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    1. GUBBINS is offline

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      #1

      American Products Retailer - Looking for Cost Effective Freight Forwarder to ship from NYC to North England

      Hi,

      I have a retail business in the UK and have been selling American products for years which I had sent by air. Having always heard that it is cheaper to send by sea, I want to try this. I spent some time last year researching and found one which I thought might be a decent freight forwarder. They are certainly well established. I was paying for a part-container load with 5 K of goods from six companies consolidated. The quote they gave me worked OK for me financially, although even then I thought it didn't seem massively cheaper than air.

      The whole thing went wrong when the company contacted me to say that the goods were in port and they needed paying but the cost would now be almost double what they had quoted. This made the shipment actually more expensive than air mail and I had to wait six weeks for it. I knew about all the taxes etc so there was no surprise there. The reason they gave for the extra charges was that the boxes were slightly over the estimate of one pallet so I had been charged for two, my goods had not all arrived on the same day to be packed so I had been charged for storage and various other processing charges never mentioned previously. I felt well and truly held to ransom over the charge which I had no option but to pay. The freight forwarders had said to me the more I sent the cheaper it would work out. They had never explained it would be broken into pallet units like this and that going over the pallet would mean paying for another whole pallet just for a couple of boxes.

      I really want to try again but I can't afford any more mistakes. I have sent polite emails to a number of freight forwarders asking for help to get started, after which I would be a regular customer, but they usually don't even bother to reply. I get the feeling that they think I am too small to bother with. If they do reply, then they just want to know what you want to send and when, that's it and they don’t give any advice on how to make it cost-effective.

      I am not even sure whether I am best looking for a freight forwarder in the States or in the UK. The one I used was in the UK. The other problem I have is I am always asked for the exact volume and weight of my shipment but the goods have not been packed and weighed by my suppliers as I need to pay for them to have them packed and they want the address of the freight forwarder. My suppliers aren't willing to pack goods up to estimate this so how can I know what fits on a pallet? Does anyone else have a way to deal with this?

      Another problem I had, was the freight forwarder contacted my suppliers and asked them to fill out massive amounts of paperwork including all the individual product reference codes for hundreds of different items. Several of the suppliers, one a really big company, were angry about this and said they shipped all over the world but had never been required to do all of this paperwork and that they usually listed their products under grouped codes rather than individually listing every one. This was all out of my hands but it didn't do my relationship with the suppliers much good.

      My question is, does anyone know of a good, helpful,cost effective freight forwarder for shipping from NYC to North of England? I can find a million and one online but I can't tell one from another. Also, any other tips? I know other people are doing this and getting value for money and I would like to do the same but so far I have failed miserably!

      Thank you.
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    2. efashionwholesale's Avatar
      efashionwholesale is offline

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      #2
      You need a USA based freight consolidator who works with the ocean lines. Try servicebyair or Gava.
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