How To Get An Accurate International Freight Shipping Quote

Posted on August 25, 2021
Categorised as Freight Forwarding Services

If you’re organising shipping for your business, you’ll want to make sure you get an accurate quote from the outset to avoid any surprise costs later on. Many business owners have lost out by providing inaccurate or incomplete information when getting their international shipping quote. With our guide, you can ensure you’ll give thorough and correct information for your international freight services 

What Are You Shipping? 

You’ll need to be clear with the freight shipping company about what you’re transporting, as different rules will apply to different items. Some raw materials will have specific requirements and depending on the country of origin and destination, there will be different import and export rules on what you’re shipping. If you’re transporting perishable items, you might need refrigerated transport, which will affect the cost. 

The amount of customs and insurance that will need to be paid will vary depending on what you are shipping. You will need to provide a full and accurate description to your freight shipper to ensure they can quote correctly and to avoid reclassification fees down the line. 

What Is the Size and Weight of Your Shipment? 

You’ll need to know the exact dimensions of your shipment, which will include the packaging that your shipment will be wrapped in and any pallets that are used. If the information is incorrect at the quote, you may be faced with extra fees later on. 

Different types of transport will have different maximum capacities for the size and amount of shipments they can hold. Air freight will need to know the size and weight, whereas for sea freight shipping you usually just need the size. Your freight forwarder may need to ship your goods as a full load, or they may be able to consolidate different shipments into one container, which is usually cheaper if you have a smaller consignment. 

Where Are You Shipping to and from? 

The freight forwarding company will need exact addresses for where the cargo will be collected and where it will need to be delivered.  

You may have some options when organising international shipping, for example you could go door to door, port to port, or port to door. If your shipment will need to be delivered or collected from a residential location, you should consider whether a large lorry will be able to have access. Some places, like airports or container freight stations may require additional fees, so it’s vital that you give as much information as possible about the location for an accurate quote.  

When Do You Need It Shipped? 

Shipping rates can fluctuate a lot, so you should never use a previous quote as a basis for your next shipment. You should aim to get a quote as close to the shipment date as possible, as this will help it to be accurate.  

Increased demand will see a rise in prices. So, depending on the location, it will be more expensive to ship around occasions like Christmas and Chinese New Year. Other events that can’t be planned for, like long periods of bad weather or strikes, can also affect the pricing. Getting your quote close to the shipping date will help to account for this.  

Quotes will usually be valid for a specific period of time, which varies depending on the freight forwarder. The average time a quote will be valid for is one month – if you proceed with your shipping after the time period, you may find that the price has changed.  

You should also specify how urgent your shipping is. Air freight might be better for smaller items that you need delivered quicker. If you have larger items that aren’t so urgent, it might be cheaper to choose sea freight. You’ll need to stipulate whether you need a timed delivery, and if you need collection or delivery at a specific time.  

Do You Need Specialised Freight Services? 

Transporting restricted or dangerous goods, like hazardous materials or flammables, will require expert knowledge. You’ll need to be clear and precise when informing your freight forwarder of the shipment so they know whether they are equipped to deal with it. More rigorous requirements will apply to shipments of restricted or dangerous goods and the freight staff will need extensive training. 

If you have particularly complex transportation needs, you will need a freight forwarder like PBS International who can provide specialised shipping services. We are also fully qualified for shipping firearms overseas. We are certified to handle dangerous goods, our staff are expertly trained, and have approved routes and carriers to transport your cargo safely and efficiently. PBS International also offer an airline charter service with various options available to transport your cargo that might not be accepted by scheduled carriers.  


Once you have all the accurate information for your shipment, you’re ready to get your international shipping quote. If you have any queries about international shipping or your freight shipment, contact us today and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you.  

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