FCL - FULL CONTAINER LOAD IN INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING OF OCEAN FREIGHT
Note: Before you will read this page and/or be involved in an international seafreight shipment IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO CLEARLY UNDERSTAND, WHICH KIND OF SEAFREIGHT SERVICE YOU ARE GOING TO USE! For your convenience we have separated our U.S. Real-time Online Seafreight Calculators by sub-domains for different kinds of seafreight services:
* In respect of international shipping, motor vehicles mean vehicles such cars, motorcycles, boats, jet ski etc that require a registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
IMPORTANT NOTE ON INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING OF FOOD STUFF: Shipping of Food Stuffs including wine and drugs (any item that is edible), including food items, edible animal byproducts, supplements, etc, are subject to detailed regulations. Violations to these regulations can result in detention, confiscation, or destruction of cargo, as well as fines and criminal charges. Responsibility for proper documents, permits, and incurred charges are for the account of the shipper/consignee.
FCL is the abbreviation for "Full Container Load" that is commonly used in international shipping industry. In international shipping, this FCL term describes an ocean freight service, which is designed for international ocean freight shipments of cargo where international shipper has exclusive use of entire ocean freight multimodal container(s): 20', 40', 40HC etc. As a rule ocean freight containers are loaded and sealed by the international shipper at the shipper's facility. It will then be transported by land (truck and/or rail) to the international ocean freight carrier's container yard in country of origin for the actual international shipping by ocean to a container yard within of port of destination (POD) in destination country. After containers are recovered at the port of destination, i.e. cleared with the destination customs and all other parties related to release of containers, the multimodal ocean freight container can be transferred by land (track/rail) directly to the point of final destination.
NOTE: Even though your international shipment contains cargo sufficient to fill a 20 foot sea freight container (i.e. your total shipping volume is about 15 – 25 cubic meters), we still recommend you to consider options for shipping your freight using our Economy LCL Ocean freight Service. In certain circumstances you may find that using the LCL ocean freight service on your international shipment may be more convenient and cost-effective than the FCL or service provided by international moving companies.
For instance, if you self-deliver boxed, crated or palletized cargo to an international shipping company's LCL ship-terminal (CFS - Container Freight Station, a bonded warehouse for international shipping of consolidated cargo using LCL ocean freight service. Please do not confuse with CY – Container Yards used in FCL ocean freight service), you will then eliminate ocean freight containers pre-carriage, waiting, possible roll-over etc charges, which may be equal or even higher than the shipping cost of actual ocean freight itself (i.e. actual shipping cost of sailing of your goods by sea). Also, upon arrival of your international shipment to the destination, you are not obligated on empty containers returns to ocean freight carrier's destination container yards.
However, for larger international ocean freight shipments that fill entire 40 foot sea freight container, using the FCL service can be the only efficient option in your international shipping. International shipping in multimodal sea freight containers should be safer, easy organized and more cost-effective than using other ocean freight services used for international shipping of larger cargo such Ro-Ro or Break-Bulk.
You may get an instant access to our current international FCL shipping rates in these links:
Related international ocean freight services:
NOTE: COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL SHIPPERS/INTERNATIONAL MOVING: Unlike using international shipping ocean freight services provided by international moving companies, which would pack and load all your stuff in a sea freight container (most of the time when you relocate overseas); when you request an FCL international ocean freight service directly from an international shipping company (Freight Forwarder, NVOCC), you are responsible to meet the container at a safe and convenient for the load place, load and secure your goods in the sea freight container.
An international shipping company (Freight Forwarder, NVOCC) will deliver an empty sea freight container for the load. You will load and secure your goods in the sea freight container or hire someone to complete the load. The driver will wait until you load the container one or two hours free. If you are not prepared to meet the container, additional waiting time charges in the amount of $50-$75+ per hour may occur. Always be prepared to meet and load your sea freight container. Then your sealed sea freight container will begin its international trip to the nominated destination. You (or your consignee/recipient) are held responsible to meet the ocean freight container at the destination. Unlike direct international shipping companies (Freight Forwarder, NVOCC), international moving companies may arrange your sea freight container delivery to your door, pack and load all your stuff into the sea freight containers, while with an international shipping company you are responsible for all of that.
However, if you compare shipping costs between international moving companies and international shipping companies (Freight Forwarders or NVOCC) in shipping price quotes obtained in advance, then you should find that international shipping FCL containers directly with international shipping companies (Freight Forwarders or NVOCC) is much cost-effective than hiring an international moving company. We suggest you always shop around in advance. Then compare and consider prices and service packages offered by international moving companies and international shipping companies (Freight Forwarders, NVOCC).
Besides generally used 20', 40' and 40HC multimodal ocean freight containers, there are numerous of other types of multimodal ocean freight containers used in the international shipping industry, including 45' High Cubes, Open Top Containers, Flat Racks sizes of 20' and 40' etc. However, as a rule these ocean freight containers are subject to equipment availability from Steam Ship Lines (direct ocean freight carriers, direct international shipping companies, i.e. owners of vessels). In certain circumstances the availability of such types of ocean freight containers may be limited. Then, if you are shipping a regular cargo using international ocean freight service, then we suggest considering your international shipping by using one out of these three types of multimodal sea freight containers below:
NOTE For not-commercial international shippers: International moving companies will use for your international shipping or moving the same types of containers as international ocean freight shipping companies do (Freight forwarders, NVOCCs, VOCCs). Keep in mind sizes of ocean freight containers above when estimate capacity of containers for your international shipment from or to the USA by sea.
Most of the time international FCL ocean freight rates offered by international shipping companies (freight forwarders, NVOCCs, VOCCs) on import or export freight to or from the USA would be 'DOOR-PORT FOB vessel' (you may also use this international shipping term 'Free Out'). To be more specific - 'EXW (Ex Works) named place of cargo pickup TO named destination seaport Container Yard (or container/rail yard in a landlocked final destination's city), FOB (Free On Board) ship's rail at named port of origin'.
That means that international FCL ocean freight quotations contain charges related to:
However, these ocean freight quotations DO NOT include any charges at destinations.
Upon arrival of your ocean freight container to a container yard in the port of entry at your destination country, your consignee (recipient) will be responsible for all charges related to international shipment recovery at the destination. I.e. in order to get this cargo released the consignee must pay:
A sample of FCL sea freight quotation (A sample on international shipping of FCL from the USA)
A. Storage/demurrage on international FCL ocean freight shipments at destinations.
In several days before your international FCL sea freight shipment will arrive to the destination port of entry, your consignee (recipient) should receive an import notification. As a rule it will be an arrival notice faxed or e-mailed to your consignee. Otherwise it can be a phone call or mail. Make sure that contact information of consignee initially provided by you in your sea freight booking request is correct and valid.
Act promptly! Your free storage time at a destination ocean freight carrier's container yard is limited. Depending on destination, in international shipping FCL it varies between 7 to 14 days. Thereafter storage/demurrage may increase total shipping cost of your international shipment dramatically.
Laws allow your consignee working on the imported cargo recovery directly with destination county's customs and other parties related to your international ocean freight shipment.
However, if the consignee is not familiar with import procedures in the international shipping industry, we recommend that your consignee immediately request your international shipping company (its destination agent) to complete the import cargo release on your behalf. Forward the notice of arrival along with other documents required by destination authorities to a freight forwarder or your destination customs broker. They will charge a reasonable fee for their service. However, they should obtain customs and warehouse releases on your international shipment with no (or minimum) storage/demurrage charges.
When you book an international FCL ocean freight shipment and request an ocean freight container delivery for the load you "rent" the container from the ocean freight carrier (direct international shipping company). "Container's Rent" charges are included in the international ocean freight rate. However, shipper should always remember that after container is released at the destination and left carrier's Container Yard (CY) to be unloaded at the consignee's facility, it must be returned to the ocean freight carrier's CY within a certain time limit. Otherwise container detention charges may apply on the total of your international ocean freight charges.
If your destination facility is far away from the international ocean freight carrier's CY, then you should pay attention to possible charges on container detention.
For example, upon your cargo release at the destination seaport (CY) your sea freight container must continue to travel by rail thousands mile away from the CY in bond or not. Then the empty sea freight container must be returned back to the ocean carrier's CY.
In this situation, in order to avoid sea freight container detention charges and eliminate expenses related to the container return, the only option is using S.O.C. - Shipper Owned Containers, i.e. an "One Way" sea freight container.
S.O.C. means that you buy a container for the international ocean freight shipment at origin. Then the sea freight container is your property and you are not obligated to its return. After it is emptied you may sell it, use for storage, destroy it etc.
However, before purchasing a container for your international ocean freight shipment you should consider:
Why do you need S.O.C? Consider a reload imported and released by customs cargo from your sea freight container to a trailer or in another container obtained at the destination.
If you still need a S.O.C then think about:
Find more about S.O.C. used for international shipments by sea in this link
C. Shipper's responsibilities on commodity and export and import international shipping documents submitted to an ocean freight international shipment
In dealing with an international freight forwarder, shipper should clearly understand that he/she is responsible for description and legality of commodity and sufficiency of shipping documents submitted to an international shipment.
Carrier's ocean freight bill of lading, final document that acts as a title for your shipped goods, as a rule states 'SHIPPER'S LOAD AND COUNT' and 'SAID BY SHIPPER TO CONTAIN'. That means that the international ocean carrier (and a freight forwarder who represents this carrier) is not responsible for information provided by shipper on his commodity.
An international freight forwarder should guide shipper in complexity of international shipment procedures. However, it is shipper's responsibility to provide all necessary international shipping documents related to his/her international shipment that will be required by origin and destination country officials.
Below is the list of common used documents required to be submitted to an international shipment by sea:
A. International Ocean freight Bill of Lading – Ocean Carrier's transport document. Shows cargo routing, consigner, consignee, cargo description, etc. The title on shipped goods.
B.1. For commercial international ocean freight shipments - Commercial Invoice. Complete description of commodity being shipped.
B.2. For shipping household goods and personal belongings overseas – Valued Packing List. An inventory list with value assigned to each item being shipped.
Notice: Some courtiers require proforma commercial invoices for personal international shipments as well. However, having a complete Valued Packing List submitted at origin, upon destination customs request, make it easier to transfer your Valued Packing List in form of proforma commercial invoice.
In respect of U.S. Customs, all Commercial Invoices (and Valued Packing Lists) must be in English and show:
ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS DEPENDING ON COMMODITY AND COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
D. Packing List in international ocean freight shipping - Breakdown description: pieces, weights and packing materials. (Examples - Wood Pallets, Skids, Crates, Boxes, Dunnage, Straw Packing, etc.)
E. Fumigation Certificate - Certification that cargo and packing materials were fumigated after cargo had been containerized and is free of Infestation.
F. Special Documents - Dependent on commodity and country of origin.
D. Other International Shipping services with instant real-time ocean freight price calculators available
Use our free 24/7 real-time international ocean freight price calculators starting by selecting your destination country:
1. LCL ocean freight (Less than Container Load): International shipping of boxed, crated and/or palletized cargo by sea. Consolidated ocean freight. The related link is http://internationalshippingusa.com/
2. FCL ocean freight (Full Container Load): International Shipping of entire sea freight containers with Household Goods and Personal effects (No motor vehicles). The related link is http://householdgoods.internationalshippingusa.com/
3. Commercial FCL freight. IMPORTANT!: Shipping rates and procedures are different from international shipping of Household Goods and Personal effects. You must NOT use this pricing schedule on international shipping of Household Goods and Personal effects. The related link is http://containers.internationalshippingusa.com/
4. International shipping of cars and other types of motor vehicles (small boats, motorcycles, jets etc) consolidated in multimodal ocean freight containers. The related link is http://cars.internationalshippingusa.com/
5. International shipping RO-RO: Shipping cars, trucks, trailers, boats, heavy equipment etc from the USA overseas. The related link is http://ro-ro.internationalshippingusa.com/
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