Shipping lumber overseas looks like something that is reserved only for the big players. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you find a good freight forwarder, even sea freight from China to Saudi Arabia will not be that big of a deal. However, you will have to learn a little bit about shipping lumber. That is, if you want to be successful and if you want to maximize your profit. So, if you are interested in shipping lumber overseas, read the following article and see how to do it properly.
Learn about import and export laws and regulations
If you want to start shipping lumber overseas the first thing you should do is to learn about laws and regulations of the recipient country. Every country has its own laws regarding import and export, and you will have to know all about it if you want to maximize your profit. Of course, the place to learn about international trading regulations is the internet.
However, you should search only for government websites for the most reliable information. Unfortunately, some countries do not keep updated information on their official websites, so it can sometimes be difficult to find the information that you are looking for. If that is your case, your best bet would be to search for a freight forwarder that has previous experience with shipping lumber to that specific country.
Hiring independent and experienced freight forwarding agent is crucial
Having a reliable and experienced freight forwarder while you are shipping lumber overseas is the best and easiest way to ensure that you are doing things by the book. Of course, sometimes it can be difficult to find a freight forwarder in Saudi Arabia that has experience with shipping lumber from China to Saudi Arabia, for example. But, those companies can use their worldwide partner network to quickly find reliable information and organize your shipping, even if they’ve never done it before.
Talk to your partners and see if they have someone to recommend. Or use the internet and search for a forwarding agent that will successfully organize your shipment.
Means of shipping lumber overseas
There are two ways of shipping lumber overseas. However, using air freight to Saudi Arabia for shipping lumber is not something that is efficient in any way. Of course, you can do it in small quantities, but the price of shipping will probably be greater than the value of your shipment. So, you should do it only in special cases when the speed of delivery is crucial. That means that your only real option is sea freight. The container will be provided by your shipper. However, you have to be aware that all wood that is not in a log form must be heat treated and placed on heat-treated pallets. With all phytosanitary certificates that should follow the shipment.
Is it possible to ship lumber overseas none containerized?
There is a possibility to ship your lumber none containerized. However, it will only raise the costs of the whole operation. And it will create other problems. Like protecting the product from different weather conditions on open seas. And it will lower the number of ports that has suitable conditions for loading and unloading none containerized lumber. That is why you should do it only in rare cases. But if you are in that situation, try to find a Ro-Ro ship or liners that would give you a special offer for your breakbulk cargo.
Shipping lumber in containers
Still, the most common way of shipping lumber overseas is in 20’ containers. You can also use 40’ shipping containers. But it will be hard to fill out the 40’ container with lumber while staying under the highway weight limits. Of course, your goal is to ship larger quantities to get better shipping prices. But because of the weight, you will have to use smaller containers.
How much does it cost to ship lumber overseas?
Like with everything else, you will get the best rates with shipping larger quantities. Of course, the prices will differ between different shipping companies. If you want to find the most affordable way to ship lumber overseas you will have to ask for estimates from several companies. Some companies will offer special deals for Cold Chain services, others will offer cheaper breakbulk haul. And your mission is to find the shipper that is offering the best rates for your type of cargo. But, there are things you should know when shipping lumber is concerned.
- The worst prices for shipping lumber overseas will occur with quantities from 1 to 5 lbs. And from 71 to 79 lbs.
- You will get better rates with shipping quantities from 60 lbs to 69 lbs.
- The most affordable way of shipping lumber overseas is in bigger quantities, over 150 lbs.
- The cost of shipping is determined according to the weight, size and destination country.
How to get the best shipping rates
This means that, because the wood is dense, heavy, and awkward, shipping quantities of 1 or 2 (board feet, pieces, etc.) usually mean higher shipping rate-per-pound. It’s more cost-effective to ship medium quantities than it is to ship a small quantity. If you have to ship a quantity over 70 lbs, try to split it into smaller packages. To match that 60 to 69 lbs rates. Orders that are over 70 lbs have better rates if they are closer to 150+ lbs than it is with 71 lbs.
Shipping lumber overseas requires much attention, so the process can be a little bit slow. But if you have a good freight forwarding company by your side, all you have to do is to follow their instructions. On the other side, if you want to maximize your profit, learn about the business. And organize the shipping on your own.