In consolidated shipping, multiple small shipments from different transporters are combined into a single larger shipment. This larger shipment is then transported to its terminus via a freight forwarder, who arranges for the necessary transportation, documentation, and customs clearance. Consolidated shipping is also known as group-age or LCL (less-than-container-load) shipping.
Consolidated shipping is often used for small shipments that do not completely fill a shipping container or truck. By combining multiple shipments into one, shippers can save on transportation costs, as they are sharing the cost of shipping with other shippers. It also allows for more efficient use of transportation resources, as a single truck or container can transport multiple shipments at once.
Benefits of consolidated shipping from China for importers
- Cost Savings: Consolidated shipping is usually cheaper than full container load (FCL) shipping as importers only pay for the space they need in the container. This is particularly beneficial for small to medium-sized businesses that don’t have enough cargo to fill a full container.
- Flexibility: It offers greater flexibility in terms of shipment size and frequency. Importers can ship small quantities of goods as frequently as needed, rather than waiting to fill a full container before shipping.
- Reduced Risk: Since multiple shipments are combined into one container, there is a reduced risk of loss or damage during transit as the container is packed and sealed at the port of origin and opened only at the destination port.
- Access to More Ports: Consolidated shipping allows importers to ship their goods to more ports than FCL shipping, as shipping lines usually offer consolidated services to a wider range of destinations.
- Efficient Customs Clearance: Consolidated shipping can help expedite customs clearance as customs clearance procedures are completed for the container as a whole, rather than for individual shipments.
- Increased Visibility: Consolidated shipping provides importers with greater visibility into their shipment as they receive updates on the status of their shipment and can track it from origin to destination.
Overall, consolidated shipping offers a cost-effective, flexible, and efficient way for importers to transport smaller quantities of goods from China to their destination. Work with a freight forwarder, it will help you can streamline the shipping process and reduce the administrative burden associated with international shipping.
How to implement consolidated shipping from China?
Consolidated shipping is a method of shipping goods from multiple suppliers in China to a single destination.
- Identify your suppliers & their shipping terms: Identify all the suppliers you want to work with and determine their shipping terms, including the shipping method, shipping cost, and delivery time. Ensure that the suppliers chosen are close to one another and even have export clearance.
- Negotiate terms with suppliers: Negotiate with each supplier to ensure they agree to consolidate your shipments and provide a detailed invoice for each shipment.
- Find a freight forwarder: Freight forwarders have specialized knowledge and expertise in international shipping, including customs regulations, shipping documentation, and logistics. This can be particularly valuable when navigating the complexities of shipping from China. It can also save you time and help you avoid potential logistical headaches.
- Provide shipping details to your freight forwarder: Provide your freight forwarder with the details of your suppliers and their shipping terms, including the port of departure, destination port, and delivery address.
- Choose a consolidation point: Determine the best consolidation point based on the location of your suppliers and the destination port.
- Arrange for pick-up of goods: Arrange for the pick-up of goods from each supplier and deliver them to the consolidation point.
- Consolidate the shipments: Once all the shipments have been collected at the consolidation point, your freight forwarder will consolidate them into a single shipment.
- Prepare shipment documentation: Your freight forwarder will prepare the necessary documentation, including the bill of lading, commercial invoice, and packing list.
- Clear customs: Your freight forwarder will clear customs on your behalf and handle any issues that may arise.
- Pay for shipping: Pay the shipping fees to your freight forwarder, including any fees for customs clearance and delivery.
- Track your shipment: Your freight forwarder will provide you with a tracking number so you can track the progress of your shipment.
- Receive your shipment: Once your shipment arrives at the destination port, it will be unloaded and cleared through customs. Your freight forwarder will then arrange for delivery to your final destination.
- Inspect your shipment: Inspect your shipment upon delivery to ensure that all items have arrived undamaged and that everything is accounted for.
- Pay any outstanding fees: Pay any outstanding fees, including customs duties, taxes, and delivery fees.
By following these steps, you can implement consolidated shipping from China with ease and enjoy the benefits of reduced shipping costs and more efficient logistics.