International Shipping & Freight Forwarding Blog

Oversized Shipping Doesn't Have to Mean Oversized Problems

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 @ 04:47 PM

Got an oversized shipment stressing you out because of the oversized costs?

Are your oversized shipments inflating your problems?

Oversized shipping is STRESSFUL! Not only are your options limited compared to those who can fit their cargo into a 20 or 40 foot container, but the costs can really start to stack up without the proper planning.

No two shipments are alike. You may be somebody who ships single boxes or containers or thousands... And maybe you're used to dealing with oversize shipping challenges.

Regardless, here are the things you should be thinking about when standard doesn't meet your standards!

Whether importing or exporting via air freight or ocean freight, a good freight network through your forwarder is going to make all of the difference in the world!

We have a live situation occurring with an oversized shipment that ETC International Freight system is working on. Here are the details: 

  1. 1 x 40’ FLAT RACK (FR)
  2. 18,000 LBS x 3 pieces 54,000 LBS.
  3. Commodity Washing Machine
  4. 11’X9’X11’ x 3 of them
  5. Long Beach, California to Haiphong, Vietnam

1. Is it technically considered "oversized?"

An oversized shipment does not fit into a standard ocean container (20’ or 40’, 45’). So, we ship it using a special equipment called a flat rack.

Flat racks have no side or ceiling, but they have walls at each end. Therefore, if your length is within gauge, but, too wide over 8’ wide or too high over 8’ high, it is likely that your cargo will be shipped on a flat rack.

Oversized vehicles may also have access to roll on roll off and bulk cargo ships.

Does it turn out that your shipment is NOT oversized? Did you know that you can sometimes get much better rates by buying your container?

2. Find your ONE trusted forwarder

Shipping internationally is a bear. If it's something you do a lot of, having a single trusted freight forwarder may seem counter-intuitive. A) What freight forwarder out there is specialized enough to handle EVERYTHING you're shipping? B) YOU want to control the costs every step of the way.

But here's the thing... Bigger doesn't necessarily mean more services or more capable when it comes to freight forwarders. In fact, most of our competitors don't offer half of the services we do, covering just about every aspect of the move, from picking & packing to crating, to ground customs handling, to delivering your goods to your door.

You are right to develop & keep a strong relationship with your freight forwarder, because shopping at the last minute can lead to all sorts of bad choices.

Also, when you establish that trust and work with forwarders who are well networked with credible agents all over the world, you'll have somebody who really concerns themselves with finding you the best rates and safest, quickest routes.

3. Logistics 

Our customer will deliver to our Long Beach Warehouse, where we will receive the freight (unload it from a flat-bed truck) & re-load it onto a 40’FR with the lashing & bracing before starting the NBC required inspection.

Once inspected & a certificate of inspection is retrieved, under a booking number, we will then will return the cargo on a flat rack to the terminal for loading onto the vessel.

4. The Details

Here are the things you'll need to make it happen:

  • Detailed packing list showing the origin, destination names
  • Description, weight, & dimensions per item
  • Commercial invoice showing the origin and destination names
  • Description, weight & dimensions per item along with the HS code number & value
  • For the purpose of the export with a value of $ 2500 or over an AES (automated export system) must be filed with the USA Customs - your international freight forwarder will file this for you
  • Provide the business EIN number or should you be an individual shipping privately without a business, your international shipping companies will direct you to an online IRS website to get an EIN number for an individual (not a business), thus, preventing divulging your social security number
  • A bill of lading showing the name of the vessel, container number, ETD & ETA with the freight terms is issued by your international freight forwarder

5. Pricing the single 40 foot Flat Rack ("1x40’ FR")

Whether you ship through the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean, or the Pacific Ocean, there is no set price for an oversized 40’ flat rack.

Also, ultimately, once all of the shipments are manifested, the Captain has the last word to let your shipment on the vessel or delay it to the next, which would bring storage fees to be supported by the shippers.

This one is destined to Haiphong, Vietnam. As the assigned shipping company, we contacted the steam lines servicing this trade lane & negotiated a flat rack rate based on the commodity as well as the weight & dimensions.

The shipper receives a price quote based on the steam lines terms & conditions that ultimately are passed down to the shipper or the consignee, depending how the freight was sold.

We developed the contract and disclosure sheet that spell out the industry terms & conditions (more on that). This contract, like the quote & the bill of lading is reviewed by the shipper, then acknowledged before a booking with a carrier can be established.

In doing so, you will be fully aware of all details.

6. Freight payments

Unless, you have established credit, which is hard to obtain, expect to pay prior to the shipping date. If you ask for more time, it is often given, but, it is worth noticing that no cargo release can take place at the point of destination unless the freight bill is paid in full.

The reason for not releasing a shipment is simple; the cost of shipping can be elevated & the freight margin rather small & unlike the freight involvements from your international freight forwarding company.

Steam lines & forwarders operate the same way, releasing against payments. If a shipper does not pay the freight bill on time, the carrier assesses per diem fees that can run up an additional bill owed prior to releasing. We have seen times where shipments were abandoned for lack of funds to meet the per diem charges.


In conclusion, oversized shipping poses a lot of unique challenges, but having a good network assisting you will overcome many of them.

If you're interested in working with a freight forwarder with over 30 years in the business, and one of the most robust freight networks on the planet, ask for a free quote today, and we'll let you know what we can do!

Request a free freight quote from ETC International Freight System - a California import/export freight forwarding company

 

Tags: Specialty Freight, importing, exporting