I saw many redditors are not sure how to get a quote from forwarders, so I want to share my knowledges and experience with you.
I have been working as an international sales rep. for more than 8 years, custom producing plastic injection molds and molded parts for my customers. Of course, I need to deal with all the affairs, not only processing follow up, quality control, but also shipping with our forwarder. As per our experience, if less than 150kgs, the most cost-effective way is by courier like DHL, UPS, Fedex, etc. If more, you have to find a forwarder to work together.
It is better to estimate everything before you buy goods from China. Because after count in all the charges including the freight cost, local charges, etc, maybe it is not worth importing. As per my experience, if the products are big, especially hollow inside, and can not be stacked to save space for shipping, it is more important that you need to check the freight cost as well as other charges in advance.
After you find some forwarders( it is better if it is in China), you need to:
1, Send all of the packing details to them, including: carton size, gross weight of each carton, total carton number, total gross weight, batteries included or not.
2, Send your destination shipping address. You need "To door" or "To sea port" or "To air port" service from them?
3, Let them know where your goods are located at, they will be shipped from which loading sea port or which air port. Such as Shenzhen sea port, Xiamen sea port, or else.
4, Let them know what incoterms you are doing business with them? Check your quotation from the manufacturer, if the quote does not specify you need to double check with the manufacturer. Or even it is specified, you need to confirm with the manufacturer. Because as per different incoterms, the forwarder might quote differently. The most commonly used incoterms is EXW, FOB, CIF, CNF(C&F).
5, Do not forget to ask them about the shipping time(lead time)
6, After you get quotes from them, compare which way is better, by air or by sea.
If you need assistance or help, whatever and whenver, just let me know. I'm more than pleased to help.
Author: Vicky Liu --- Sales Manager of Respon Moulding Co., Ltd.