How to deal with hidden shipping fees

Any business that’s involved in transportation, logistics and shipping depends on sticking to their bottom line. In many instances – shipping costs make up a significant hunk of their operational costs. If you’re not actively shopping for the best possible deal, your bottom line will most certainly suffer. 

That’s why it’s so important to understand precisely what you’re being charged for. Unfortunately when it comes to delivering packages, parcels and shipping – you can fall victim to pesky, unnecessary and cumbersome hidden costs. 

In order to make sure that you’re not endlessly obsessing over invoices, we’ve put a simple guide together so that you know exactly what to look for when you get your next quote. Hopefully, this will help you avoid some of these unnecessary costs and do a better job of keeping a handle on your bottom line. Let’s jump right in.

Customs and duties

Customs and duties fees are something we’ve come to expect, but that few of us factor into our overall expenses. Make sure that if you do have to send or receive something through customs or duties – that you know exactly which goods you’ll be charged for. You’ll especially want to try to avoid things like flat rates that aren’t specific to your shipment. Many companies will charge higher customs and duties fees as a hidden cost, not expecting vendors to look out for them. Make sure that whenever you hire someone to ship something over a boarder, that you’ve got a line-item of what you’re paying for.

Additional fees

Ah, yes – the notorious ‘additional fee.’ This could simply be, well – anything. It’s like a service fee where no one knows what you’re really paying for; largely because you aren’t paying for anything. You’re just paying. Make sure that if you’re charged ‘additional fees’ that you discuss precisely what these fees are with the charging company in order to make sure that fee isn’t included in your bill. While certain additional fees are necessary – most aren’t. Make sure you get what you’re paying for.

Rate hikes

Never just assume that a shipping provider will keep their prices constant. In some cases, they frequently change. If you’re using a certain vendor, be sure that you’re performing twice a year rate checks to see where they’re at. At times you may want to go rate shopping to see if you’re getting the best deal. While this is a little extra work – the cost savings can be (in many cases) significantly less. Don’t let your own complacency erode your bottom line. 

Cargo insurance

Shipping and transportation companies will try to inflate your cargo insurance without you knowing it. Make sure that any insurance you pay for covers precisely what you’re shipping and nothing else. If you’re not careful, your bill can end up being quite a bit pricier than you anticipated. 

If you stick to these pointers, you’ll be able to save yourself a significant amount of money in the long run. If you don’t, you may find your bottom line receding ever so gently over time. If you want to learn more about how you can control your costs and have dependable, reliable and safe shipping, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help. Until then – good luck!

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