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Am I being ripped off by my forwarder?

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MoneyDoc

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Hey guys,

My China shipment finally arrived after 40 days. It was 1 skid, about 500kg shipped via ocean freight to Canada.

I just got my invoice from my forwarder for $2500 USD... that’s more than what I paid for my order. There’s no way it can be $2500 USD for an ocean freight shipment for 1 skid...

Am I missing something or is he actually trying to rip me off? I’ve attached the invoice.
 

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Vigilante

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Seems super high. Keep in mind, the charges are predominantly by cube, not weight.

Next time, make sure you have the quotation BEFORE shipment. That cost seems more commesurate with an air freight skid than an ocean skid (although still cheaper than what air freight should be.)

Also surprised for $350+ at airport PLUS $350 domestic delivery. That seems like a double down.

There's a bunch of fees there that seem overinflated. Push back against the forwarder and challenge the total bill and specific line items and you will be able to get it reduced.

Next time, get this outlined before shipment so you aren't surprised.

Depending on how much you want to work on this, you could also call a different forwarder NOW and get a door to door ocean quote and see what they tell you, and that would tell you how far off this final bill is. However, cargo freight rates change pretty regularly.
 
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MoneyDoc

MoneyDoc

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Seems super high. Keep in mind, the charges are predominantly by cube, not weight.

Next time, make sure you have the quotation BEFORE shipment. That cost seems more commesurate with an air freight skid than an ocean skid (although still cheaper than what air freight should be.)

Also surprised for $350+ at airport PLUS $350 domestic delivery. That seems like a double down.

There's a bunch of fees there that seem overinflated. Push back against the forwarder and challenge the total bill and specific line items and you will be able to get it reduced.

Next time, get this outlined before shipment so you aren't surprised.

Depending on how much you want to work on this, you could also call a different forwarder NOW and get a door to door ocean quote and see what they tell you, and that would tell you how far off this final bill is. However, cargo freight rates change pretty regularly.
Thanks Dave.

I'm checking with another forwarder. If this guy is trying to rip me off, that's bad news for him. I have a 40' container planned for this product...

And some of those fees do seem overinflated. This is the problem with being too nice, people think you're stupid and they think they can play you around since you won't say anything.

And the last fee for delivery at $355.55 seems like a made up number, lmao.

EDIT:

Just found his original email a couple months ago for this shipment when I was planning the order:

O/F: 250 USD

AMS: 45 USD

DOC: 60 USD

PICKUP: 295.00 (6 DAYS DUE TO OUTBREAK IN CHINA)

UNLOADING: 20USD

GATE: 9 USD /TRUCK

MANIFEST: 12USD

HANDLING FEE: 75.00
 
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MoneyDoc

MoneyDoc

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I've paid that much before....for an entire 40 ft container.
This is why I was so shocked... I've imported from China before, never by sea, but my air freight shipments were around $5/kg... This shipment should've been $500 max.

Trying to get a quote from another forwarder then I'll ask him if he's made an unintentional mistake.
 

Vigilante

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This is why I was so shocked... I've imported from China before, never by sea, but my air freight shipments were around $5/kg... This shipment should've been $500 max.

Trying to get a quote from another forwarder then I'll ask him if he's made an unintentional mistake.
Door to door I would’ve pegged at around $1000 US
 
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Update:

Reply from the forwarder today after I told him to review the invoice again as someone on his team might have made an "unintentional" mistake:

Hope all is well! I apologize I have not been able to get back to you. I have been traveling all day.



I am going to review the invoice sent to you and see what happened… The invoice from China should be around $1000.00 or less.… I didn’t see the charges from the Canadian Broker before you were billed.



I will obtain invoice sent to you, review and reply.


I apologize once again. It’s my bad, I should have reviewed it before I left. I will take care of it.



If you ever have a doubt on an invoice, please, you have full access to all my access points. I am here for you, so don’t hesitate to email, text or call with any question you may have.


Sounds to me like a "oh shit, he's not stupid. Let me pretend it was a mistake and bill him the actual amount."
 

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Vigilante

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Door to door I would’ve pegged at around $1000
The invoice from China should be around $1000.00 or less.… I
You will get it done. My guess now? They come back at $987.00. They'll press as close as they can to the new benchmark he set. Great job in never settling. Many would have just paid it.
 
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MoneyDoc

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You will get it done. My guess now? They come back at $987.00. They'll press as close as they can to the new benchmark he set. Great job in never settling. Many would have just paid it.
It just sucks for him because now I'm hesitant to use him again. Why would you ruin the relationship over an extra $1500 when my next few shipments would've made him far more than that? I don't understand people sometimes.
 

Ronak

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It just sucks for him because now I'm hesitant to use him again. Why would you ruin the relationship over an extra $1500 when my next few shipments would've made him far more than that? I don't understand people sometimes.
Margins are pretty thin, they probably clear at most $150-200 per shipment, easier to tack on some extra "fees" that represent 10x profit. There are probably some corporate clients that they can get away with charging that.
 

Walter Hay

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Is your freight forwarder local? It sounds very much like the work of a Chinese forwarder.

In my AMA I have often emphasized two things about freight forwarders:
  1. Never use a Chinese freight forwarder regardless of how low they quote.
  2. Before placing an order always get a written quote for door to door delivery including all costs.
Walter
 
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MoneyDoc

MoneyDoc

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Is your freight forwarder local? It sounds very much like the work of a Chinese forwarder.

In my AMA I have often emphasized two things about freight forwarders:
  1. Never use a Chinese freight forwarder regardless of how low they quote.
  2. Before placing an order always get a written quote for door to door delivery including all costs.
Walter
He's in the USA.

He originally quoted me $766... lol. He must've forgot.
 

RazorCut

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Why would you ruin the relationship over an extra $1500 when my next few shipments would've made him far more than that? I don't understand people sometimes.
Some people can’t help themselves.



He's in the USA.

He originally quoted me $766... lol. He must've forgot.
If you have that in writing that’s exactly what I would be sending him together with a ‘So long and thanks for all the fish’.
 

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