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Freight shipping tips, tools, and guides to drive better international freight for importers and exporters of all sizes

How to Estimate International Shipping Cost

 

Estimate International Shipping Cost For The Best Way To Ship

When e-commerce businesses first start sourcing from overseas they often start small and test the waters. It makes sense to start out with small shipments by express freight (international courier), then graduate to larger shipments by air freight. But there comes a point if you are regularly shipping goods that it’s cheaper to ship by ocean freight.

Many businesses don’t realize that they have passed this point. By exclusively using or over-relying on shipping by air, they end up spending too much on their shipping costs.

Assuming other factors, such as transit time, don’t come into play when choosing between air freight and ocean freight, how do you know which one works out cheaper for your shipment?

The most accurate way of finding that out is to request separate quotes from a forwarder. But, that can be a hassle, especially if you don’t have all the details you need when requesting a quote. And then you’ll typically have to wait several days for the forwarders to prepare a quote. It takes that long because there are many cost variables affecting costs, such as the date the ship or plane departs port, shipment measurement and weight, and the exact points of pickup and delivery.

But at this point, you don’t want to know costs down to the cent, you are really looking for an estimate. But, that estimate has to take into account the many variables if it is going to be accurate.

 

How To Estimate Shipping Costs

The Freightos shipping cost estimator is unique in that it uses the live shipping data used by dozens of freight forwarders. It takes current international transit costs into account, but also all the relevant surcharges and fees, including the trucking costs for pickup and delivery. The only thing it doesn’t include is customs duty, if applicable.

It’s a very easy tool to use, and all up takes less than a minute. After selecting between shipping full containers or boxes/pallets, simply enter your shipment’s dimensions and weight, and the origin and destination. That’s it.

 

Click to embed this freight tool widget on your site.

 

Estimate International Shipping Costs To Get Landed Cost

If you’re familiar with incoterms, there’s another reason why you might quickly want to calculate accurate estimates of shipping costs.

When negotiating a deal with a supplier, you need to factor freight costs in with the buy price. If you are pushing for a lower buy price, and the supplier accepts it on condition that the incoterm switches from FOB to EXW, how do you know if you’re still better off? There’s no point pushing for a lower buy price, if you end up spending as much, or more, on freight costs.

You want to be decisive when hammering a deal. But how can you tell which is the better deal, a lower price on EXW (Ex-Works) incoterm (where you are paying all of the freight costs) or a higher price on FOB (Free On Board)? This is where the international shipping cost estimator comes in handy.

Simply add in the shipment details as a door to door shipment to find out the freight cost for EXW, and a port to door freight rate for FOB Shipping. Add these freight costs to the respective buy prices. You’ve just worked out landed cost and which deal is best for you. Easy!