We do mostly container load, but the few LCL shipments we have done I have used FedEx Trade Networks (Yantian to Ohio). Their rates seemed most competitive, at least the last time we checked rates (about 6 months ago).
Depending on your need for speed, you may want to check with a consolidator and get your freight included with another LCL shipment. We use Coppersmith out of LA for our container shipments and are very happy with their service. I haven`t asked them, but maybe they could do a consolidation shipment.
Yes, go with CC, but don`t go near anyone charging you $50 or more per month. We have tried several vendors for this and have been happiest with both Costco (the discount you get makes up for a membership fee even if you aren`t a member) and Quickbooks Merchant Services. Currently we have 5 different merchant accounts, all with Quickbooks and their service has been great. If you ever have reason to have more than one account, ask them for a discount - we`re down to $9.95 per month for most of them.
Check out www.Bizstats.com. You can put in your projected revenue in your general field of business and it will give you national averages of net profit and various expense percentages. A good barometer for all of us!
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