Container shipping rates to all kind of destinations around the world differ according to the cargo carrying capacity of the shipping container and the contents within. A huge number of factors also lead to the total cost of such operations: custom fees, distance from embarkation point, distance from port, time of the year and many other factors. As a shipper, one sometimes has to enlist the services of a professional freight broker to help calculate the costs that would be incurred in shipping a container from one point to another.
What Factors Determine Container Shipping rates?
Container shipping rates are the price of transportation services paid. They do not however reflect the true transportation costs as transactions, distance factors, administrative barriers, fuel costs, geography, economy of scale, surcharges and other factors lead up to a heavy sum. Usually, the cost of shipping a container carrying well packed cargo like clothes costs less than 1% of the total cargo value while shipping bulkier cargo can run costs up to 20% of the cargo value. Here is a sample of factors that determine container shipping rates from for example the US to other international ports all over the globe:
- When trying to determine the rates that would be charged in shipping cargo from e.g. the US to some destination, one needs to first gather information on the carrying capacity of the container and deem whether it would hold the cargo one needs carried.
- A bill of lading includes describing the cargo and any identifying marks that it may bear, the value of the cargo, insurance etc. Preparing a copy of the contents of the container-a bill of lading- is next. This is to know the rates that would be charged as industrial goods, household goods, electrical appliances, farm goods, clothing and other goods are charged different container shipping rates by shipping companies.
- The nature of the cargo, i.e., whether hazardous material or not, is also a factor. Generally, cargo requiring specialized handling will cost more than those that can be lumped together or require little to no special care in transit. This will surmount to lower container shipping rates.
- Custom fees and transport costs are also incurred in transporting the cargo to the embarkation point. Here, the help of an agent is crucial as each country has its own peculiarities in shipping regulations and unless one wants to spend time studying the vagaries of each port of call the cargo will pass through, one should enlist the services of such agents.
Compare container Freight Rate
International container shipping is a complex process and it can be difficult for novices to find the right container freight rate. While reputable container freight companies can help you with this, some container shipping companies may take advantage of your lack of experience and overcharge you or give you poor service for your money. Here are some things to look for when you are calculating your container freight rate for household goods. A container shipping calculator can help you when you are working out your transport price. However, the online calculators for laymen are often only good for getting container shipping estimates, not firm container shipping quotes. Container freight companies use sophisticated software programs in order to arrive at the more exact container freight rate you want. This is because there are so many factors that need to be included in the quote.
Container weight v.s. volume
The first thing you need to understand is that in international container shipping, weight is not as much of a factor as volume. Because of this, it will be your responsibility to accurately assess the volume of goods you will be shipping. Your container freight company can help you do this. Your container freight rate will be partially determined by the size of shipping container you need. If you have a 3 or 4 bedroom family home, you will probably need to ship 40 foot container. This is a standard sized container and is by far the most frequently shipped size of container. If you are shipping the contents of a 2 bedroom home or an apartment, you may be able to save a little and ship 20 foot container. This size of container also has the advantage of being transportable by truck. It can be delivered to your door and loaded there.
Type of goods & insurance
If you are only shipping some select household goods, you can get what is called a “less load.” This simply means that you don’t require an entire container. Container shipping companies find other containers going to the same destination and include your belonging in one of these that is also not completely filled. The container freight rate for a partial load like this must be calculated by the container freight company. Other factors that are included in your freight rate may include insurance, extra charges for fragile goods and extra charges if you require a special container. This is not usually an issue for household goods, which usually go into a standard dry goods container, but can make a big difference if you are shipping a refrigerated container or container with an extra heavy load, such as might be the case if you were shipping a large amount of industrial equipment. If you want to save money on your shipping price, consider some of the do-it-yourself options that are available to you. For example, you can box all of your personal and household goods yourself and then stuff the container and save a great deal on labor costs. Also, included in your freight rate will be loading and offloading dates. If you adhere to these dates and don’t leave your goods at the container port warehouse, you won’t have to pay expensive storage costs. Remember to be realistic when discussing your needs with your container freight company can give you the most accurate container freight rate they can.
Container shipping cost
While you can use a container freight cost calculator to help you figure out the costs involved in shipping personal goods or household goods overseas, it is better to have an overview first. There are a number of considerations to be made. Some of them are easily overlooked. This container freight cost guide is designed to help prevent costly errors. First of all, choose your container freight company well. All of these companies that operate out of the United States must be registered with the Federal Maritime Commission and adhere to standards set out by the IOS (International Organization for Standards). Additionally, some companies are more suited to help you ship 20 ft container, the standard unit and best size for shipping personal goods door-to-door, better than others. These companies may have more experience with household goods than others. When you have found the right company, they will help you with the details. You have a variety of options, each of which will determine your final container freight cost. Assuming you are shipping dry goods only, in which case you will ship 20 foot container or ship 40 ft container, there are 4 main options. Other costs to consider are insurance and port costs. Your international container shipping company will probably offer limited insurance as part of its basic package, but you may want to consider additional insurance as well. Every international port charges a fee that will not be part of your original quote. Your company representative will probably inform you of this cost, but if not, be sure to ask them. It usually amounts to a couple of hundred dollars, so is not just an incidental container freight cost.
Full Service: In this case, your container freight company will handle everything. They will pack your household goods into appropriate boxes, load them onto your container or containers, get them aboard the vessel and unpack them for you at your destination.
Live Load: The container freight company will deliver your container to your home and give you an allocated period of hours to load it yourself. Then they will deliver it to your destination. This saves the container freight cost of labor for packing boxes and loading onto the container.
Drop-Off: This method is similar to Live Load, but in this case the container is left at your home for a period of days. While you will not have to pay for the driver’s time while he waits for you, you will have to pay for the extra mileage when he returns to pick up your personal goods.
Warehouse Loading: In this case, the customer delivers their own goods to a designated warehousing facility. Then the company handles the responsibility of packing everything into the freight container at the allocated time. This option is good if the customer must leave the country early. In this case, part of your container freight cost will be the cost of the warehousing.