If you’re considering hiring an international car shipping company, you have to do your research in order to gain trust. There are certain questions you should ask before hiring anyone – for your peace of mind and money savings. You don’t want to run into problems later by hiring a less-than-reputable source, so now’s the time to research, research, research.
Here are seven questions to put on your list:
- Are you licensed, insured and bonded? Many car shipping websites will display licensing and membership information, so be on the lookout for these acronyms:
- FMC – Federal Maritime Commission. You can check them out at https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/federal-maritime-commission. Make sure the company you choose is listed there.
- FMCSA — Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/
- NVOCC – Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier
- DOT – Department of Transportation
- OTI – Ocean Transport Intermediary
- How can I pay? Make sure you ask about the forms of payment the company accepts, which is especially important to ask if you’ll be working with a company overseas. Are there are bank charges or credit card charges? What currency should you pay in?
- Will the rate change? Be careful about this, as many companies’ quotes are only good for 30 days. If your moving date is much further than that, you’ll have to call back as it gets closer for a more precise quote, as rates do change. Find out what can affect that final amount, such as actual volume vs. surveyed volume, price of fuel, and changes to delivery/pickup address.
- Do you charge extra fees? Your quote may be broken down into separate sections, so do be on the lookout for hidden fees. Ask about destination terminal handling charges and packing fees so you’re not unpleasantly surprised when you get the bill.
- Is insurance included in the price? Find out if you have to buy additional insurance to protect your shipment in the event of damage or loss. This is of particular importance when your shipment contains something very valuable or you’re transporting a classic car, for instance, all of which could get damaged while at sea. Those valuables should be listed in detail on the insurance form.
- Who handles your freight? Your moving service provider may not be the only one handling your freight. They may contract out other aspects of the shipment somewhere along the way from drop off to destination. Find out beforehand so there are no surprises.
- How long does the shipping process take? While an exact time frame isn’t always possible due to logistics and scheduling snafus, you should at least ask. You’ll at least get a ball park estimate so you can plan better. So many things play into the timing, such as the origin port, the destination country, and frequency of shipments. Your shipping provider should be able to help you prepare for packing and unpacking.
Got more questions? Call Ship Overseas today and we would be happy to address your concerns.