Then a prototype or beta site with real content.
At worst the discussion is at least working towards.
A Market demand. Traditionally from December through to April, it is called the "slow season." Because the retail market slows down after Christmas. However from mid January through to early February there is an upsurge of cargo moving to beat the Chinese New Year deadline. This usually keeps rates high as there is always space problems for cargo getting on vessels. From May through to November is the "peak season" where there is a big demand for cargo movement, so the Carriers raise the rates during this period, with the GRI (general rate increase), and PSS (peak season surcharge).
Most freight payments are made with a Company bank transfer. Payment is expected prior to freight being released or delivered unless credit terms are in place.
Make sure your supplier overseas (on imports) or if you are the supplier for an export shipment, creates all of the necessary documents correctly (packing lists, commercial invoice, original bill of lading-OB/L) and in a timely fashion, so that all documents are provided with the necessary banks and sent to you (the importer) or your buyer-consignee on the B/L (if you are the exporter) at least one week before cargo arrives the destination. This ensures everything can be processed through customs ahead of schedule and freight can be paid along with presentation of the original B/L. A factor that slows this process down is when there are discrepancies between the buyer and supplier and since the goods are not paid for, the OB/L has not been surrendered by the Supplier to the Consignee (buyer)
It will have a bearing on cost and sometimes (particularly with airfreight) which shipping modes should be used. Most shipments are charged on either the weight or volume, whichever leads to the higher chargeable weight by volume.