When you import goods to the UK, if your shipment is over 100kg or has a volume of over 0.5cbm, you’ll likely be looking into freight services – which means that you’ll be searching for a freight forwarder or a shipping company. What you may find, however, is that freight forwarders . . . may not be willing to help you. That all your quote requests return a “sorry, we don’t provide services from this country“. This can make an already complicated process even more difficult.
So why is this?
Simply put: freight forwarders may be rejecting your shipment because a lot of freight forwarders only operate along certain routes.
There are a lot of reasons for this – certain areas are more dangerous to ship from (Somalia, for example, has a high risk of piracy); we may not have agents in certain countries; additional documentation or processes from certain countries may be painstakingly complicated . . . however, the main reason is familiarity. As freight forwarders, it’s our job to take control of your shipment and get it safely from A to B. For Shippo especially, we view it as our job to get your goods from A to B simply without any possible complications or problems for you. We specialise in helping first time importers – so it’s absolutely imperative that our service is as efficient and streamlined as possible.
Why Shippo may not quote on certain routes
Here at Shippo, our service quality put us heads and shoulders above the rest and this is important to us. Yes, we would make more money in the short term by giving quotes for every shipment that we are asked for a price on but we’d be selling ourselves short.
If we’ve refused to give you a price for importing your goods from Northern Africa for example it’s because we feel as if we wouldn’t be able to give you the quality of service that we’re known for. The reason for this is because there are certain countries in the world that we’ve just not found an agent with whom we’re confident to do the job to our high standards. We refuse to compromise on quality so therefore decide that we won’t offer a rate and supply a second rate service.
The same reason is true for not routinely offering an import service to any country that’s not the UK (for new customers). This is because we hang our hat on the quality of our service and can control your shipment ourselves. We know the customs processes, can predict and control costs as well as possible problems… and more importantly, we can minimise potential problems. Once we hand that batton to two foreign agents then we lose the control that gives our service the edge and there becomes a lot more room for error.
Shippo specialise in shipments from Asia to the UK. We can make exceptions (usually for our existing customers) however our core market is Asia to the UK and we are proud to provide such a good service on these routes
So what can you do if freight forwarders keep turning down your shipment?
Find a forwarder that is comfortable working within the country you’re importing from!
Try search engines – make sure to keep your search specific so that you’re only returning freight forwarders that are comfortable working in the country you’re importing from. Remember: it’s a good thing that you keep getting turned down. If people were accepting your shipment with no real knowledge of the logistics of the country of origin, you and your goods would be in for a bumpy ride!