Overseas transport options are gigantic and sea freight is still an indispensable modality in transporting goods worldwide. With ever-increasing larger ships and the merging of shipping lines into alliances, much is changing in this sector over a short period of time.
Some destinations and routes are very stable in freight supply, which means that shipping lines are able to connect their capacity well. Sea freight rates are usually stable.
Fluctuating sea freight rates
Freight supply from the Far East, on the other hand, is much more erratic. The use of the right capacity by shipping lines is much more complicated in this area. In a period of less cargo offer, shipping lines take ships out of schedule. There are so-called “blanc sailings” and the cargo is shipped on other vessels.
Shipping lines often publish these measures at the last moment and usually lead to frustrations. The consequence of this erratic market is that sea freight rates fluctuate throughout the year. Where possible, Colvan International Forwarding will look proactively for solutions and offer alternatives to the customer.
Competitive sea freight rates
Shipping lines that are part of an alliance sail together on the same ships. It is not the case that the same rates are applied. The independent sea freight forwarding agent assesses with which shipping company they can make good agreements with and will not feel obliged to use shipping lines that do not use market-based rates.
Colvan International Forwarding has set the goal of giving priority to offering competitive sea freight rates. The customer wants it to be arranged properly, but still prefers to pay the lowest price.
Frequent asked questions about sea freight
At LCL you pay per cbm or per 1000 kg (tonnes). Whatever generates the most for the co-loaders. With FCL you pay a fixed price per container. However, maximum weights must be taken into account. The container must also be transported by road and should be lifted on and lifted off without any problems.
Here, market forces, the game of supply and demand, are present in all its capacity. Shipping companies try to match the capacity of the ships with the cargo offer. For some destinations and ports of unloading it works well, but it is impossible to predict how large the cargo supply will be.
Particularly import from the Far East can be erratic.
The handling terminals in Rotterdam have a website on which the arrivals of ships are kept up to date. It gives up-to-date information about vessel arrivals and if containers are unloaded from the vessel and available on the containerterminal. It is advisable to plan container transport only when it has definitively been unloaded and released by customs. This is to avoid empty-truck kilometers and waiting hours.
No, this is not necessary. When there is sufficient trust between sender and consignee, it is even advisable to use Waybills or to work with Telex Release.
When a Letter of Credit is demanded by the bank, an original Bill of Lading is usually required.
In those cases, the bank also gives instructions on how the Bill of Lading should be issued. The original Bill of Lading will first have to be presented to the bank for approval in Draft.
The Bill of Lading is an official document that indicates the owner of the cargo. The Bill of Lading indicates what the cargo consists of, from and to which port it is shipped, and who are shippers and consignees. The person who holds the Bill of Lading has access to the cargo. To avoid misuse, the original Bill of Lading must be endorsed by both shipper and consignee. The shipping company will not release the cargo if the Bill of Lading is insufficiently endorsed. In addition to the original Bill of Lading, Waybills is used increasingly. Only a copy of the Bill of Lading is sufficient to receive the cargo.
It is also possible to return the original Bill of Lading at the port of departure to the shipping company with the request to release the cargo at the port of arrival. In this case the original Bill of Lading is provided with the imprint “Telex Release” (Express Bill of Lading) and the ship owner agrees internally to release the cargo to the addressee on the Bill of Lading.
Colvan is happy to advise you to make the right choice.