If you are selecting the freight forwarders, there are some crucial 5 questions to ask your shipping company. This list of questions isn’t long, but it does focus on the most important features that will tell you a lot about the company that interests you. It will also help you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the service you are getting.
What paperwork will you need to complete and what’s the customs clearance process?
The good shipping company will take care of all the paperwork that doesn’t require your personal presence, including your cargo customs clearance in Saudi Arabia. These mandatory 5 questions to ask your shipping company, will help you asses the company’s expertise and find out what assistance can they give you with what can be a complex process.
In instances where company legally can’t complete documents for you, it should provide you forms and guidance on how to fill them out and when to do it.
The most important of the 5 questions to ask your shipping company:
Is the company licensed and insured?
When you are choosing one of the many logistics companies in Saudi Arabia, it is important to pick the most reliable one. Unfortunately, even the strict laws of this country don’t prevent the existence of fraudulent companies. They are just hiding their actions much more carefully, making them even harder to detect.
That is why you should always deal exclusively with the shipping companies that have all the necessary licenses up to date. So ask the company that interests you to provide you the proof of its legitimacy. It is easily checkable online. That is a few clicks that can save you a lot of time and hassle.
Once you do, ask about the cargo insurance policy. Legally, all shipment companies are obligated by law to provide some, but it may differ significantly. It is important that you understand just what kind of coverage your cargo will have. In case of partial or total damage, loss or theft of your items, you have to know what compensation you can expect.
Hand by hand wilt proper licenses, asking about cargo shipping insurance is one of the crucial 5 questions to ask your shipping company.
What are the transit time and the method of shipment?
While it seems like two questions, these things are actually very related. The time od delivery will depend on the method of the shipment.
There are four ways of transporting cargo:
- By road – Transporting cargo by road is the most common, especially for shorter distances.
It includes a complete door-to-door service, and it is very cost-effective. Delivery time depends on the distance. However, a number of factors can delay it like road conditions, traffic, and the weather.
- Air freight – If you’re in the pinch, the air shipment will be the most reliable form of cargo transportation. Air freight rates are quite high, but it is the fastest way to get your shipment from A to B, especially when long-distance is in question.
- Via train – On the other hand, if you’re looking for more “greener” way to ship your cargo, opt-out for rail freight. The delivery time can be longer compared to transporting goods by road, but it is more reliable.
- Boat shipments – Shipping goods by boat might isn’t the fastest way to transport them, but it is the most affordable one. Especially for cargos of great volume. The size and weight of your shipment is never the issue, and that’s the biggest advantage of boat freight.
According to these features, one of the most important 5 questions to ask your shipping company is what method is the most suitable for transporting your belongings. According to that, the delivery time will be set.
One of the 5 questions to ask your shipping company is what you can legally ship
Some countries have looser restrictions on what you can ship legally. Saudi Arabia is one of the strictest legislators and the list of forbidden items is quite long. Having such an item can lead to repossession of your entire shipment, with possible severe penalties.
Never assume that you know what you can put in your shipment – always check. Some items are on the blacklist of all countries (like drugs or weapons), but there are some common things that will never cross your mind. Like the plant seeds that can’t be imported in many countries, including this one.
While you can find the list of Saudi Arabia prohibited and restricted items on your own, the safest bet is to consult your shipping company. The regulations are changing very fast, so it’s best to be safe than sorry. Freight forwarders have to be in line with them and provide you all the information about the content that you can pack in your cargo.
Ask about tracking your shipment
The reasons why you are using a shipping company shouldn’t be important for implementing the tracking options to your cargo. No matter are you relocating your household or you are shipping your business product to another country. A good company will have the means to secure some practical ways to track your cargo.
A reliable and trustworthy company will tell you exactly where your shipment is in any given time.
To sum up
There are many do’s and don’ts before shipping to Saudi Arabia and asking the right questions is the big part of the process. It will help you to recognize and separate the quality companies from the suspicious ones.
By all means, take these 5 questions to ask your shipping company seriously. Don’t do business with the one that can’t answer each and every one of them. The line between the good freight forwarder and bad one lies is very loose, so caution is necessary.