We live in a modern electronic age where we have to be on the lookout for scams, especially via text or email. Whether that be a faraway prince wanting to send you millions or a false email tricking you into sharing your login details, we’ve all witnessed attempts made to scam people or businesses out of money.

During the past few years, a new scam has gathered pace, which is much harder to identify and is targeted at ocean freight buyers. Unlike the more obvious scams, you do receive the service you were sold and initially at a discounted rate, but its further down the line that you notice a big hole in your pocket.

We are referring to the practice of forwarders and logistics businesses offering highly discounted rates when the current market rates are falling, then once you are committed the rate sticks as the market rates continue to fall.

These companies effectively remain dormant and lurk in the background when you need space during high demand periods, when the rates are climbing. During rate downturns they consider the initial offer a loss leader, we consider it a scam!

Horrifyingly, we have recently uncovered one company now paying $3000 over the current market rate for a US bound container, after deciding to take advantage of a $500 saving a few weeks back. We have also heard from one customer how they have saved almost £100,000 in the past six months by not jumping ship after being made a similar offer.

This is not the first time we have raised this issue, but following the huge rises in ocean freight costs during the pandemic, the practice has become more prevalent with larger sums involved. So please remember… if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

Of course that’s easy for us to suggest, so please drop us a line to check out the true current market rates from China to the US or UK (and for that matter, Australia and Europe too!).

If you have any questions regarding the above, then Westbound are here to help. So, please do not hesitate to contact us.