If you are planning to ship your vehicle overseas and don’t know where to start – fear not: you are in the right place! This article will give you a few tips to help make your first shipping experience an absolute breeze. So let’s not waste any more time; here are five pointers to keep in mind:
Customs brokers are your friends. These are the guys who help you comply with the regulations, ensuring that all duties, taxes, and customs-related matters are taken care of. You don’t want to ship a vehicle overseas, without a customs broker.
Imagine your freight forwarder apologizing because your shipment can’t get delivered. Your customer is waiting for you on the other line; they’re expecting delivery of their vehicle, and their patience is running out.
Well, they are not going to get it any time soon because they must return the vehicle to origin due to non-compliance with customs requirements. Of course, none of this would have happened with an experienced freight forwarder such as Latin American Cargo – we always ensure that a competent Customs Broker is in place.
Vehicles can come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on the type of vehicle you want to ship, the method of transportation will vary.
For example, larger vehicles do not usually fit into a standard container, so they must be transported using special equipment such as flat racks or open tops. On the other hand, RORO and LOLO transportation services may sometimes be better alternatives.
Before you ship your vehicle overseas, always ask your freight forwarder what the ocean carrier’s rules are. To ensure a smooth experience with the ocean carrier, consider the following:
Whenever possible, you should always minimize the volume of your cargo – it pays off!
For instance, imagine you are shipping a truck with rearview side mirrors that widen considerably. Experience has taught you that less volume means less transportation cost, so the mirrors must be taken apart before you ship the consignment. You delegate the task to your assistant, assuming all will be taken care of.
After your truck gets delivered to the port, your freight forwarder sends you the shipping report from the carrier; huge surprise! The report shows the volume of your truck is one hundred and eighty (180) cubic meters; thirty (30) cubic meters more than what you had calculated. You suddenly realize someone had forgotten something: your assistant never took the mirrors off.
The transportation cost is $100.00 / m3, you just lost $3,000 and your new assistant has to look for a new job!
Many shippers take it for granted that the ocean carrier will compensate them if something happens to their cargo.
However, this is not entirely true; you must know that every ocean carrier has limited liability. In other words, if you were shipping a fifty thousand dollar tractor in an ocean container and the container gets lost, you are in for a big surprise: A $500.00 cheque from the carrier. Oops!
Unfortunately, not too many freight forwarders inform their customers about the carrier limit of liability; likewise, they never bother to tell their customers about the law of general average. When an ocean carrier faces a possible disaster and decides to sacrifice part of the vessel or the cargo, the law of general average requires that all cargo owners, shippers, etc., share all damages and losses that may result from such extreme measures.
God forbid this ever happens to you, but imagine having to pay thousands of dollars simply because you decided not to insure your shipment. Don’t think twice about getting cargo insurance – it is worth it!
Hopefully, this article has provided you with a few useful tips on how to ship a vehicle overseas keeping your sanity, and most importantly: your customers!
If expertise, good knowledge, and due diligence are what you are looking for, Latin American Cargo will not let you down. We have been helping companies ship their cargo headache-free for almost three decades, and we would be delighted to do the same for you.
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