so that any rough movement won’t affect it. If you think it might be good enough, make it more secure.  

Measure the Dimensions

Measure from the highest point of the item to the bottom of the pallet. Then measure the width and length of the pallet. This should give you the total dimensions of the entire shipment. 

If you have multiple pallets of the same thing, you will want to account for each one. 

Weight 

Do not guess on this. If your guess is too low the carrier will find out and charge you more. If your guess is too high, you are overpaying for your shipment. 

Don’t forget to add the weight of the pallet into your total. Wood pallets can weigh anywhere from 30 to 70 pounds depending on their size and the type of wood used. Plastic pallets can weigh 15 to 30 pounds. 

The easiest way to know for sure is to weigh the finished packaged shipment. Most of us don’t have a scale that big though. You can ask the manufacturer for the finished production weight of the item. Of you can weigh one box and multiply it by how many boxes are on the pallet. 

Find Your MNFC Number 

Now that you have your dimensions and weight you can calculate the density of your shipment. The density will tell you what freight class your shipment belongs in. This is how carriers charge for shipments. 

If this sounds like too much math, there is good news. You can use an online calculator to determine your freight class for you. What is great about these calculators is that they will give you an analysis of your shipment. 

You may find that if you slightly adjust the height or weight, you can get your item into a different freight class. 

Get Quotes 

You can start shopping around for air freight quotes now. You need to decide who you want to get quotes from. 

National Carrier 

These are the large national carriers with shipping lanes across the major distribution channels in the United States. Typically they are going to give you the best rate as long as you stay within their channels. 

Independent Carriers 

These are the smaller carriers that tend to specialize in a particular region. If you are looking to ship there, this is a great way to go. Because they specialize in an area, their resources are more focused. 

They can beat out the national carrier on rates for their geographic coverage area. Hiring this type of air freight service is ideal because they know the area and have extensive experience in air freight deliveries.

Freight Broker 

Air freight is a bit more complicated than truck freight. You will need to arrange transportation for your shipment from your facility to the airport, then the flight, then transportation from the destination airport to the final destination. 

You can do this yourself through a courier service. Look for a shipping service that specializes in your area to the best rates. 

The other option is to hire a freight broker to do all of the work for you. The benefit is that you don’t have to do anything and you can take advantage of their pre-negotiated rates. The downside you are limited to only working with the carriers that the broker has relationships with. 

What You Need to Quote 

To get an accurate quote for your shipment, there is a list of information you will need to provide. 

  • Package width 
  • Package height 
  • Package length 
  • Weight
  • Distance from the origin airport 
  • Distance from the destination airport 
  • Type of service you want 
  • If you want insurance 

Getting insurance may seem like an unnecessary waste of money. It isn’t if anything happens to your shipment during transport; the insurance will cover it. That way you are not out the value of the item you shipped. 

Bill of Lading 

You will know you have successfully completed your shipment quote and booking when the carrier sends you a BOL. This is a vital piece of paperwork that outlines the critical details of your shipment. 

The driver will not pick up your shipment without this paper. 

Quote and Book with a National Air Courier

You are now ready to ship with a national air courier. When you ship air freight you need to make sure you package your pallet so it can withstand a lot of jostling and bumping. 

Remember your shipment is going from the truck to the cargo hold and back to a truck. That is a lot of moving around. 

Have the accurate information for your shipment so you can get the best rates. Then choose the carrier you feel most comfortable with. 

Get a quote today and let us help you get your shipment moving by air freight.

Air Freight Costs: How to Calculate Chargeable Weight

air freight costs

Are you ending products to customers across the oceans? How do businesses know how much to charge for shipping? Chargeable weight is often a point of confusion and question when checking freight documentation and quotation. Due to the point that both the actual weight and the chargeable weight gets listed, it has led to some queries raised with couriers. Whether it is with a simple shipping of luggage to a destination first hand before flying or sending products to a business location, this makes some wonder: How does chargeable weight work and how can to determine it? Here are some details on chargeable weight, how to calculate it, and how it affects air freight costs.

What is Chargeable Weight?

When items are being sent into a freight, different weights come into play. One is the actual weight, in which may come in various forms depending on the item in question. This can come as either the gross weight or the volumetric weight.

Now to understand how to calculate these, here are some formulas that can help with determining the estimated weight of the object intended to ship via air freight.

1. Calculate the Gross Weight

The gross weight is sometimes referred to as the actual weight of the object. This is easily done by using a weighing scale. The weight is going to depend on the type of the shipment.

In airfreight shipments, take note that the package’s actual weight is not the only thing measured. It also includes the pallet on which the item rests on. From here, the results will show up on the scale.

There are times that the weighing scale used will display the weight values in pounds. When this happens, start making a conversion of values from pounds to kilograms.

In some cases, people do have to include the weight of the packaging. This means a company not only weighs the product they’re shipping but also the added weight of the bubble wrap and the box or plastic wrap.

2. Calculate the Volumetric Weight

Tackling volumetric weight requires a different manner. Compared to the gross weight, this one takes note of the package’s volume and area. To determine this, it needs a step by step method to find this specific value. The process is as follows:

  • Determine the volume (L x W x H)
  • Make sure the volume is in cubic meters (CBM)
  • Multiply the volume with the air cubic conversion factor (167)

Volumetric weight covers more on the amount of space it covers in the vehicle the courier will use compared to the actual weight. At times, items that are lighter may end up having a higher volumetric weight compared to its actual weight.

At other instances, the shape of the object will also help determine the volume

3. Take the Higher Value between Gross and Volumetric Weight

Once gross weight and volumetric weight are done, put these two values in comparison and take the higher of the two. From there, the courier makes a quotation for the freight’s cost.

Now there are situations where these steps will vary depending on the shape of the object and the density or weight that it has. The following details will take note of these situations and how the process is then determined.

Examples for Determining Chargeable Weight

Example A.

The package stored in a box has a gross weight of 992.08 lbs. The box happens to have 40.21 inches by 38.09 inches by 40 inches as its package dimensions.

First is to determine the volume (40.21 in. x 38.09 in. x 40 in.). In this case, we would get the amount of 61263.956000000006 cubic inches. Converting these into cubic meters (hint: 61,024 cubic inches = 1 CBM), we would get the amount of 1.00393637 CBM.

Now by multiplying the volume of 1.00393637 CBM with 167 as the conversion factor, the result will be at 167 kgs.

Now, converting 992.08 lbs to kilograms should give us the amount of 449.99 kgs.

For this package, the chargeable weight is 449.99 kgs (the gross weight is higher than the volumetric weight).

Example B.

The package is that of a guitar in a case, weighing about 4.5 kgs in total. The dimensions are 114.30 cm by 50.17 cm by 18.42 cm. Since the conversions were already done first hand, the process has become shorter and different.

The volume they have, when expressed in cubic meters, is at 0.10562822 CBM. Multiplying this with 167 on the conversion factor puts this at 17.64 kgs.

Now, when looking at the chargeable weight for this package, it comes out as 17.64 kgs (in this case, the volumetric weight is higher than the gross weight).

If in case this still seems confusing, try calculating these with an air freight chargeable weight calculator.

The Importance of Determining the Chargeable Weight

For couriers, whether they conduct these by using air freights or delivery trucks, the chargeable weight acts as the basis for air freight costs and shipping costs.

As air freights make use of planes for delivering cargo, details like weight and volume are important. It aids in maintaining the balance of the aircraft and ensuring a safe flight.

For instance, take the thought of shipping cotton and steel. Notably, steel would have a heavier weight compared to cotton when put on the scale. In this case, the steel cargo would have a chargeable weight based on its gross weight.

On the other hand, while the gross weight for the cotton package is low, its chargeable weight is high. The reason behind this is that despite it weighing less on the scale, it takes up a significant amount of volume. This high volumetric or dimensional weight becomes the basis for the chargeable weight.

Set Air Freight Costs With Ease Today!

Being able to determine the chargeable weight for your package allows you to have foresight on the appraisal of air freight costs. This enables you to prepare and gauge the amount required when setting up your freights for your products and items.

Regarding meeting your shipping and transport needs, you can contact Need It Now, and they will help you get started.

8 Ways to Reduce Shipping Air Freight Cost

Air freight is much faster than shipping freight. Especially when ships have already slowed down to the pace of a sailing clipper to save on fuel. And when confidence in the ocean shipping market is looking a little shaky compared to air.

But the freight cost covers that speed difference. Shipping your goods in a plane is speedy but pricey.

The good thing is there are ways to optimize your air freight routine to reduce the transport costs, and we’re going to share these tricks with you.

1. Space Out Your Shipping

More cargo, less often. That’s the golden rule to keep air freight costs low.

There are two main things to consider when pricing up a freight job: the distance and the weight of whatever you’re shipping.

If you send lots of small and light packages, the price you pay covers the distance factor each and every time. If you combine these into one large shipment, you’ll pay a lump sum all at once, but it’ll probably be cheaper overall than the first option.

Of course, while it’s ideal if you’re able to space out your shipping, that doesn’t match up with every business’ needs. Or it might not match up with your cash flow. So if this isn’t for you, how else can you keep those air freight costs low?

2. Use a Consolidation Shipping Service

Consolidation services take small packages and bundle them together in the ‘spare space’ within other shipments.

This is an ideal solution for any business that can’t avoid sending relatively small packages on a regular basis.

Rather than paying for your own, expensive, shipping space, you ‘fill in the gaps’ in another shipment, paying only for what you use. The company sending the larger shipment save money by not paying for empty space, and you get a great shipping cost.

3. Negotiate a Long-Term Agreement

To cut down on the amount you spend on shipping, don’t just keep using the same service. But we don’t necessarily mean shop around for a better price.

Developing a relationship is more valuable than the short-term gains of looking at other providers. Talk to your regular provider about setting up an agreement which benefits you both in the long term.

You may be able to make a commitment to ship a set amount of goods each month, for example. If that’s the case, to ‘lock in’ that business for themselves, the courier service is likely to be able to negotiate with you on the price.

4. Prioritize and Keep Freight Costs Low

One other way to keep overall shipping costs low is to prioritize your shipments by order of urgency. Things that can’t wait go by air. Things that can wait go by road or boat, whichever is suitable.

Using a mix of transportation solutions means that only your urgent shipments cost you air freight prices.

It’s a simple and easy way to save money. Just make sure all staff involved in your shipping process know what types of shipments take priority.

5. Do You Need All That Packaging?

We understand that people are a little more cautious when shipping by air. Airplanes’ speed and the potential for turbulence, make many customers a little nervous when shipping their precious cargo.

But in many cases, the packaging we see is just a little over the top.

Take a proportionate view of the risk of damaged goods. If you’re shipping very sturdy items, save cash by stripping back some of the packaging. You’ll save both on weight and on the packaging materials themselves.

If you’d like some advice on suitable packaging for your needs, just ask us.

6. Let the Carrier Pick Up Later On

Most businesses have closed up shop by around six in the evening. Which means the carrier can’t pick up their goods.

Reduce transport costs by allowing them to come by later on. When you do this, you’re helping to maximize their efficiency – as they can pick up more items in a day. So they might be able to offer you a better price.

It can also be a good way to build a good relationship with the carrier. Which in turn should affect the rates you’re offered.

Of course, if you’re not willing to hang around yourself, you’ll have to pay staff to stay on until later in the evening. Do the math and make sure it still makes financial sense.

7. Ship Off-Peak

Some days are more expensive than others. This depends on demand, though it’s generally the case that Friday is the cheapest day to ship on.

This is because many recipients want to be stocked for the weekend rush, and will be looking to receive goods on Thursday or Friday. These need to be shipped on Wednesday or Thursday.

So if your shipment can wait until Friday, you might bag yourself a better deal.

8. Outsource Transport Needs

A small business probably doesn’t have much call for a freight team.

Outsource your shipping management needs to a reliable logistics company. They’ll sort everything out for you at a fraction of the cost of a full-time member(s) of staff.

Plus, they already have the in-house expertise to keep all your logistical needs running smoothly.

Are You Ready to Ship?

ASAP Courier provides national and international shipping solutions for time-definite delivery needs.

Set up a new account in minutes and get a quote for your next vital shipment. Our licensed and insured staff will make sure your package arrives when it’s needed.

If you have any questions about air freight costs, or any other shipping queries, we’ll be very happy to help you.

The Ultimate Guide to International Delivery

Have you ever shipped a package and then wondered if it was sent via the Pony Express? Or maybe it took so long you wondered if they invented a special Snail Express and put your package on it.

Joking aside, sometimes it seems to take way too long for international delivery. Does it really need to be that way?

No, it doesn’t.

Transportation these days is fast. There’s no reason you can’t get a package to almost anywhere in the world in a couple of days.

The problem is that international delivery is a little more complicated than domestic. There are borders to cross, more paperwork to fill out, and customs to clear.

However, there are a few things you can do to help the process move along. Here are five tips to help speed up international delivery.

1. Choose Your Carrier with Care

The most important piece of the puzzle is choosing the correct carrier. It would seem that shipping times would be pretty standard from company to company. But they’re really not.

It depends on a variety of factors. Some examples are

  • The volume of packages they handle
  • The type of transportation they have available (hint: airplanes are faster)
  • How often they send out shipments
  • The type of technology they use
  • Their relationship with customs

The customs issue is a big deal. A lot of delays in international delivery have to do with clearing customs.

To facilitate deliveries, courier companies develop relationships with customs in the receiving country. The relationship isn’t always the same.

That means that even shipping times with the same company may vary from country to country. It depends on what kind of deal they’ve worked out with that country’s customs department.

Do you tend to ship to a particular country or countries frequently? You want to check your potential courier’s average shipping times to those countries.

Package tracking is an important part of international delivery. Packages often change hands as they move around the world. Nothing gives you better peace of mind than knowing where your package is at all times.

Some couriers may charge extra for package tracking. That’s not always a bad thing, but you need to realize that it may be part of the cost.

When comparing companies, the cost is, of course, an important consideration. But if speed is very important to you, the cost may be secondary.

Decide which is most important when choosing your courier company. Understand that you will usually pay more for faster service.

2. Understand Your Shipping Options

Most courier companies offer a variety of shipping options. This is great for you because you can offer your customers more choices.

Some customers may be more concerned with cost and don’t mind a longer shipping time. Others may want their items as fast as possible and don’t mind paying for it. A flexible courier gives you the opportunity to be flexible with your customers.

A courier with superior customer service can also come in handy. You don’t have to figure out the best way to ship a package yourself.

You can simply call and talk to a representative from the courier service. They are well versed in shipping times and costs to the areas they ship. Tell them what factors are important to you and they will recommend the best shipping method.

3. Clearing Customs

As we’ve mentioned, clearing customs is often a factor in delaying international deliveries. Most courier services help a lot with this and handle any customs inquiries. They will work to ensure your package arrives on time.

However, there are a few things you can do to help facilitate quick customs clearance. The main thing is to completely and correctly fill out the paperwork. Most customs delays happen because the description is lacking or doesn’t match.

Countries have different regulations regarding items that they will accept. It’s unreasonable to expect you to know them all.

But it would be a good idea to know the regulations concerning your product. At least for the countries you ship to most often.

Also, be sure your customers are aware of customs and import taxes. It’s standard practice for the customer to pay the tax, but it’s good form to let them know.

Sometimes customers may ask you to mark the package as a gift. This lets them avoid paying the customs tax. This is illegal and you will be liable if customs figures it out.

4. Insurance

While rare, packages do go missing in transit. It happens more often with international deliveries because they change more hands.

Insurance is a great backup plan to have in place in case something happens. But be smart about it. It may be more cost-effective to pay for the occasional stray package yourself. It primarily depends on the product you sell.

5. Currency Concerns

Set your shopping cart up to display prices in the correct currency for your customer. For example, for a customer in the UK, it would show pounds, in European Euros, etc.

This will help to avoid confusion about pricing when customers are purchasing internationally. Plus, to do their own conversions, customers have to leave your site.

Clearly display the shipping options that you offer for international delivery. Again, do this in the customer’s currency to keep things simple. People like websites that are clear and what you see is what you get.

This helps cut down on returns and disgruntled customers. The last thing you want to have to deal with is international return shipping. It’s a pain and expensive. Make your return policies clear to customers so they’ll know if they have to pay return shipping.

International Delivery Made Easy

Find a courier company that will make your international deliveries easy. This will cut down on shipping headaches and help your business run smoother.

For more information about lightning fast, reliable international courier service, contact us today. Focus on your business and let us take care of the shipping. It couldn’t be any easier!

The Many Advantages of Freight Consolidation

If you’ve been resisting freight consolidation perhaps it’s the idea of change itself that is the problem. You are in a comfort zone and change is risky. Stephen Hawking’s comment, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change,” is all the more powerful because of the changes he has seen in his life.

Read on to learn about the advantages of freight consolidation.

What is Freight Consolidation?

Freight consolidation is where small shipments are brought together and shipped to the same location. These smaller shipments may be too small to constitute a container load. Consolidation brings them together to form a container load.

The container is then shipped and de-consolidated at its destination. The individual shipments are then sent on to their final destination. This last part of the delivery, sometimes known as the “final mile” could be right to a customers’ front door.

Lower Operating Costs

Even if a container or truck trailer is not filled, shippers will often have to pay for the cost of the whole container or trailer. A full container costs the same as a half-full container. The shipper is paying to ship air.

Consolidation services overcome this problem of shipping air. They bringing together less than container loads (LCL) and less than truckloads (LTL). These shipments better use the space available reducing the costs of shipping.

These LCLs and LTLs are charged by volume rather than the flat rate for a container or trailer. There are extra costs are for shipping before and after the consolidated journey. There may be extra consolidation administration costs.

Underpinning this lower cost is a real saving in fuel and capital equipment. These cost reductions benefit the whole supply chain. They are also arguably more environmentally friendly.

Lower Capital Costs

Supporting a distribution process for LCLs can involve significant capital costs. Warehousing or distribution centers and transport can be significant capital investments. These can be reduced by using a third-party logistics operation utilizing freight consolidation.

Transportation Options

When a shipper is focussed only on their own logistics need the range of options is limited. This is because of scale. A one size fits all approach is taken.

With consolidation, there are more options. Where trucking appeared to be the only option, rail, air or sea may be available to the consolidator.

Logistics is a strategic activity for any business. It can be the key to business success or failure. Understanding and exploiting the options available is vital.

Reduced Wastage

Small, multiple shipments involve multiple touchpoints. The hub and spoke distribution process will involve much more handling than consolidation. The more times the item is touched, the more opportunity there is for damage, loss or theft.

With fewer touchpoints, a consolidator can reduce damage, loss, and theft. This is because there are fewer occasions when the consignment is at risk. A full container is a more secure entity than multiple small consignments can ever be.

Flexibility and Speed

You need to ship a consignment to a customer but the quantity or volume is too small to make it cost effective. The natural logistics based thinking is to wait until the order quantity is sufficient to make it cost effective to ship. In the meantime, the customer is waiting.

That customer may be happy with your product quality and even price. Without timely delivery, you are exposed to the risk of a more flexible and speedy competitor stealing your customer from under your nose.

A consolidation strategy provides the means of providing a more flexible response to customers. Freight consolidation makes flexible and fast delivery more economic. It also helps meet sales and marketing expectations for delivery.

More importantly, it satisfies customer expectations.

How to Take Advantage of Consolidation

Finding the right carrier to provide freight consolidation for you is the first important step. Not every carrier will or can provide this service. It takes specialized operations and expertise.

When assessing the services of a carrier offering freight consolidation, do thorough costings. Make comparisons between your current arrangements and those of the prospective carrier.

You will need to change your operations in order to make the most of the new logistics. Planning must change otherwise you will fail to realize the benefits of more flexible delivery. There may be a need to change packaging, labeling, and documentation.

Sales and marketing may need to incorporate communications about delivery methods. While you may be able to deliver in a more timely manner, the consolidation process itself may take more time than a direct delivery. This will need to be incorporated into planning and schedules.

The Right Freight Consolidator

Freight consolidation is only advantageous if it’s the right consolidator and they are right for your business. The advantages come with the following:

Right location

Check that the consolidator is located in a suitable place. The consolidator may offer great shipping rates but you need to consider the end to end costs.

Right scale

Do they have the capacity to handle your business including any future growth? Are they geared up to handle any seasonality in your business?

Right flexibility

Can they handle your changing demands and that of your customers? Can they handle the variability in your products, consignments, schedules and more?

Right reputation

Have they got a reputation for delivering on their promises? You will be partnering with them to service your customers. You need to know they will care as much about them as you do.

Check reviews, reference sites and meet their operation people, not just sales representatives.

Consider a Change

With a greater understanding of the advantages of freight consolidation and how to realize them, you can now approach making a decision. Think about your reasons for change and test your arguments.

If it’s right for you, develop a clear vision and targets for where you want to get to. Share it with others. Build your organizations capacity for change including getting the resources, time and people you need.

Make a plan and take the first few steps towards a consolidation strategy.

To learn more and talk to people who understand shipping click here.

10 Benefits of Using Air Freight Services

Air freight

Air freight

With the price of shipping being so affordable domestically, we automatically look for that savings internationally. This is partly why air freight services can appear stark in contrast. That would be a missed opportunity for many shipping scenarios dealing with lower volumes. The advantages for shipping air freight are many, not just with the speed of delivery. Air freight is the preferred choice for many industries, like automotive, interior design, electronics, construction, and more. As much as six trillion dollars worth of goods are transported around the world via air freight. This makes up over 35% of all trade, in fact.

To help you understand just how valuable air freight services can be for both personal and business needs, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten benefits.

1. Unmatched Speed

When speed is paramount, you can’t afford to settle for less than air freight services. Sea and land freight will always be significantly slower and unreliable in that respect.

Sure, some freight services may advertise comparable delivery rates, but there is no guarantee.

2. Arrival and Departure Consistency

With air freight services, tracking your package and following its promised delivery times is easy. You see what flight it’s on, when it takes off, and when it lands. With land or sea freight, your package could be anywhere until it arrives at a major hub.

A missed flight doesn’t mean waiting an additional day for air freight services. Planes run every hour, on average.

In addition to the fewer hops involved with air transport, the customs fees can be minimized.

With shipping smaller volumes of packages, customs, harbor fees, and other taxes can add up. You could be paying air freight rates while getting your packages weeks later.

3. Global Shipping Flexibility

When shipping via air freight, you’re open to more locations for delivery. Relying on sea and land freight means going through major transportation networks. This often leaves out smaller countries of the world.

Opening more doors to more parts of the world means a wider reach and more customers served.

4. Low Insurance Premiums

Because of quicker transit times, air freight premiums are lower, on average, when compared to other forms of shipping. The less time your package is in-route, the lower the risk of it being lost/stolen.

Having your package pass through fewer hands is also a bit more reassuring for both parties.

5. Higher Standards of Security

Not only is your package making fewer stops on average, air freight services take security and tracking seriously. Airport safety and security is a top priority, so by proxy, your package will be handled with care.

It’s much less likely that your packages will be stolen out of an airport, rather than a port or postal hub.

6. Reduced Dependence on Warehousing

Faster delivery of packages means small businesses will be relying less on storing local inventory. The ebb and flow of business forces businesses to stock up in anticipation.

When cargo is able to arrive and depart without delay, inventory management becomes more natural. This is a huge advantage when it comes to adapting to buyer trends, seasons, and etc.

7. Reduced Packing Materials

Shipping via land or sea means packaging must be bulky and thorough to absorb bumps and drops. Air freight allows lighter packing, further expediting the process of shipping by manufacturers.

As a result, your shipments will be lighter and you’ll save even more on freight costs.

8. Outsourcing Experience

When dealing with air freight services, you’ll find their expertise with outsourcing options invaluable. Sea freight is often impersonal and unnerving. Having a strong relationship with your carrier is important for long-term success.

A lot of shipping logistics get lost in the sea of customs arrangements, contractual fine print, and more. Air freight is a comparatively simple and transparent process, thanks to experienced managers.

9. End-to-end Services

The international network of air transport provides a wide scope of services to cover a variety of client needs. This includes a great relationship with freight forwarders, carriers, operators, customs agents, and GPS logistics. This ensures your package arrives safely and securely.

Fragile and sensitive packages are simply safer in the hands of air freight services.

10. Legal Compliance

One major benefit of air freight that is overlooked is the boring, administrative side. Having all documentation squared away and taken care of on your behalf is huge. Mistakes carry financial penalties on top of inconveniences, so it’s important to employ a company with experience.

When dealing with sea freight, this is especially true. It’s very difficult to follow all the legal and regulatory fulfillments needed to pass over international borders.

Trusted Air Freight Services

Don’t forget to remember the intangibles when deciding on how your goods will be shipped. You should always choose well-qualified, personable, and experienced transporters over the cheapest available.

Know that your cargo is being handled by professionals who already have the connections and knowledge to ship anywhere. Leave nothing to chance and get your shipment correct the first time.

Port fees, penalties, and lost inventory can end up costing you more over time. Businesses might call this “calculated risk”, but that leaves out the emotional stress caused by uncertainty.

Choose ASAP Courier and see how we can change the way you think about shipping logistics. We’ll help you decide on what method of shipping is best for your business.

Get a quick quote and start saving time and money right now.