Clearit.ca's Blog on Customs Brokerage and News Updates
Staying on top of the latest shipping and cargo trends can help you save big.
Shipping costs will affect your business’s bottom line and being well informed about all factors related to the transportation of your goods really pays off. For 2015 for example, there are a few developments that suggest you can expect more favorable shipping conditions:
USPS might remain the least expensive carrier when it comes to sending smaller parcels and packages from the U.S. to Canada.
United States Postal Service has not implemented its annual rate increase yet and if predictions come true, it might not happen at all this year. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) passed last year’s exigent increase as a so-called surcharge, which is bound to certain conditions and due to expire in August/September 2015, at which time the USPS would then be required to reduce rates by the same amount they were increased.
Lower energy prices for gas and crude oil
The price for crude oil is presently at around $48 per barrel and this is predicted to be the case for the remainder of the year. Lower energy costs are expected to result in reduced freight and shipping costs, which will in turn have a welcomed and positive impact on the overall economy.
LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) may become more efficient.
A recent article published in Washington’s The Hill, addressed LTL and the need to make freight transportation more efficient. It states that later this year, Congress will be asked to consider a proposal that allows twin trailers to add an extra five feet to their 28-foot trailers. This modest adjustment comes with not so modest benefits: Increased truck manageability and stability, the elimination of the existing driver shortage, a reduction in carbon emission and less congested roads as a result of less trucks on the roads. (According to their calculation one out of nine trucks will be eliminated)
Do your Homework
Compare the service offers and shipping fees before making your choice. According to Don Anderson, vice president of transportation services at Tompkins Associates, a U.S. supply chain and distribution operations consulting firm: “Businesses that don’t work with their carrier to map out shipping criteria can spend as much 40 percent or more in fees than those that do.”
Know when to consolidate your shipment. “LTL (less than truckload) shipments, for example, are usually more costly than FTLs (full truckloads), as it is more time consuming to put together and organize an LTL shipment.
Consider the speed and reliability of your carriers. While ocean freight may be less expensive, especially for larger and heavier loads, airlines tend to deliver their freight with relatively small delays, while cargo ships and ocean liners have weekly schedules. Once they are delayed, your waiting periods will be much longer.
Ensure that you have calculated all costs that are involved with your shipment – including transportation, insurance, taxes, handling and storage fees.
If you need assistance a qualified customs broker can advise you on the smartest options and help you avoid costly mistakes.