It is amazing how complicated and labor intensive logistics can be for manufacturers. Customers often have strict requirements on how materials are to arrive at their facilities. Some customers have preferred shipping companies and will require that you use them. Others don’t care. Some want you to pre-pay and add the freight to the invoice. Some will accept FOB shipping point terms and pay the shipper themselves. 

International shipments are even more complex. Multimodal freight forwarding companies will take charge of the shipment and get it on a boat or plane. Once across the pond, they’ll get the shipment through customs and plugged into the local ground transport.

If you’re shipping internationally, unless the customer is a known quantity, you’d better get prepayment or a letter of credit from their bank.  Cash is king.

It becomes complex if you allow yourself to be a custom shipper. Some companies simplify things by offering a one size fits all shipping policy. This is best if you can get away with it, but more often than not, custom service means custom shipping.

There is much more to chemical business than just the chemical part. Chemistry students planning to enter the fabulous world of chemical industry should be advised that if they are going to step out of the lab, then the full spectrum of business related problems and challenges will be available to them. It is a great opportunity for some and a gigantic nuisance for others.