3 Questions To Ask Potential Shipping Container Transporters Before Hiring One

Posted on: 28 December 2016

Using a container transport company to ship your belongings overseas can save you time, money, and stress. All your stuff will stay together in one place, so you don't have to worry about it, and you don't have to worry about paying separate shipping costs for each box you pack.

Before hiring a company to work with, it's a good idea to consult with a few potential options first. This will help ensure that the service provider you hire meets all your needs and expectations from beginning to end. Here are a few important questions to ask prospective container transports before deciding who you'll ultimately work with:

What Cannot Be Stored in the Container?

Most shipping container transport companies ban certain items from being stored in the containers that they ship due to safety and liability concerns, so it's important to ask each prospective service provider you consult with to provide you with a comprehensive list of anything that can't be inside in your shipping container upon departure.

You should also inquire about how the company will inspect your container before it gets shipped to ensure that nothing prohibited is inside. Some companies may require that you allow them to pack the container for you, while others may unpack it and pack it again. Yet others may use some form of technology to inspect the container, so nothing inside is disturbed.

What Kinds of Insurance Options are Available?

It is also a good idea to discuss insurance options with potential shipping transporters before hiring one to ensure that your belongings will be protected as you expect. Does any insurance come with the service you're paying for and if so, what is covered and what are the deductibles? Is additional insurance available at an extra cost if you feel that you need more protection and if so, what are those costs?

Will you be responsible for insuring the container too, or will the company take care of that? The answers to these questions should help you determine whether or not a potential shipping company has the ability to protect your belongings without you having to utilize a third-party insurance company.

How Long Does Delivery Take Once the Container Arrives?

Once the shipping container filled with your belongings arrives at the port in your destination, how long will it take the company to deliver the container to where you'll be unloading your belongings? Some companies may have to put you on a waiting list due to their availability, which means there is a chance you'll wait a week or more for delivery. Other companies guarantee delivery within a specified period of time, such as 48 hours.

The costs associated with delivery will likely reflect your waiting time, so you can expect to pay a little more for expedient delivery if you need your belongings urgently. Comparing delivery times and pricing for the companies you consult with should make it easy to choose a service that balances your needs with your budget.

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