While the standard consumer may only think that increasing fuel charges only affect the average motorist, the unfortunate truth is that they are the reason behind many of the price increases on our favourite domestic products. International businesses are being hit hard on shipping costs and if recent news reports are to be believed, it looks like the rises are going to continue for quite some time.
Bearing the above in mind, if you do happen to run a business that relies on ocean freight services you should look to make savings whenever possible. A lot of people simply dismiss this and declare that it’s not possible but by taking a look at the following tips, you might be able to shave money off your standard logistic bills.
Make sure your carrier has a base in every country you deal with
If you happen to be associated with one of the large shipping firms, you are likely to have satisfied this. However, if your shipping partner is a smaller company, you may incur problems if they are not represented in each country that you ship to. Carriers encounter problems at various destinations and if they do not have personnel who are familiar with the region's custom laws, there is no guaranteeing what might happen with your stock.
Don’t accept every surcharge handed to you
Ocean freight companies have a habit of bombarding you with surcharges and while some businesses may sit back and take all that is thrown at them, this needn’t always be the case. While some surcharges are perfectly valid, others are questionable at best and if you do challenge your carrier, there’s every chance that you will get such charges rescinded. This also relates to the agreements you have with your carrier and to guard against any nasty surcharge surprises, make sure you agree everything in writing BEFORE your shipment is processed.
Challenge any price increases
Similarly, you need to fight hard against any price increases. At times, your carrier will have every right to increase their prices - usually when the price of oil increases. However, a lot of freight companies tend to abuse such rises and will increase their prices on a scale that does not correlate with the new fuel costs. Therefore, check the fuel indices to make sure your increase is fair - or if the freight company is simply trying to boost its profit margins.
Invest in security mechanisms
With cargo ships being so large, security breaches occur from time to time. This has been an ongoing problem for decades although fortunately, technology is coming to the rescue. Companies such as Loksys have entered the scene and through such firms, it's possible to acquire high-security locks and tracking systems that can reassure business owners that their products are in safe hands.