It will also be dependent on the level and type of service you require from the shippers.

Of course, a door to door service will be much more expensive than a port to port service; obviously because the shipper has to make haulage arrangements for moving the freight from the port to its inland destination.

As this is an international business, competition, currency fluctuations, oil prices and even demand will all play their part in determining rates.

Shipping companies always take charges by the carrier, the cost of shipping the goods and clearing at the ports, as well as the costs for inland haulage into account when calculating shipping freight rates for you.

There are a number of considerations when these rates are calculated:

  • Ports of origin and destination. There may be congestion charges.
  • Volume of the shipment. Larger and frequent shippers can usually negotiate better rates
  • Type of goods shipped. Goods with risks of damage or hazardous will attract higher rates.
  • Price fluctuations are taken into account with bunker adjustment factor.
  • Surcharges that apply to different ports authorities, such as security charges also apply
  • Rate changes during the journey are taken into account with currency adjustment factor. The US dollar is the currency usually used to calculate the freight quotes. Some shipping companies have a shipping calculator that will help you get the right quotes for your shipment.

You also have to realize that the final freight shipping rates will to a large extent be determined by how large the shipment is.

It is much more economical for you when your goods are in filled up shipping containers. In a situation where your goods are classified as less-than-container-load (LCL) consignments, then you have the option of combining your shipments with those of other shippers. This will ensure you get a quote that is consistent with the volume or weight of your consignment.

Inasmuch as the list of factors put into account when calculating freight quotes seem long, you could also get discounts from the shipping companies. You really could make huge savings when working with a freight broker rather than a shipping company. This is because the brokers can always browse the market for lower rates and discounts for you.

A broker could get as much as 50% discounts whereas you may just get a 5% discount, obviously because he will charge based on the volume to be shipped. Never be afraid to negotiate the shipping freight rates with him, after all they make a lot of profits from your shipment.

Nevertheless, do your homework by browsing through the rates provided by different brokers. Compare and contrast their prices and where possible ensure they have the appropriate licenses. This is to ensure the protection of your shipment in the case of any problems. Don’t forget to use a shipping calculator where necessary.

In case you need special services, accessorial fees will also apply for the extra services provided.