Although your freight forwarder in Singapore will handle most of the negotiation and documentation throughout the transportation of your cargo, you need to know the documents and payments needed in the process. This will not only help you select the best freight forwarding company in the country, but it will also give you an idea how to simplify the process for both local freight and international freight, how much you will need to pay for the shipping, and the general trading practices in the international market.
General Rate Increase
Sometimes written as general rate restoration, the general rate increase refers to average cost of base rates plus the carrier’s tariff rates. In simpler terms, the GRI is the amount charged by a carrier, for example an airline or an ocean carrier, after increasing their base rate because of a high demand in the market. In a stable market, the GRI is usually applied annually or semi-annually, but the shipping demand can fluctuate within that year.
The changes in the GRI can still be applied to your cargo regardless of the date of the booking, because the price will still consider the date of the loading of the cargo. However, if you don’t want to be surprised by surcharge periods on your bill, your freight forwarding company in Singapore should warn you about the changes ahead.
Inland Delivery Charges
Not all cargo will be delivered by the same mode regardless if it’s for local freight or international freight. Sometimes intermodal cargo and transport shipment in Singapore is arranged by the logistics company under contract with your freight transportation services provider to find the easiest and fastest route available. Some cargo cannot be transported port-to-port through ocean or sea freight, but they also might go through land-to-port and vice versa.
You should be specific when asking for the type of delivery you want for your cargo, because this will also affect your bill. Inland delivery charges for example isn’t just a port-to-port (or land-to-port or vice versa) but also includes a door-to-door transportation of goods. If you don’t include the inland delivery option even if you do need it, it will mean that you will have to look for a logistics services company to complete the delivery, because the freight forwarding process only covers the port-to-port delivery.
A lot of people forget that it’s important to anticipate additional fees to include customs duties, customs clearance, and other requirements. Even slight changes in the initial information about the goods transported can affect the original quoted price given to you, because customs duties will charge you for improper classification and other minor problems in the documents given to them.
In case of lost or damaged cargo, you need to make sure that you have an insurance from both the logistics company responsible for the actual transportation of goods and from the freight forwarding services company in Singapore who will be acting on your behalf. Cargo insurance should be written in your shipping proposal or your final quotation as well as the coverage of the insurance. If possible, look for a freight forwarder who is willing to cover the insurance of the cargo from origin door or port to destination door or port.
There might be instance when the delivery of your cargo might be delayed due to natural causes such as weather disturbances or because of minor problems either on the part of the logistics company or the freight forwarding company. If the cargo stays too long at its destination port, you will be charged for extra fees.
To avoid demurrage, you should be aware about the allowed time for keeping cargo at the ports (this can vary in most countries) and anticipating how long the cargo will get to its destination. Making this simple mistake can cost you a lot of money, but a good freight forwarding services company should be able to help you avoid this problem.
The pallet refers to the foundation of a unit of load of cargo for handling and storage. The container is placed on a pallet and secured before it is transported through ocean or sea freight or air freight. Entrepreneurs are advised to provide their own pallets or to look for a freight forwarder in Singapore that can provide you with the pallets to save money in case the cargo is lost. You might be charged with additional pallet fees if the shipping company owns the pallets and the cargo was lost.
Sometimes the freight forwarder forgets to include the courier fees in your shipment proposal or quotation, but you should look for this item especially if the freight forwarding services has yet to look for a shipping company or a logistics services or carrier. The courier is the party responsible for the transportation of the goods, as well as the arrangement of the types of transportation to deliver the goods.
The freight forwarder will be the party responsible for negotiating with the courier and how best to transport the goods in the shortest possible time, whether through land freight, ocean or sea freight, air freight, or a combination of any of the three.
When talking to your freight forwarder, you should ask about the maximum load amount of the chosen carrier. A full container load or full trailer load for example has generally lower rates than break bulk or loose cargo. You might also be charged additionally with the container management fee to cover the operational cost of container turn time.
If your cargo passes through China or is destined for China, you should expect to see a value added tax in your bill. The freight forwarder is charged directly by the carrier or the shipping company, and the freight forwarding company in turn will charge you for the additional cost. If you fail to pay the recommended VAT, you might end up paying an additional 6% of the tax in your final bill.