Mistakes in Shipping are More Costly than Tom Brady's Deflategate

Are you making any of the following 5 common international shipping mistakes that are more costly than Tom Brady's actions in Deflategate?

If you’re a sports fan, you know that everyone is talking about the punishment the NFL is doling out to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for breaking rules by deflating footballs in the AFC Championship game last season.Tom Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the upcoming NFL season, among other team related penalties.

Maybe you are thinking, what does Tom Brady, the deflategate, and the Patriots have to do with international shipping? Well, like Tom Brady made mistakes in the Deflategate scandal, business people can very easily make mistakes in their international shipping processes. Every year, mistakes in international shipping are costly for shippers, adding up to lost millions of dollars!

International shipping mistakes can cause goods not to be where they need to be and when they need to be there, similar to what the Patriots are going to be saying about Tom Brady during the first four games of the season. The million dollar fine the Patriots are receiving is dwarfed by the millions lost by shippers in fees and delays every year because of avoidable international shipping mistakes. 

Here are five common and costly international shipping mistakes you can easily avoid to keep from looking like this:

1. Not Double-Checking Shipping Info

So simple and basic, however, you'd be shocked how often shippers lose money because they don't double-check the information they are providing withinthe international shipping paperwork.

Mistakes in international shipping paperwork can cause big delays and cost big bucks.Double-check that packing lists, commercial invoices, and original bills of lading are correctly and completely filled out in a timely fashion.

2. Mistiming a Shipment

Timing is everything. At least that's what they say.

Timing is certainly extremely important in international shipping. Properly timing a shipment can be tricky for the inexperienced. Mistiming an import or export is a common international shipping mistake, especially for first time shippers.Perhaps you want a shipment imported or exported fast. You get a quote and find out the transit time alone is over two weeks. A serious problem could arise if you’ve promised the goods sooner.

A common situation new shippers find themselves in is receiving a freight rate quote and thinking the quote is good forever only to find out that it has expired. When it comes to timing international shipping, the timeline for loading, transit to and from ports or terminals, and terminal cutoffs are among things that must be considered.And as a general rule, freight rate pricing quotes are only good for about a month, so you should get your quote within 30 days of when you plan to ship.

3. Choosing the Wrong Shipping Method

Shippers should choose the best shipping method for their needs, whether ocean shipping or air freight.As a general guideline, air freight tends to be more expensive than ocean shipping; however, it is much faster. Consider the size of the shipment. If smaller shipments need to be delivered quickly, air freight is probably the shipping method for you. With larger shipments, shipping by container ship is probably best.

4. Not Getting Cargo Insurance

Ship happens.And sometimes shipping happens to go wrong.Failing to properly insure your cargo could be very costly in the case that something goes wrong during the transport of your cargo.Among the dangers of shipping are containers falling off ships, shipwrecks, piracy, stolen goods, and damaged goods.

To go with this (and this could be its own section) is having your goods professionally packed in shipping containers. Though an added cost, without professionally packed cargo, the odds of damage to your goods dramatically increases and your goods may not qualify for cargo insurance.

5. Choosing the Cheapest Freight Rate

This is quite possibly the most common mistake in international shipping.When international shippers look for a freight forwarder or shipping company, they often choose based on who gives the cheapest freight rate quote.

Often, the cheapest freight rates come from inexperienced freight forwarders or shipping companies or are accompanied by hidden fees.

Of course, ask anyone, price is important, but service and experience are much more important factors to consider when choosing a freight forwarder or shipping company.

A company that does not have the experience and know-how to handle complications that may arise through the international shipping company could cause costly delays, fees, and lost cargo that often far outweigh the difference in freight rates.