How to lower costs during peak sea shipping season
There are mainly two seasons when ocean shipping costs escalates. These seasons are - the holiday retail peak season bump. This season starts in mid-August and lasts up to mid-October. The second mini peak season is in January/February when demand rises due to Chinese New Year. Because the supplies are lower due to high seasonal demand, prices spike. Container capacity during these seasons becomes scare, which puts pressure on the supply chain. This, in turn, gives rise to China Sea shipping freight prices.
Here is what you can do to escape from high freight costs during peak season.
Know which goods to be shipped urgently
During the peak season there is a shortage of container capacity due to high demand and low supply. Your entire lot of goods may stick in the rush and can be delayed. So, it is better to prioritize the goods. Tell your freight forwarder clearly about the goods you want to be shipped immediately during the peak retail season. The forwarder will then be able to create space in a container for your essential items.
Go for longer transit times
During the peak season, everyone is rushing to get the shortest transit times for shipment of goods as early as possible. This means that the shipments with longer transit times are available easily. You can explore these shipments if you plan ahead. The slower transit times are less popular. But there is only a difference of few days. A longer transit time means that you get free warehousing on the ocean for more days.
So, plan ahead and do not worry about the goods that are not urgent. You can ship them through a slower transit time. You can import your few urgent goods by air freight.
Split your shipments
Make sure that you know what you want to ship and when you want to ship it. When shipping many containers in one shipment, it would be good to separate those containers on multiple bills of landing. Note that the carriers do not rollout containers. They rollout containers as per the bill of landing. So, make sure that you separate the containers onto multiple bills.
Give your forwarder free hand
If you have worked with your freight forwarder before, then trust his services. Let the forwarder find out the best solutions for lowering the costs during the peak season. Ask the forwarder to choose the best days for shipments and prioritize your shipments. You can also depend on the forwarder for acquiring insurance. Do not make the mistake of cancelling the ocean booking when you find a cheaper booking. This creates mistrust. Many carriers do not allow such shipments space. So, if you trust your forwarder, do not cancel a booking just because you have found a cheaper alternative. Let the forwarder handle it for you.