When you need to send goods above the airline allowance overseas it can be a nightmare working out which service to go with, how the rates are calculated, whether there are additional charges, door to door , door to port, air or sea.
The usual pitfalls of excess baggage!
If you look at the consumer sites about the excess baggage services the biggest complaints are as follows.
- Additional charges at destination
- Additional charges for weight
- More complicated clearance than expected
How do you avoid the pitfalls?
People often get a per kg price on excess baggage that seems cheap without understanding that there is always a fuel surcharge and a airline terminal charges at the other end. Because the goods to thousands of different airports there is no standard charges and they can vary. People taking this option who have not been advised of the destination charges will often just pay the money and be done with it rather than complain, even thought the end price is far in excess of the original quote. A transaction on an international service is also not covered under consumer law so there is no cheap way to gain recourse anyway.
For example a client recently gave me a per kg rate from a competitor to London Heathrow that seemed competitive and on face value looked like a cheaper excess baggage service than ours, however they were told there would only be a minor charge at the destination terminal. Unfortunately this was a bit of a lie. When I added up the charges for the terminal and the rate and then the quoted delivery rate within the M25 limits they would have been better with a door to door premium express service. We could have certainly given them a better rate to the terminal but London Heathrow is such a maze I would always recommend paying the additional for the door to door service.
Make sure you get a written quote with all the inclusions and exclusions and read it very well.
Another issue is the additional charges for additional weight. When something is air freighted it doesn’t go on actual weight but volumetric weight which is calculated based on the cubic volume multiplied by between 167 and 200. Confusing huh? The difference between a good service and a service that you will latter regret is that they can explain all of this to you when you talk to them. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.
Which way would I go? To all of the major destinations like London, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong etc I would take a “door to door” service and not even bother about an airport rate. I think this is especially true in countries where you are not fluent in the language. We have both a budget air service and a premium air service and the difference is usually about a week. But if you are confident and you have experience in clearing goods at the airport, feel free sending to the airport, we have excellent deals.
The final word is about clearance. Talk to us and we can give you good general advice about shipping anywhere. But the key is do your research. Alcohol and tobacco is restricted in most places, and some places have restrictions based on your visa time, so as well as talking with specialists like us it is important to google google google for the very latest information on your destination requirements.
Feel free to give us a call we are always happy to chat.