Hidden freight costs which you can avoid them!

Hidden freight costs which you can avoid them!

September 29, 2020

The important thing in the freight forwarding industry is to be aware of its hidden costs. What we often see is how complicated this process is for importers for the first time. Because they often see its appearance, which seems simple. But when they get into it and see their cost list, they are surprised.

But do not worry, we know all the mazes of hidden freight cost and we will help you. Here is a list of them that you are likely to face.


What are the typical hidden freight costs?

How does your supplier impose hidden additional costs on you?

Why might you have to pay additional costs at customs?

What are the occasional hidden freight costs?

What are the solutions for avoiding hidden freight costs?

Typical hidden freight costs


If the supplier has the duty to send the goods based on CFR or CIF terms, unpredictable costs will increase. If your freight forwarding is based on CIF, the supplier will deliver the goods to you. But when you receive the bill of lading, all the costs that you expected the supplier take care, will be in the bill as additional costs.

Duty and tax

The most important part of the costs is the tax you have to pay when importing and exporting. Note that the tax laws of different countries.

Intermediary company

The cost that the intermediary company receives to pay taxes and duties on your behave. Most companies charge extra for this.

Customs clearance

You will be fined and will have to pay extra, if:

  • You do not submit the documents to the customs on time.
  • Or you do not have an import license.
  • You have not provided the additional licenses required for the product.

Extra delivery hidden costs

Most freight forwarder companies agree on standard delivery. But this standard has a different definition for everyone. You may expect them to deliver the goods to your door, in neat and tidy packaging. But this is not standard delivery, it is ideal delivery. If you want this you should pay extra cost.

They put your cargo in the truck but it is your job to unload it. Also each place has different characteristics. Thus the type of its unload will be different: One has stairs or narrow staircase, one has a freight elevator. Also, if the road is damage or the place is far away, you should pay extra delivery costs.

Extra hidden freight costs

If your good is dangerous or have a high value, you will be charged extra costs. Because transporting it needs special conditions and more care.

If you use wood or metal container or your good does not have a standard shape, you can expect extra fees.

If you have a time limit and have to use fast couriers, you will have to pay extra fuel.

Occasional hidden freight costs

Storage hidden costs

If your goods have special specifications or the destination country is strict in importing this type of good, the customs will check them. To inspect them, they must stay in there for a few days. As a result, you have to pay extra for dock or airport, storage and warehousing.

Note that the goods can stay there free of charge only for seven days. Also, the cost of maintaining more is very high.

Inspection fees

The customs officer may inspect your shipment randomly. Also, if there is no problem with it, the inspection will be free, but if there is a problem, it must be fixed and it will cost you money.

EXW terms

If you are shipping on EXW terms, you are responsible for the good and most of the freight costs as well as the other costs.  As a result, if there is a problem with customs, packaging or anything, it will cost you extra.

Signature service hidden costs

Sometimes a series of signatures are required to confirm receipt of the goods or any piece from China. The DSS service can be chosen so that the receiver will be asked to sign upon receipt of every piece of the good and the image of the proof of signature will be available upon request. You may need to pay its fees.

This service is available for freight forwarding from china to USA.

Some solutions for your hidden freight costs

get a help from people like us

The best way to avoid most of the hidden freight costs is to leave your process to a professional freight forwarder company. Topshipping can help you with its experts who have good and efficient relationships with customs brokers, reliable suppliers and warehouse men. If you have any question just call us.

Clear contract

When concluding a contract with the freight forwarder company or supplier, agree that you will not pay any fees for what is not explicitly stated in the contract.

use FOB terms

Most of the time, try to do your freight forwarding based on FOB. Under these terms, your supplier is responsible for all local costs in China. Also the hidden freight costs are clear and you can avoid them with a freight forwarder company help.

Some tips

Prepare additional licenses for your goods in advance so that you do not delay at customs. Any delay will cost you extra.

Arrange for your sourcing and freight process as soon as possible so that if there is a problem, you have time to fix it. As a result, you can easily avoid hidden freight costs.


Also, most freight forwarders use old-fashioned approaches. Because the rules are constantly changing, they are no longer effective. Thus, be careful in choosing your freight forwarder company.

FAQ about Hidden Freight Costs Which You Can Avoid Them

The article discusses the hidden costs that importers may face in the freight forwarding industry and provides solutions to avoid them.

Typical hidden freight costs include costs imposed by suppliers, duty and tax, intermediary company fees, customs clearance fines, and extra delivery costs.

Occasional hidden freight costs may include storage fees, inspection fees, EXW terms, and signature service fees.

Solutions to avoid hidden freight costs include getting help from professional freight forwarder companies, using clear contracts that explicitly state fees, and using FOB terms. The article also provides tips on how to prepare for the freight process and avoid delays.

One should be careful when choosing a freight forwarder company because most companies use old-fashioned approaches that may not be effective due to constantly changing rules and regulations.

Your rating for this article

Average scores 5 From 5
Vote count: 1 Vote
Tell us what you think about this post

Request a free consultation
Please provide your complete phone number, including the international dialing code.