One of the latest developments in getting your goods to overseas markets is being able to book your ocean freight online. While this service is intriguing and innovative, it’s important to weight the pros and the cons of online ocean freight booking before you entrust your valuable products using this service.

Advantages of Booking Your Ocean Freight Online

1. You can make your freight arrangements 24/7.  One of the most obvious advantages to booking your freight online is that you can do it anytime that’s convenient for you, whether that’s on a weekend, a holiday or the middle of the night.

2. Guaranteed pricing. Those companies that have launched this service offer customers port to port service at a fixed price.

3. Greater efficiency and more timely shipping. Ocean freighters overbook by as much as 30 percent, since a large percentage of shipments never make it to the port in time for departure. Thus, many on-time loads are delayed to another ship. Booking online reduces the no-show factor by increasing the transparency between the shipping company and the customer and thus allows carriers to reduce their overbooking percentage. Ships are filled and customers receive better service.

Why You Might Want to Reconsider Booking Ocean Freight Online

As attractive as online ocean freight booking may seem, there are some good reasons to think twice about using this service.

1. There area lot of variables in the ocean freight business. Making arrangements for your products to travel via freighter from your home country to a foreign port is somewhat more complicated that making an airline reservation for a flight from New York to the British Virgin Islands. When you work for a freight specialist, he or she makes sure that you haven’t forgotten any critical information when you book your freight.

2. Customs forms and requirements. If your shipment arrives at port without the right paperwork, there’s nothing for the freight carrier to do but refuse the load. The company’s hands are tied; they have to follow the rules and regulations of both the exporting country and the country where the goods will be arriving. By booking your ocean freight direct, you’ll have someone on the line to tell you what documentation is required, so you’re more likely to be in compliance.

See also: Import of goods

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