Signing up for a tradeshow is incredibly exciting. Using your knowledge and creative skills to showcase to hundreds or thousands of inquisitive minds is a fulfilling experience. A lot of time, money, and effort goes into setting up the booths for trade shows, including the logistics of shipping the items to their destination.

While you may be familiar with standard freight shipping, trade show shipping is more specific and challenging for first-timers. If you’re preparing for an upcoming trade show, here’s everything you need to know about trade show shipping.

How Does It Differ From Standard Shipping?

If you have only participated in standard freight, don’t worry. You will become more familiar with domestic shipping protocols as time passes. However, trade show shipping has different requirements that can be complex for those who are unfamiliar.

Trade shows require detailed show kits filled with highly specific documents, tight deadlines, and many service options. You must thoroughly plan your flooring, electrical layouts, labor preferences, and other setup requirements. If you miss a deadline or miscalculate your need for space, you could run into budgeting issues or have trouble setting up your booth.

This type of shipping is also time sensitive. Trade shows have specific delivery time windows to ensure the setup process runs smoothly. The show’s directors will ask that you ship your items to a warehouse or other holding site well in advance. Be sure to include these timeframes in your planning.

Things To Consider When Trade Show Shipping

The key to a successful trade show’s transportation journey is to work ahead of time. Waiting until the last minute and rushing the logistic process does not leave room for error. As previously mentioned, trade show shipping requires a longer and tighter timeline than your traditional freight process. Some shows require shipment arrivals weeks in advance to kickstart the setup process.

You should create a detailed plan containing the events’ timeline, a budget, handling, and emergency guidelines when you commit to attending a trade show. Prioritizing these steps will help make the shipping process easier and more affordable.

Take the time to plan accordingly for a stress-free trade show. Below are a few more things to consider.

Ensure You Have the Proper Paperwork

One of the major keys to shipping, in general, is to have the proper paperwork and labels. Proper labeling is critical for all trade show freight, and ensures your crew or the host’s setup staff correctly places and properly handles your materials. You can color-code the labels or containers that your items are in for extra security. Doing so will also help event staff set up your booth correctly.

Make sure you include the following on your paperwork to ensure your items are secure:

Quick Reminder:

Always calculate the size and weight of your items, booth crates, and pallets before you ship them. Include the weight the padding or securing mechanisms add to each shipment. Doing so will help determine the total price of your freight.

Set Up Your Destination & Return Scheduling

It’s important to note that event venues typically do not receive trade show shipments. They receive and store these items in a designated warehouse where they hold all trade show items. This method makes it easy for the trade show directors to keep track of everything and get each booth to its respective space. Make sure to focus on the following when planning your destination and return scheduling:

Every trade show has special rules and regulations for the return process. While some shows provide return services, others will ask that you and your 3PL team make other arrangements. Finalize your return transportation plans before you head to the show to avoid mishaps, delays, and extra handling fees. Contact the trade show freight director to get the correct information you need.

Calculate Last Minute Items and Fees

Trade shows take extensive planning and budgeting to put together. While event planners aim to finalize everything by a certain date, you must plan for last-minute changes and fees that may occur. If you or your business partner forgets something, you must arrange accommodations for delivery.

You may also receive a material handling fee. This fee covers the cost of moving your items from point A to point B. The overall price will also include the amount of time they stored your items in their trucks, warehouse, or designated storage space.

You should also include drayage fees in the final transportation budget. Drayage fees are transfer, delivery, and storage charges. Additionally, consider including marshaling yard fees—or “pay-to-park” dues for your freight, with the bonus that yard employees will transport your cargo to and from the expo for you.

Prevent Forced Freight

You want to prevent forced freight when delivering to a trade show. Forced freight occurs when no one picks up your stuff after the event—meaning you lose control of your shipment, which could take days to locate. The trade show director will use their freight services to ship the items.

You can avoid this by partnering with a trustworthy 3PL team and ensuring you uniquely label your items. You should also fill out a material handling agreement in case you need to show that someone is coming to get the freight.

Think About Your Refrigerated Items

Sometimes you may have to deliver temperature-sensitive items to a trade show. If so, creating a separate plan for them is best since the delivery logistics differ. Refrigerated items typically bypass the warehouse and marshaling yard steps.

However, they run on a much tighter schedule, and your team must deliver them to their location at their assigned time. Confirm these items’ locations and lock them in their temperature-controlled containers.

How Can We Help?

Knowing everything you need to know about trade show shipping comes with time, experience, and often referring to our quick guide to this special form of transportation. If your business needs assistance handling trade show freight shipping, allow us to lend a helping hand.

Diversified Transportation Service offers tradeshow shipping to relieve you of the stress of hard deadlines and intense time slots. We want to be the best 3PL partner for you. We’ll help coordinate a plan and assist in keeping track of your shipment while communicating transparently throughout its journey.

Talk to one of our knowledgeable agents today for more information.

Everything You Need To Know About Trade Show Shipping

When shipping internationally, you must consider several things so your larger shipments and smaller packages make it to their destinations. There are customs rules, paperwork, and procedures to follow to prevent your shipment from being held or ceased.

As the popularity of e-commerce continues to rise, so will the demand for international shipping. So, before you send your items off, here are five things to consider before shipping products internationally.

Customs Regulations, Duties, Taxes, and Fees

Every product you plan to ship must clear customs, regardless of the method of transportation. You will be required to fill out paperwork to inform your country and the country receiving the goods what they’re exporting and importing.

When shipping products internationally, you must typically pay duties, taxes, and fees. These fees depend on the product’s value and where it’s going. You will be required to pay more if you’re shipping high-value products. Check the custom fee rates of the different countries to get an estimate before sending your items off.

Restricted Items

Be sure to check the list of restricted items in the country you’re shipping to. If you send restricted items to another country, you could face serious consequences.

Your Packaging

Shipping internationally, regardless of the method, is costly. The cost of your shipment for air freight is based on the greater of the volumetric weight or actual weight of your shipment, so it’s important to consider your packaging. “Volumetric weight” is another way of saying how much room the shipment will take up in the plane. Ensure that you choose your box and packaging based on the size of your product to reduce your shipment’s volumetric weight.

Time of Transit

When shipping items internationally, you must plan your operations carefully. It’s essential to determine the date and time of delivery. Your shipment could get delayed, or you might not be able to choose expedited shipping. Depending on the product you’re sending, customs could also take longer to inspect your shipment.

The Best Method of Transportation

Another thing to consider before shipping your products internationally is the method of transportation. You can ship your items by air or sea. To make the best decision, you should consider the time, cost, and product you’re sending. International air shipping is the fastest method; for that reason, it’s the more expensive option.

Sea freight, on the other hand, is more affordable, but it will take longer to reach its destination. If you’re shipping fragile or delicate items, we don’t recommend that you ship by sea.

Cargo Insurance

There are many risks when shipping your items, especially internationally. Therefore, you will benefit from protecting your items with insurance. Whether you’re shipping high-value items or small trinkets, having insurance will provide a safety net for your finances in case you run into problems.

Before you ship your items, make sure to keep these considerations in mind. That way, shipping your product internationally will be easy. By being aware of the essential information, you can help reduce the chances that your product gets held or delayed.

The average person knows how important the supply chain is, even without additional knowledge. The masses can receive millions of goods, including medicine, equipment, clothing, and food, through shipping logistics.

Drayage is a crucial step in the timeliness of the supply chain process. What is drayage, and why is it so important? Keep reading to discover why this step in the shipping operation is vital to your items arriving on time.

What Is Drayage?

Drayage is the process of transporting goods over a short distance. This stage is often part of a longer haul and involves moving goods from different terminals or intermodal ports. Instead of carrying a shipping container directly to the warehouse, drayage takes the shipment to the next port, which can be done within one or two hours.

What’s Drayage’s Role in Intermodal Shipping?

Intermodal shipping uses multiple transportation methods to ship freight and cargo. Most intermodal shipments are packaged in shipping containers for easy transfer.

Drayage’s role in intermodal shipping is to act as a connector between each step. These services may transport the shipment from a receiving dock to a trucking terminal. This will continue until a shipment reaches its destination.

Why Is Drayage Important?

While drayage seems like a small step in the complex world of logistics, it’s a vital piece of the puzzle. Shipping companies rely on an efficient supply chain to meet the increasing demands of a growing trade market. Drayage is important for preventing “traffic jams” and bottlenecks at ports, allowing each delivery to go smoothly. It also helps customers cut down on shipping costs. It’s more time efficient and keeps the supply chain moving.

At DTS, we understand our partners’ challenges in each transport stage. That’s why our team strives to ensure your shipment arrives at its destination on time. Diversified Transportation Service is a knowledgeable and trustworthy freight transportation company. Whether you need to ship domestically or internationally, we got you covered.

Contact us today for more information or inquiries.

Every year, from mid-August to November, businesses brace themselves for the rush of shipments and orders pouring in. That’s because everyone is preparing for back-to-school blowout sales and holiday shopping. We understand that this season can be hectic. With an influx of orders, keeping up with what’s coming and going can be difficult.

But through planning, you can easily navigate the increased demand and avoid disruptions in your operations. Don’t fall behind this year; follow these five tips for preparing for peak shipping season.

Readdress Your Previous Seasons

The best way to overcome the peak season is by reflecting on what you’ve learned from the previous seasons. Through reflection, you can find opportunities to improve your workflow and thrive in areas you’ve mastered. This will help you make the necessary changes to ensure your operation is in order.

Talk to team members who’ve been around for previous seasons for additional feedback. Through their point-of-view, you can gain insight and make the appropriate changes.

Improve Your Client Communication

Communicating with your current clients is essential, especially during peak season. With increased demand, shipments can run slower or have limited capacity. Making arrangements in advance and having the ability to forecast future trends in demand is key. With thorough communication and flexibility, you can create plans to ensure your shipments arrive on time.

Partner With Trusted 3PLs

To ensure a smooth peak season, you should consider collaborating with a 3PL. Before the season begins, seek a few 3PLs and express your expectations for the upcoming months. Through proper consideration, such as shipping deadlines or rate changes, you can master this surge with your new shipping partners.

Keep Up With Your Deadlines

Before creating a plan to tackle the peak season, you must know all the deadlines. Meeting internal and external deadlines is crucial to navigating peak shipping season.

Your team members should see the shipment details to ensure everything goes as planned. You should also communicate with your clients to let them know when they can expect their items.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

The worst thing you can do is wait until the last minute to implement changes. When peak season arrives, you should have your plans solidified and in motion. Making last-minute changes can be confusing and cause disruptions in your shipment.

However, we understand that the unexpected can happen. Create an additional plan to work as a backup in case something goes wrong or there is a delay.

Are You Prepared?

Following our five tips will prepare you and your team for the peak season. With careful planning and help from our team, we can help make peak shipping season a breeze. If you ever have a last-minute shipment or have a shipment that you need quickly, contact us to learn more about our expedited shipping services.

Refrigerated vehicles are some of the most underappreciated businesses in logistics. Delivering perishables is a real talent that we tend to overlook, but more businesses are starting to catch on. From the delivery of food to organ donations, there’s a huge demand for refrigerated vehicles. What industries rely on refrigerated truck transportation? Do you need to hop on the bandwagon?

In this article, we will take a closer look at the multiple industries that benefit from refrigerated transportation.

Pharmaceutical Companies

Drug companies rely heavily on refrigerated vehicles to keep medical supplies and prescriptions in a temperature-controlled environment. Many vaccines and medicines lose their potency in an environment that’s too hot or cold. Patients who get their medicine delivered to their homes receive it in an ice box to keep it cool.


Hospitals rely on temperature-controlled trucks for many reasons, delivering temperature-sensitive supplies and transporting organ donations—which is why refrigerated trucks are essential to the entire the hospital.

Hospitals also use refrigerated trucks to transport food and drinks for everyone in the facility—patients, visitors, and employees.

Airline Catering

Any business that provides food must have refrigerated catering vehicles; this includes airline services. When you’re on a flight and the flight attendant offers you a drink and a meal, you can thank the truck driver who delivered it with a temperature-controlled vehicle. All airline meals are safe to consume thanks to refrigerated trucks.

Universities and Colleges

Universities and colleges also rely on refrigerated transportation. This is due to the many hungry students and faculty members on campus. A university needs to get food delivered in bulk in a temperature-controlled environment in order to provide food and drinks for everyone.

Many universities have research labs and medical facilities that use refrigerated transportation to transport samples and research materials. Temperature-controlled trucks and vans are essential for research.


Believe it or not, florists rely on refrigerated truck transportation as well! Many florists ship their flowers across the country or overseas for events like weddings, conferences, and birthdays. The flowers must be in a temperature-controlled setting to stay alive in transit. Not only will this keep the flowers in good condition, but it will also keep their physical shape.

How Can We Help?

If you believe your business could benefit from refrigerated transportation, then you’ve come to the right place. Diversified Transportation Services strives to meet all our partners’ needs. Whether you want to transport flowers for a corporate event or send ice cream to a vendor, we will get your items to their destination safely with our full truckload shipping services.

Don’t hesitate to contact our talented team with any questions so they can help lead you in the right direction.

The world has changed quite a bit since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020. Everyone has seen the changes in their day-to-day lives through the way they interact with people when socializing, shopping, and working. However, many companies had to deal with another disruption during COVID-19—the virus’s impact on the freight shipping industry.

Now that several years have passed since the start of the pandemic, it is a great time to reflect on what happened to international and domestic shipping during this time. Moreover, such reflection can help us learn how to maintain efficient, modern shipping strategies. For example, we can begin to analyze how COVID-19 has impacted freight shipping rates.

If you’re trying to move freight internationally or domestically, you should know how the industry has changed since 2020. Read below to learn how the Coronavirus’s impact on the supply chain has extended further than simply delaying your neighbor’s latest Amazon delivery.

The Early Days of the Pandemic

The pandemic certainly didn’t stop digital goods and services from thriving; from movie streaming services to food delivery, people still wanted to buy things safely. However, greater barriers were set in place for workers in the physical freight transportation industry. Workplaces around the world were disrupted by Coronavirus protocols, and the shipping industry is certainly included in that list.

Domestic air, road, and train travel allow freight to move efficiently. When it comes to international shipping, both air and sea are the primary modes of transportation.

This process became less efficient when global lockdowns prevented shipping services from moving cargo at their usual pace. While lockdowns occurred all over the world, demand for buying physical goods did not, so a backlog of cargo developed in the global shipping chain. Of course, some products were more in demand than others.

For example, as a recent article from the OECD mentions, personal protective equipment (PPE) was among the products in unusually high demand during the pandemic due to their necessity for safer public encounters. This shift in supply demand and transportation capabilities caused frustrating bottlenecks for freight, but the physical constraints weren’t the only barriers.

Maritime Freight Rates Increase

Now that you have a better understanding of COVID’s impact on the shipping industry, let’s take a closer look at the titular question: How has COVID-19 impacted freight shipping rates? The aforementioned OECD article reflects on both bulk and container freight rates. These rates began rising in mid-2020 until they reached their highest point since the global financial crisis in mid-2021.

While that may not be an issue for companies benefiting from those shipping costs, it can be disruptive to the supply chain for those paying the extra fees. It didn’t help that COVID-19 outbreaks were still happening during 2021; there was no overnight transition back to normalcy for the shipping industry once 2020 ended. That said, it’s important to remember that not every increase in freight shipping rates is solely due to the pandemic.

International Air Freight Rates

According to Freightos, both ongoing Coronavirus outbreaks and the war in Ukraine have disrupted air cargo, which influences the cost of air freight transportation. Let’s take a closer look at air cargo rates post-pandemic.

Let’s not forget that fluctuations happen for many reasons. Sometimes rates drop, but in the context of a post-2020 world, that isn’t always an incredibly gleeful detail. For instance, the same Freightos article mentions that Europe-East Coast prices are 28 percent lower than they were the previous year.

Before you start celebrating, Freightos’s article reminds us that this 28 percent rate drop still accounts for prices being 50 percent higher than average. As you can see, it’s easy to say that the pandemic caused a lot of problems around the world, but the truth of the matter is a bit more nuanced. In the current state of the post-pandemic shipping industry, costs can fluctuate, but that doesn’t mean companies can’t start building better strategies to prepare for the future.

Reflecting on Recent Years and Planning Ahead

Of course, this is only a snapshot of the shipping world as a result of the pandemic because so much has happened in recent years. We could list a flurry of graphs comparing the numbers over the years, but there’s more to explore with this topic. Simply put, the pandemic put a lot of pressure on supply chains worldwide, resulting in product demand fluctuating across the board and ultimately leading to freight bottlenecks at ports and increased shipping rates.

Now that we’re a few years removed from the onset of the pandemic, shipping rates aren’t so dire, but they do continue to fluctuate. Although COVID-19 may contribute to some of this, it certainly isn’t the only issue causing shipping rates to be inconsistent. Fuel costs and more fees associated with shipping can cause inconsistent rate expectations, too.

One additional way that COVID-19 has affected freight shipping rates occurs in the strategy side of the industry. In other words, the pandemic showed that companies must be ready to pivot when extraordinary obstacles pop up. For this reason, it’s critical to build a shipping system for your company that is as efficient during routine work as it is when dealing with unexpected problems. That’s easier said than done, so how do you do it?

A great supply chain begins with a professional, experienced team of logistics specialists. For example, at Diversified Transportation Services, we manage a company’s shipping logistics to ensure that shipments are arranged in an efficient and reliable way. Mislabeled shipments, mishandled goods, and inefficient shipping practices can strike when you don’t have focused, trained professionals by your side.

One of the many ways we can assist with freight transportation is through international freight forwarding services. Although we are not freight forwarders, we work with them to build an appropriate shipping strategy that aligns with the specific solution that the shipment calls for.

By partnering with a 3PL to oversee your company’s freight transportation, you can focus elsewhere while having peace of mind knowing that shipping specialists are handling everything on the freight side of the project. Take a closer look at your shipping strategy today to determine if you still have room to learn from the pandemic.

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Freight Shipping Rates?

Working with an experienced logistics company, such as a 3PL, helps companies more easily manage an efficient, safe shipping operation. However, a business owner should still learn some of the essential shipping industry terms before sending goods overseas. Doing so makes it easier to avoid miscommunications when shipping goods to customers, one of the most important branches of your operation. Read these terms to know when shipping international freight so that you can clearly communicate with your logistics experts.


Expedited shipping is when a company ships items at an unusually quick rate. Sometimes, a shipment isn’t time sensitive. However, some goods need to reach their destination within a few days, and that’s where expedited shipping comes in handy. Even when shipping freight overseas, a company can still expedite to ensure the quickest delivery time possible.


One of the essential terms to know when shipping international freight is HazMat due to the role it plays in safe freight delivery. HazMat translates to “hazardous material.” You’ll have to label flammable, toxic, or otherwise dangerous materials as HazMat to keep the carrier handling the materials safe. After identifying a HazMat order, the carrier can carefully handle the materials to avoid accidents.


If you’re not used to transporting cargo via sea, you may not know what maritime refers to in this industry. Maritime means transporting items via sea, specifically by loading the cargo onto a boat. Although it’s typically not as efficient as air travel, maritime freight transportation remains a reliable solution for many companies.


The final term to learn today is overage, which refers to how much cargo reaches its destination. More specifically, overage means there’s too much cargo in a delivery. Mistakes can happen in shipping, but proper logistics management ensures you can avoid accidental overages and more simple slip-ups.

Whether you’re seeking DHL international freight or another way of moving cargo overseas, you can do it today now that you have a firmer grasp on some of the industry’s most important terms.

Freight shipping requires a complex system of transportation modes functioning together to send items across the world. Whether your shipment is going on a short or long journey, they require more planning than it takes for an individual to send mail to a loved one. Maintaining clear communication during freight shipping processes is critical for keeping delivery dates consistent and packages safe.

Thus, you should familiarize yourself with the long list of terms and services involved in the shipping industry. For example, what is drayage and its role in logistics? Maintain clear communication with your 3PL today by learning about drayage in our explanation below.

Defining Drayage

Shipping logistics require coordinating a wide range of details to ensure a shipment reaches its destination safely. This isn’t only applicable to long-distance or international transportation; even domestic shipments moving across a single town require precise planning. For this reason, drayage is among our many shipping and logistics services. The drayage process is essential to ensuring short-distance shipments receive the care and efficiency they require.

That said, drayage has a straightforward definition. This term refers to the process of organizing and transporting shipments over short distances. However, we’re not talking about personal packages—we’re talking about large freights moving from port to port or another destination. Now that you have a clearer view of what drayage means to shipping logistics, we can move on to a very specific form of drayage services.

Intermodal Drayage

Intermodal drayage refers to short-distance shipments for freights using different modes of transportation. Through intermodal shipping, 3PLs can help companies transfer shipments for the most efficient delivery via air, sea, road, or rail. Simply put, without intermodal drayage services, you can’t shift from different modes of transportation during freight shipments.

Thus, partnering with reliable logistics services guarantees a smooth drayage process. There is still more to learn about the service because there isn’t just one form of drayage; there are many.

Six Drayage Styles

The shipping industry is complex as it is, but intermodal drayage also relies on various systems to create the best shipping experience for any chosen freight. Although there are many terms in the shipping industry to learn, they should become commonplace once you use them for freights.

According to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), you can separate drayage services into six distinct categories. These categories include intra-carrier, inter-carrier, door-to-door, expedited, pier, and shuttle. While some of these services may seem straightforward at face value, it’s invaluable to know precisely which each type entails. Let’s define these styles below so that you can navigate your shipping options more clearly.

Intra-Carrier & Inter-Carrier

The first drayage type is cross-town, also known as inter-carrier. As the name suggests, this type of drayage involves carrying shipments across a town, specifically by moving the shipments between multiple railroads. In addition, the transition between railroads is carefully optimized for a seamless, swift experience. That may sound obvious, but not carefully planning that transition can result in avoidable delays to the delivery date. If you want to plan efficient shipments, every step of the item’s journey must be successfully optimized for minimal downtime and maximum protection.

Although it has a similar name to inter-carrier drayage, an intra-carrier service is quite different. Intra-carrier drayage involves moving a shipment between two hubs owned by the same carrier. Moreover, this typically involves transitioning from a rail hub to an intermodal hub.

Intra-carrier drayage is also known as IMX. The various monikers for each type of drayage don’t help with keeping track of each, but, as you’ll learn below, each of these services’ definitions are fairly straightforward. The more you use these terms in the field, the less convoluted they will seem.

Door-to-Door & Expedited

The next form of drayage service we will discuss is called door-to-door. A door-to-door drayage service involves moving retail shipments to customers via road transportation. Although many modes of travel are available, trucks continue to be a critical part of the delivery process. In fact, another form of drayage involving road travel is expedited drayage.

An expedited drayage service transports time-sensitive shipments on trucks. Door-to-door can certainly be an efficient form of travel, but expedited drayage is primarily used for time-sensitive shipments that must reach their destination by the determined delivery date.

Pier Drayage

As you may assume from the name, pier drayage involves loading shipments at a pier or dock. That said, this type of drayage specifically involves intermodal travel of a freight between the rail hub and the pier.

Since railroads typically don’t sit 2 feet away from the nearest ports, the hand-off for these shipments becomes complicated. Pier drayage eases that complication by packing the items on a truck and taking it to the pier after their railroad journey comes to an end. Even when freights must travel via sea, trucks are invaluable for getting the items to their destinations.

Shuttle Drayage

Shuttle drayage is a form of transportation but also a storage solution. This is a process that involves taking a freight to a dedicated holding point. People leverage the help of shuttle drayage services when the point of origin is overcrowded. Sometimes, no matter the efficiency of your shipment planning, situations like overcrowded ports can slow down your freight’s journey.

Of course, if there isn’t a suitable place for your items at the point of origin, you don’t want to just leave them in a random spot until there is room available. Through shuttle drayage, logistics services can give your items a temporary storage point until they can progress through the next steps of the shipping process.

Now, you no longer have to wonder what is drayage and its role in logistics. When you’re working with logistics specialists such as a 3PL, you can expect them to do an efficient, professional job. Understanding the essentials of freight shipping, such as what drayage is, will help you work with your logistics service with more coherency and fewer questions. This doesn’t mean you should shy away from asking any questions you have to a 3PL, but hopefully you’ll have fewer you need answered now.

What Is Drayage and Its Role in Logistics?

The costs involved with shipping items internationally make it vital to plan a concise budget every time. That said, it’s not rare for companies to run into unforeseen costs along the way. But how do you avoid overlooking these fees? Use our list of commonly overlooked costs in international shipping to better prepare yourself when budgeting for shipments traveling overseas.

Fuel Surcharges

Fuel surcharges may not seem like a surprising cost, so why would someone overlook them when planning shipments? This cost is commonly overlooked because fuel surcharges fluctuate over time, as they are a reflection of fuel costs at a given time.

A simple solution to overlooking this cost is to know the current surcharge expectations for each shipment. Whether you’re faced with a new carrier or a new week, there may be a factor causing fuel surcharges to rise more than you expected.

Shipment Loss

More costs are involved with shipping than simply what’s needed to ensure the package properly reaches its destination. Sometimes, accidents occur that result in unplanned costs. Thus, one of the most commonly overlooked costs in international shipping is product damage or loss.

You can explore insurance options that cover damages, but choosing a reputable 3PL for shipping is also an effective way to ensure the shipment goes smoothly. After all, 3PLs oversee the shipping process and work with carriers for precise results. For example, Diversified Transportation Services partners with expedited freight carriers that ensure quick delivery times while keeping the items safe along the way. If experienced professionals handle the shipment, you can have more confidence when sending anything overseas.


Topics like tariffs, taxes, and duties should be something you’re familiar with if you’re in the international shipping industry.However, duties are paid for by either the buyer or the seller of the product. To avoid unforeseen costs, it is always important that the buyer, seller, and transportation provider communicate the chosen incoterms for the shipment.

An example of an incoterms where the seller pays the fees, duties and taxes is Deliver Duty Paid (DDP) and is often the reason companies alter the price of their product on shelves. Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) is when the duty payment is put into the hands of the shipment recipient. In such cases, always keep clear communication with the recipient to ensure they’re not caught off guard by the additional costs. Have this information ready for any upcoming shipments to ensure you always have the perfect budget in place for the item’s transportation.

If you have any questions regarding the incoterms for your shipment, please reach out to us at the

The shipping industry is full of terms and acronyms that are easy to mix up or use interchangeably. For instance, freight broker and freight forwarder are two terms you may see used to reference the same service, but you certainly wouldn’t go to them for the same job. What’s the difference between freight brokers and freight forwarders? Read below so that you know which service provider to contact for your company’s freight shipping needs.

Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarders are companies that are very actively involved in the physical transportation of shipments. The freight forwarder will handle storing, packing, and loading vehicles associated with your freight transportation. For instance, our freight transportation services can involve partnering with a freight forwarder to oversee international travel if that’s the most efficient solution. Now, let’s move on to the more managerial and logistical sides of the operation.

Freight Broker

Freight brokers work with a business that needs to negotiate freight transportation with shipping specialists. Think of a freight broker as a middle-man who connects a business with a shipping service. That said, the freight broker is not an official partner with the company in the same way a 3PL is, though we will get into that difference more in the next section. So, when it comes to the roles of the freight broker versus the freight forwarder, what exactly is the difference? Whereas the freight forwarder is actively on the ground moving shipments, the broker manages the relationship between shippers and carriers.


Now that you know more about what separates the freight broker and forwarder, let’s address the differences between them and a 3PL. After all, it’s easy to mistake a freight broker and 3PL at first glance because they’re involved with overseeing freight transportation, but they serve very different roles.

As mentioned above, 3PLs partner with a business to oversee their entire freight shipping operation. 3PLs are logistics specialists that ensure businesses can allocate their shipping services to an experienced, resourceful team of experts. That way, businesses can focus more on other areas of their company while 3PLs handle shipment delivery. Now that you’re more familiar with freight forwarders, brokers, and 3PLs, you can find the best expert that your operation needs today.

Looking for ways to reduce production and distribution costs without compromising product quality is always a helpful move for businesses and manufacturers. Fine-tuning your fees requires understanding the hidden costs in your supply chain. Let’s discuss how to find these charges and prevent them from catching you off guard.

Assessing Your Supply Chain

One of the best ways to take more control over hidden costs is to assess the price of each step. For example, shipping products isn’t a standard up-front cost for a business. Costs can fluctuate for many reasons, including the volume of traveling shipments from other supply chains. However, hidden costs like fuel can also catch unsuspecting businesses off guard. Like shipping costs, gas prices fluctuate consistently, so you must check prices every time.

Revealing the Hidden Costs

Beyond the shipping costs, you have to think about how manufacturing and monitoring quality products impact your budget. For instance, if an accident happens during the transportation of your goods, you may have to ship a second product to your customer if the product is not salvageable. Mistakes should be spotted during internal quality assurance checks, but problems with products can occur when they’re on the move. If a shipment reaches its destination damaged and unsalvageable, you may have to pay for freight charges to ship a new product, which isn’t free.

Even holding onto goods can cost you because you have to think about the costs of the facility you’re keeping those products in and the professionals overseeing the storage process. Likewise, if damage occurs during storage, you must replace the product. Taking these details into account will ensure you understand the hidden costs in your supply chain.

Working With Hidden Costs

Uncovering hidden supply chain costs and preparing for them before each shipment will likely sound daunting because you may not know where to start. This is why it helps to work with a logistics specialist, such as a 3PL. As a 3PL, Diversified Transportation Costs works with you to find the optimal transportation strategy, like by preparing international air freight and more solutions. Work with logistics specialists to find the best shipping strategy for both you and the receiver of each shipment. Use the guide above to navigate your shipping costs so you can avoid being blindsided by hidden fees.

Strategizing the best shipping solutions requires understanding what each method brings to the table. For instance, why should you choose air freight for shipping cargo? The obvious answer may be to reach territories overseas, but that’s not the only application for air freight. Learn more about the advantages by reading these top benefits of domestic air freight services.

Widespread Reach

One of the best benefits of this freight shipping solution is how far you can send cargo. Trucks are critical to international and domestic shipping alike, but the reach of a plane is unmatched when it comes to freight. For instance, we help businesses arrange DHL Express international shipping for sending cargo overseas.

Planes aren’t landlocked or bound by sea; they can fly over all terrain to deliver shipments safely. For this reason, many assume air freight is only for international shipments, but it also benefits domestic cargo.

Reliable Security

A benefit of domestic air freight services that should give businesses and customers peace of mind is the security. It’s no secret that airport security is thorough and reliable, and that doesn’t just apply to flights to Disneyland.

Beyond airport security, an advantage of shipping freight via air is aircraft don’t have to deal with issues trucks may encounter on the road, such as theft or collisions. Although air traffic is a factor to consider, road traffic backup can slow down trucks delivering cargo domestically.

Convenient Speed

That lack of dealing with street traffic also lends itself to another benefit of air freight for domestic shipments—speed. Planes travel from one spot to the next with only the weather in their way. By working with a reliable logistics specialist, such as a 3PL, you can plan your air freight schedule to find the most efficient time to ship.

Driving from Florida to Illinois will take well beyond 10 hours, but you can bypass that time significantly via air travel, where you don’t have to deal with roadblocks like construction, post-work rush hour, and excessively slow drivers. After learning what makes domestic air freight services so useful, consider how you can use this method to make your shipping experience quicker and more reliable.

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