International Shipping & Freight Forwarding Blog

What You Need to Know About Your Pro-Forma Invoice

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 @ 09:36 AM

As the summer is reaches its apex, we are experiencing an influx of air and ocean imports mostly from China for shippers wanting their consumer goods to hit the shelves. As the busy season heats up for us it also means that the transit companies and customs agents are also seeing an influx in traffic.

This is why it is especially important, today, to use a Pro-Forma invoice during the quoting phase of your shipment.

Here's everything you need to know about it.

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Tags: Frequently Asked Questions, Freight Rates, Cheapest International Shipping, Important Shipping Facts

Get Your Freight Shipments in Early to Beat the Holiday Madness

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

Shipping in a winter wonderland.


Whether, you ship via ocean or air freight, shippers with years of experience know of the usual yearly backlogs around Christmas time.

But if you're a little newer to the game, or are finding yourself dealing with an unusual spike in activity for your particulary industry, an increase in shipments now is likely to have you sweating. But that's okay, because I feel your pain, and have some great tips for you.

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Tags: Freight Rates, International Freight Forwarding

How to Avoid The Most Common Mistake in Freight Shipping

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 @ 02:49 PM


There is a recurring theme in the shipping industry that needs fixing. As a veteran of more than 30 years in this industry, I have seen this happen many times.

Suppliers provide their buyers the boxes dimensions, but, they do not always specify the pallets’ dimensions. Such information may not be known before the shipping takes place & may not reflect on the packing list, so it's easy to see why it happens so often.

However, if you want to avoid delays and more of those "unforseen" challenges and costs, I suggest getting your arms around a process to ensure this doesn't happen to you.

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Tags: International air freight, Freight Rates, Ocean Freight Shipping

The Global Economy is Impacting Your Freight Shipping Costs

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 @ 03:25 PM

Lessons from a 30-year freight forwarding veteran:

With the US currency doing well, forwarders & shippers alike have experienced a surplus of imports. Yes, the value of the dollar impacts trading in a big way. The shift is quite telling of the conditions of our global economy, because there are very specific changes occurring. Notably, international forwarders are witnessing a shift in imports coming from the United Arab Emirates and South Korea.

This shift is altering the landscape considerably. It's very different than when importing from places like China, and that comes through with rates AND service levels.

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Tags: U.S. imports, Freight Rates, Reducing International Shipping Costs

TBT - How International Freight Shipping Has Changed Since the 90s

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 @ 06:30 AM

Wash & rinse, but don't forget to repeat!

It's true what they say, that history does, in fact, repeat itself, even the good stuff. The 90s seems like a long time ago, and back then things were really good for international trade, especially for my company, ETC International Freight System. We seemed to have the golden touch, and even had clients that nicknamed us "Midas International."

Don't get me wrong, because we take a lot of pride in our work, and we know that our services are superior, but international freight shipping is complicated, and there are many outside forces that we cannot control, which could cause setbacks for anybody.

There was a lot of pressure due to this apparent golden touch, and we survived and thrived under it. Today, it feels very similar to what it did in the 90s even though a lot has changed - the technology we use, the international networking system, many of the people involved, and the expectations of our customers.. all of this has changed, but there are some interesting similarities as well.

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Tags: International Shipping, Freight Rates, International Freight Forwarding

How do I Find Cheap International Shipping?

Posted by Sean Chartier on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 @ 05:30 AM

Cheap International Shipping: What's the bottom line?

Pricing freight shipping, especially when moving items internationally, can be quite frustrating for those who are unfamiliar with the process.

Identifying the bottom line isn't always a straight-line answer, because there are so many variables at play, which is quite contrary to what we experience when mailing smaller packages and letters. When you send a package via priority mail from California to Vermont, there may be questions about whether you're sending perishables or things that could be hazardous in nature, but it doesn't go much beyond that.

When you send a letter, you don't even have to answer questions. You just drop it in the box with the appropriate level of postage based on weight and size, which are standardized and easy to understand, and don't think twice about it.

When we start to scale our shipments, particularly with international freight, however, simplicity goes out the window, and is replaced with a system that sometimes feels overwhelming.

After all, you'll need to provide details that don't always feel intuitive, and although the specialist you hire will help you get your items to their destination, once we start dealing with large containers and international regulations, those details will be the difference between predictability and uncertainty in your final costs. 

So, to help you wrap your arms around the costs associated with your next international freight shipment, here are 4 things you should consider and be prepared to deal with as you begin the process:

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Tags: International Freight Shipping, Freight Rates, International Freight Forwarding

International Shipping of Ocean Containers via Long Beach / LA Ports

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 02:18 PM

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Tags: Freight Rates

International Shipping, Mission Impossible The LA/ Long Beach Ports

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Sat, Dec 06, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

Shippers, Forwarders, Ship owners & Consumers

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Tags: Freight Rates

Import Ocean Container Shipping In Long Beach, Los Angeles Ports

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 @ 02:45 PM

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Tags: Freight Rates

import, Export Container Load Shipments via Portland

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Wed, Jun 04, 2014 @ 11:28 AM

Import Export of Container Load Shipments via Portland Port

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Tags: Freight Rates