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10 Tips When Selecting a Cargo Shipping Company

Best advice to help you find the right freight forwarding company

You’re ready to make your shipment. The only issue is: what cargo shipping company should you use? With everything considered, you need to make an educated decision in a cargo shipping company that is reliable, trustworthy, and reasonably priced.

Here is a top ten of tips to take into consideration when choosing a cargo shipping company.

Top 10 Cargo Shipping Company Tips

From asking about their tools, international shipping services, overall experience with international moving, to the overall price, you’re sure to find a cargo shipping company that will work for you.

Tip # 1: Check the Cargo Shipping Company’s Registration and Licensing

An important factor is to make sure your cargo shipping company is fully compliant within the moving industry. Check out their registration and licensing and compare. A shipping company that is professional and reputable will be able to provide their NVOCC number with the Department of Maritime commission.

If it is a domestic shipping company functioning within the United States, the company must register with the states in which it delivers.

International moving companies associate with AMSA, FIDI or RIM which are some of the reputable associations that high end movers want to be affiliated with and tend to have a very good level of customer service.

Tip # 2: Cargo Loading Services

There are a lot of different cargo loading services that each company offers. When searching for the best company to move your items, ask about the loading services offered. 

One of the most popular is known as door to door shipping. With this option the shipping company will pack and load your items and deliver them right to your chosen destination. This means you have to do minimal work to complete the move yourself.

Tip # 3: Variety of Container Size and Capacity

Depending on what you want to ship and what you can leave behind will determine what size container will be needed for your move. Most good shipping companies offer the usual container sizes of a 20’ or a 40’ shipping container. Household goods and vehicles are usually shipped this way. If you have items that are perishable you may need a temperature controlled container. These are known as ‘reefers‘ in the industry.

Items such as rare or expensive paintings, rare furniture or antique pictures that may be affected by heat, you can invest in a reefer container which is refrigerated and will keep everything in perfect condition. But most personal effects moves, can be facilitated by using standard containers.

Tip # 4:  Cargo Tracking Tools

With technological advances, cargo tracking tools are available to customers readily. Whether you’re given an online code to see where your ship is in transit or you receive emails updating you on your item’s travels, you’ll want to ask about this tracking option. Some cargo shipping companies may charge an additional fee for this service while others include it in the overall price. Ask lots of questions about the company’s form of tracking.


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Learn how to select the right cargo shipping  company for your goods and vehicles


Tip # 5: The Overall Price

Some cargo shipping companies may offer one price for ocean freight and then list additional charges thereafter and this may seem that additional fees are being added on. Always compare the overall price of the items shipped and ask about fees such as fuel, insurance, tracking etc. Hidden fees should be made available to you and you can ask for a breakdown of the overall price before you choose to use the company’s services. Make sure to check out our recommendations when comparing overseas shipping quotes.

Tip # 6:  Industrial Standards

There are industry standards when shipping items overseas. You want to make sure that your company adheres to laws and regulations by the government in which you are sending your goods. It’s important that the freight forwarder you choose to pack and wrap and ship, has a network of professional agents around the globe who can handle the container when it arrives at its final destination. They will be the ones who will unpack and deliver your goods to you new home. That’s a very important part of the process.

Tip # 7:  Safety Records

Your cargo will go with one of the major steamship lines, and for the most part, they are all long standing companies within the industry and have reliable vessels and operating procedures.

Ask your international moving company who they will use for shipping your goods. Have any of their ships encountered safety issues You can go to a company’s website and see their safety certifications as well as their values when it comes to moving your items.

Tip # 8: Insurance

Although most shipping companies offer insurance on your goods from the beginning to the end of the voyage, it’s vital to ask this question. If there was something to go wrong with the ship, you need to know that your items are guaranteed insured. Usually the main shipping companies cover the minimum insurance of $0.60 per pound. If you would like more insurance on your goods you can purchase supplemental insurance. Your shipping cargo company may also suggest an insurance company it partners with.

Tip # 9: Holding Facilities Provided

What if your goods arrive earlier than planned or later? Where will they end up and what is the charge? Asking this question can save you a lot of money and hassle. It’s important to know that once your goods arrive there are storage days included. When picking up your items late, also ask what the fee is and where you will pick them up at. If your items need refrigeration, ask if the holding facilities are capable to facilitate this. If your goods are heat susceptible ask about air conditioning.

Tip # 10:  Discounts

Last but not least, look for discounts when comparing cargo shipping companies. Cargo shipping is a business and there’s always room for some negotiation. You may also want to try different dates if you are flexible. Different weeks of travel may be lower in cost.

Choose Schumacher as Your Cargo Shipping Company

With all you know about cargo shipping companies, choose the premier US freight forwarder, Schumacher Cargo Logistics. Since 1977, we’ve completed shipments all over the world with one of the top safety ratings. Our accreditations include FIDI/FAIM, IAM, IATA, FMC, FMCSA, and LACMA.

To start your international cargo shipment, fill out our online quote form today!

For additional questions regarding moving your cargo, see our additional resources or contact us today!

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Schumacher Cargo Logistics utilizes insured, secured and bonded facilities. We provide warehousing, packing, crating, trucking and loading services out of our own warehouses here in the USA - Los Angeles, Houston, Savannah, Miami, New York, and New Jersey. All other worldwide destinations are covered by our affiliated organization member companies.