Importing from China - how to not get screwed on the shipping charges they apply?!

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Hi all,
I'm a fairly green importer of Chinese goods to the US. I have a new shipment of goods that is ready to ship from China to the USA and I work with a manufacturer that I trust... mostly.

One hiccup that I'm experiencing on this particular order is that the price for shipping is continuing to increase. They give the work to their forwarder and then apply that shipping cost to my bill. I honestly have no way to know if I'm being screwed.

My big concern for this particular order is the order weight. My items are under 1 lb a piece and I'm shipping in about 1,060 of them. By my calculations, the whole shipment should be, roughly, around 1,060 pounds. My supplier is saying that the shipment weighs 1,313 pounds and is quoting me a shipping price of $3.18 per pound for Fedex air freight.

When I went back to them to say that that's clearly a lot heavier than the shipment should be, they said that Fedex compares actual weight to volume weight and takes whichever is heavier. In this instance, they use volume weight.

I'm not sure what to do to make sure that I'm being fairly charged for shipping. Should I ask to see the invoice their forwarder sends to them? I suppose they could easily falsify that. Perhaps I should get my own Fedex/DHL account? I don't really import (I don't think) enough to justify that.

Any and all thoughts or suggestions would be incredibly welcomed!!
#apply #charges #china #importing #screwed #shipping
  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Every freight company works on Cubic Weight and Actual weight.

    Whichever is greater that is what they charge for.

    I sell an incredibly light product here in Australia and people never understand the freight costs. Around Australia it is really expensive to ship anything.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alphaphoenix
      You can try general air transportation which would be about $2.50 per pound air. However, I highly suggest shipping it by sea which would be about $750 for a pallet or $550 per pallet if it's more than 1.

      For $4000 bucks you can ship an entire container load by sea... don't waste it on air freight
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      • Profile picture of the author lisah4788
        thanks for your response. What exactly is "general air transportation"?? I'm googling it and can't find any info. Thanks!
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by lisah4788 View Post

          thanks for your response. What exactly is "general air transportation"?? I'm googling it and can't find any info. Thanks!
          It's just a long-winded term meaning air freight. See my definition above.

          Regards,
          Walter
          Signature
          Don't just slap on a label. Build a GREAT BRAND https://Labelsthatexploit.com Safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally. https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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      • Profile picture of the author darsh
        Thanks for the price estimates. Was trying to research this.

        Originally Posted by Alphaphoenix View Post

        You can try general air transportation which would be about $2.50 per pound air. However, I highly suggest shipping it by sea which would be about $750 for a pallet or $550 per pallet if it's more than 1.

        For $4000 bucks you can ship an entire container load by sea... don't waste it on air freight
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10972905].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Originally Posted by lisah4788 View Post

    Hi all,
    I'm a fairly green importer of Chinese goods to the US. I have a new shipment of goods that is ready to ship from China to the USA and I work with a manufacturer that I trust... mostly.

    One hiccup that I'm experiencing on this particular order is that the price for shipping is continuing to increase. They give the work to their forwarder and then apply that shipping cost to my bill. I honestly have no way to know if I'm being screwed.

    My big concern for this particular order is the order weight. My items are under 1 lb a piece and I'm shipping in about 1,060 of them. By my calculations, the whole shipment should be, roughly, around 1,060 pounds. My supplier is saying that the shipment weighs 1,313 pounds and is quoting me a shipping price of $3.18 per pound for Fedex air freight.

    When I went back to them to say that that's clearly a lot heavier than the shipment should be, they said that Fedex compares actual weight to volume weight and takes whichever is heavier. In this instance, they use volume weight.

    I'm not sure what to do to make sure that I'm being fairly charged for shipping. Should I ask to see the invoice their forwarder sends to them? I suppose they could easily falsify that. Perhaps I should get my own Fedex/DHL account? I don't really import (I don't think) enough to justify that.

    Any and all thoughts or suggestions would be incredibly welcomed!!
    You could get a quote from a local freight forwarder. I have no affiliation with them, but I know that http://www.universalcargo.com are good to deal with. If they don't have an office anywhere near you, you could find one locally. If you have trouble, let me know and I can point you in the right direction.

    Ask them to quote you on any options, including sea freight, but you don't want any service that does not include Customs clearance and delivery to your door. Get the quote in writing. Before asking for the quote you need to get the parcel measurements from your supplier.

    You need to understand the difference between air freight and air courier services:
    • Air freight is for transport from the airport at place of origin to the airport at your specified destination. There can be many additional charges and that is why I said to be sure to have included Customs clearance and delivery to your door in any quote.
    • Air courier services always include door to door. The cost is usually higher and delivery will be possibly a few days faster.
    Also, you should know that many Chinese suppliers quote FOB incorrectly. FOB should include all charges to the point of loading on your carrier, but it is common for them to mean FOB factory. That should be quoted as EXW (Ex Works). That can involve substantial inland charges, so always be sure to avoid an FOB factory quote unless you freight forwarder is happy to pick up at the factory without extra cost to you.
    Signature
    Don't just slap on a label. Build a GREAT BRAND https://Labelsthatexploit.com Safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally. https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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  • Profile picture of the author alexismedley
    There are several sample consolidation services you can use like Dockdragon. With their help you can not only save a lot of money on sample through bundling but they can also help you in giving fair shipping cost which suppliers mostly dont give. Hence involving any such services will help you in saving cost.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by alexismedley View Post

      There are several sample consolidation services you can use like Dockdragon. With their help you can not only save a lot of money on sample through bundling but they can also help you in giving fair shipping cost which suppliers mostly dont give. Hence involving any such services will help you in saving cost.
      I would be wary of using services like that without very thorough investigation. There have been many cases in which small importers have been scammed.

      The most common scam is to receive the parcels at the consolidator's premises and delay shipment while making demands for more and more payment.

      Fortunately the OP was asking about a large shipment, so my detailed answer in post Number 4 above is still relevant.

      Walter Hay
      Provenchinasourcing.com
      Signature
      Don't just slap on a label. Build a GREAT BRAND https://Labelsthatexploit.com Safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally. https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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