A freight shipping company can move an enormous variety of goods whether they are liquid bulk, dry bulk or goods placed in containers. In fact, the international shipping industry accounts for 90% of world trade so nearly everything you come into contact with in your average day has been on a freight vessel. When sourcing the best shipping company to move your precious cargo, many factors need to be considered. Getting several quotes from a variety of companies is a great way to begin the comparison process, so why not fill out our quick form below to receive up to 5 free quotes?
The most well known shipping centres have traditionally been New York, London, Amsterdam and Hamburg but newcomers in the east such as Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei are quickly becoming shipping epicentres in their own right.
A freight shipping company should be bonded, insured, and licensed by its home country's maritime authority. It's wise for you to do a thorough check on a company before signing any documents authorising the transport of your goods. Be cautious because some companies might boast that they have a license and include this claim on their websites, when in fact, this is not the case. Lloyd's List is the maritime industry's voice which covers an endless variety of topics ranging from logistics to insurance to law. Any freight shipping company worth its salt will be listed with them since over 150,000 of them are catalogued. You'll be able to learn about the vessels registered with each company as well as obtain credit reports and a history of inspections and disasters.
The freight shipping company you choose will also most likely depend upon your location. Is your warehouse or factory near a port city, or will you need a company that offers intermodal transport to get your goods from the interior of a country or continent to the coastal region? Luckily, thanks to Malcolm McLean, an American trucking entrepreneur who came up with the idea to load containers from trucks onto ships without disturbing the cargo inside, it's possible to smoothly transfer containers from one form of transportation to another. By simplifying the whole process, the cargo industry was forever changed. This also meant that all containers must be uniform in size, thus the TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) and FEUs (Forty-foot Equivalent Unit) were born. Since the early 1960s, containers have been constructed according to strict guidelines and vessels, trucks, trains, planes and related equipment such as cranes must also adhere to the International Organisation for Standardisation's requirements.
Over 150 million TEUs are traded globally every year. If you want to know who the biggest players in this industry are, try checking the Container Shipping Information Service (CSIS). Perhaps you'll choose a freight shipping company that is among the 23 in their list.
The shipping industry's principle governing agency is the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an arm of the United Nations. They control safety procedures, security measures and environmental regulations. The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), based in Lisbon, also protects similar interests.