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How can I make sure I don't get screwed over when my supplier handles shipping?

Anything related to sourcing or importing products.

MitchM

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So I am making my first order right now and I am trying to get shipping sorted out for the end of this month.

The Shipment:
17kgs/ctn
30pcs/ctn
50ctns in total
Size: 28x40x36cm

My supplier in Shanghai has quoted me $2600 for air freight to an airport near me. At $3.05 per/kg this seems like a pretty solid quote, but I am concerned about issues with insurance and liability when not using my own freight forwarder.

1) How do I go about making sure that I am not screwed over if I receive a shipment with many damaged items?

2) Do I still need a customs broker?

3) Should I personally hire someone to handle the cargo before the shipment leaves Shanghai?

Thank you all for any help. I know I may not have provided enough information, so please let me know if there is anything that I need to fill in.
 
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AgainstAllOdds

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1) How do I go about making sure that I am not screwed over if I receive a shipment with many damaged items?

Make it known to the supplier that you're concerned about the product coming damaged. 90% of suppliers are smart and want recurring business so they're incentivized for the product not to be damaged.

But in general, unless you have a full container, you have a lot less control over your product being damaged during shipping.

2) Do I still need a customs broker?

Yea.

Unless you get FedEx or UPS to deliver to your door, you need a broker to clear customs for you.

3) Should I personally hire someone to handle the cargo before the shipment leaves Shanghai?

You can. Up to you. $3.05 per kg seems like a more than fair price for air shipping from China. You won't save much on this air shipment but might on future sea shipments.

My supplier in Shanghai has quoted me $2600 for air freight to an airport near me.

But honestly man, just get this shipped by sea. You're going to have to deal with customs anyways, so that cost is consistent.

Then you have the freight cost.

Right now you're paying $2,600.

Sea shipping you're paying about:

28*40*36cm * 50 cartons = 2.016 cbm.

Let's estimate cost per cbm a bit higher at $150 (I don't know the cost to Atlanta), you're looking at:

2.016 * $150 = $302.40.

$2,600 - $302.40 = $2,297.60 for an extra 3-4 weeks lead time.

I don't know what you're selling, but for me, that $2,297.60 on 2cbm of product is a no brainer.
 

MitchM

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I don't know what you're selling, but for me, that $2,297.60 on 2cbm of product is a no brainer.

During my launch it will be different because of advertising rush, but I only need to sell 250-400 pcs to make that in profit. I'm just now launching but if all goes well I am thinking it might be worth it to get it earlier.

Edit: Anyone have thoughts on splitting up the shipment? Maybe 20 can come through air and then 30 sea freight?
 
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biophase

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During my launch it will be different because of advertising rush, but I only need to sell 250-400 pcs to make that in profit. I'm just now launching but if all goes well I am thinking it might be worth it to get it earlier.

Edit: Anyone have thoughts on splitting up the shipment? Maybe 20 can come through air and then 30 sea freight?

Price seems pretty good. I usually get air freight delivered to my door. It may cost you about $1000 more. I'm paying between $50-$80/box for Fedex. I usually calculate the per piece cost. For example, shipping by sea costs me $.10/pc and by air is $.40-$.80/pc. With Fedex it usually takes one week to get here. DHL takes around 2-3 days but is way more expensive.

You can split them air and sea, try to figure out how much one pallet would be and ship the rest by air.
 
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MitchM

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Price seems pretty good. I usually get air freight delivered to my door. It may cost you about $1000 more. I'm paying between $50-$80/box for Fedex. I usually calculate the per piece cost. For example, shipping by sea costs me $.10/pc and by air is $.40-$.80/pc. With Fedex it usually takes one week to get here. DHL takes around 2-3 days but is way more expensive.

You can split them air and sea, try to figure out how much one pallet would be and ship the rest by air.
Thank you for the response. Yeah - doing only air would end up costing about $2-$2.40 each piece after getting it to my door.

I want to launch ASAP so I think I'm gonna end up splitting the shipment.

At $1000 just to have FEDEX bring it to my house, I think I might just go pick it up with a U-Haul (if I can).
 

biophase

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Thank you for the response. Yeah - doing only air would end up costing about $2-$2.40 each piece after getting it to my door.

I want to launch ASAP so I think I'm gonna end up splitting the shipment.

At $1000 just to have FEDEX bring it to my house, I think I might just go pick it up with a U-Haul (if I can).

It’s $1000 plus your time and plus customs brokers fees.
 

AgainstAllOdds

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Thank you for the response. Yeah - doing only air would end up costing about $2-$2.40 each piece after getting it to my door.

I want to launch ASAP so I think I'm gonna end up splitting the shipment.

At $1000 just to have FEDEX bring it to my house, I think I might just go pick it up with a U-Haul (if I can).

Going off what @biophase said, you're gonna pay about $400 in import broker fees if you don't have an annual import bond. Roughly $335 if you do.

I recommend going the Uhaul route because you'll learn the process of picking up a shipment, but do expect an inconvenience.
 
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amp0193

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I recommend going the Uhaul route because you'll learn the process of picking up a shipment, but do expect an inconvenience.

It's worth doing once.

IMO, the cost to have it delivered is less than the hassle and time of picking something up from the airport freight terminal.
 

MitchM

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So, I feel like an idiot for asking this at this point, but

1) Alibaba is offering me a free inspection from Bureau Veritas. My manufacturer plans on having my shipment made Thursday and the inspection will likely delay for about 3 days. I have no idea what the process is or if it is worth it because I was planning to inspect them myself on arrival since this is my first shipment.

2) All of my products are packaged in a plastic that must be torn and come in a box. I wanted to make sure that the product inside is up to par before sending them all out to Amazon... but that will require me to open, close, and re-wrap 1500 pcs. I'm willing to spend a couple of days to check the quality, but I was also thinking that I could do a random selection of 50 or so to get an idea of whether I need to sift through the rest of them. Any thoughts? I understand that this is up to my discretion, but I just like hearing from others for the sake of comfort :clench:

3) Do I need to contact somebody other than my manufacturer to get insurance on my shipment? My manu arranged the air shipment originally so I don't know how this works.
- I actually just got a response from my manufacturer saying "No insurance. But air company will cover it when delivery." No idea what this means to be honest.

Thanks guys. Hope these questions can help someone else as well :D
 
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