What Questions to Ask When Requesting Sea or Air Freight Quotations?

When starting to import or export, it is very important to know what questions to ask your freight forwarder when requesting a quote for your first shipment. To get an accurate, all inclusive quote, you will need to give as much information as you can.


What is your desired service – LCL/FCL Sea freight  or Airfreight ?

The first requirement is to determine what you want, you will need to decide on either LCL , FCL or Airfreight quote. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

– Airfreight is for urgent cargo or samples

– LCL is ideal if you don’t have enough to fill a container and you can bring in part shipment
– FCL is ideal when you can fill a 20 or 40 box container with orders


Incoterms or Mode of Shipment: EXWORKS, FOB, CFR etc


You will need to establish your terms of payment with your supplier and clearly advise the freight forwarder what your buying terms will be so that they will be able to provide an accurate costing

For example if you are importing on an FOB basis ( from Port of departure ) or and Exworks basis ( from Door supplier )
Cargo Details – dimensions/kgs

To be able to receive a correct quotation, you will need to provide the following information

– Number of a pallets or boxes
– Dimensions of each pallet or box
– Kgs per pallet or box
– Is cargo Dangerous or Hazardous ( Manufacturers Safety Data Sheet or MSDS will be required )
– Are goods stackable

Marine Insurance – Highly recommended

It is always advisable to have Marine Insurance – The requirements to be insure the cargo is to advise the Commodity you are importing and the value to insure. Should you decide not to insure your cargo,  your cargo will then be covered under the standard legal liability of the transportation industry which is very limited.


Live Load vs Side loader vs Tailgate Delivery

When importing, It is essential that you clarify your delivery methods as there is variety of methods to delivery cargo to your premises.
FCL /FCL Live load : During a live load, a full container is loaded at your location and the truck driver waits during the process of unloading
FCL/FCL Side loader : When a container is delivered with a side loader , the container is set on the ground and you have the ability of unloading for the whole day , before the container gets picked up the following day
Tailgate Delivery: if the premises do not have a forklift available the cargo will be delivered by TAILGATE delivery and cargo will be left the curb . Usually this kind of delivery is used for Residential Deliveries.
Commercial deliveries tend to unload with a standard forklift.


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