A free lunch? There’s no such thing…

It’s easy to be fooled when you’re offered ridiculously cheap freight rates. Imagine getting your goods from A to B with absolutely no cost. It sounds too good to be true, right? Then it almost certainly is! More often than not, these deals are simply disguising inflated costs that will hit you at the end of your shipment’s journey, meaning you end up paying a lot more than you actually should. There’s just no such thing as a free lunch.

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In the past, we’ve seen clients join us who have experienced this kind of ‘free lunch’ freight but are now looking for a service they can trust. Whilst Seaspace International will always look to find the best shipping costs for their clients, we’ll also always steer you away from ‘dodgy dealings’ and give you the fairest, most honest quote and service possible. Here’s some simple ways you can avoid ‘free lunch freight’ and not get stung by ‘too good to be true’ rates:

Don’t get sucked in!

If you’re importing LCL (Less than Container Load) from the Far East and China, for example, you may be attracted to misleading cheap or even free freight rates. Remember, very little in life is free and in business there is often a catch later on down the line. Everyone wants and needs to make money so you should be wary of any supplier or freight forwarder who offers to ship commodities at no cost. We’ve known people to find themselves with an invoice for over the odds costs at the last minute with no warning whatsoever; that sting hurts.

What’s worse; these companies can have your goods held at ransom if you don’t pay the price. Have you heard of China Import Service or Currency Exchange Fees? Both of these are incentive charges that will be imposed as ‘compensation’ once your shipment lands at its destination whether that is Southampton, Felixstowe or any other European port. Even regular charges such as Terminal Handling are inflated above reason but are completely legal. It’s a bear trap.

How can I avoid it?

Avoiding being hit by hidden charges and last minute costs is simple. If you’re offered free shipping at your point of origin we would strongly advise you to ask the supplier to confirm the UK destination costs. If they can’t or won’t provide these costs, walk away. Alarm bells should be ringing and working with a service provider who withholds information like this could be an expensive mistake.


If they do hand over the information willingly, take the time to get a comparison quote from a reputable UK freight forwarder and compare the costs against each other. This way you can find the best deal for your money. Much like you might compare the price of your supermarket shop or an item you’re ordering on Amazon; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with scoping the market and sussing out who is going to give you the best offer and service.

Seaspace International will always offer you sensible, up-front and open LCL freight rates and will endeavour to provide you with a realistic, competitive price. Our team of dedicated, expert staff pride themselves in giving simple and clear information on UK handling, clearance and delivery charges, so you can rest assured you won’t have the wool pulled over your eyes.


Want to get a quote? Call 01293 554620 or use our simple contact form.

Posted in Freight Articles.