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Freight from the USA

The FAQ about shipping from the USA freight LCL

The website is a platform that offers international shipping services. It provides shipping solutions for both commercial cargo and household goods. The platform supports US International LCL Sea freight, which allows users to ship boxes, crates, and pallets from the USA to overseas destinations. The website also provides a real-time online sea freight price calculator that enables users to calculate international shipping costs for commercial and household goods.

1. What is LCL freight?

2. Self-delivery or Pickup?

3. How does it work? A step-by-step guide.

4. Why should I pay the 75% deposit?

5. How can I find a cargo delivery address?

6. What is the Express Release Bill of Lading?

7. Can I amend my Bill of Lading?

8. What are a Cubic Meter and w/m?

9. Should I palletize my boxes?

10. Can I get marine insurance?

11. Do you guarantee transit time?

12. Are there any hidden costs in your quote?


12B. What is SED?

12C. How to ship a partial cargo?

12D. U.S. CBP inspection

13. Can we ship a charity shipment?

14. How can I cancel my shipment?

15. What if I do not pay your invoice?

16. What documents should I submit?

17. I'm not in the USA. Can I ship remotely?

18. PayPal payments are limited to up to $750

19. There is no transaction limit

20. Why are your shipping costs so low?


1. What is LCL freight? / Back to the FAQ

In respect of international cargo transportation from the USA overseas, LCL is an abbreviation for "Less than Container Load." LCL freight is designed for international shipping from the U.S. cargo in boxes, crates, and pallets that cannot fill an entire 20 or 40-foot sea freight container. For more information about LCL shipping from the USA, please refer to this web page. If you are an inexperienced first-time shipper and shipping household goods or personal belongings from the USA, we'd also highly recommend reading this article.  

You CAN NOT use LCL freight for shipping the following commodities:


2. What are my options for Self-delivery and Pickup? / Back to the FAQ

Shipping freight LCL means international transportation of goods packed in boxes, crates, and pallets. Adequately packaged goods can be self-delivered by shippers to freight terminals OR picked up at cargo locations.

By working with our online freight calculator and considering shipping costs from the U.S., you can either deliver your shipping items to the nearest freight terminal or request us to pick them up "at your door."  

If you decide to deliver cargo to the nearest freight terminal, then please pay attention to the essential difference between the U.S. origins' freight terminals WITH or WITHOUT ASTERISK (*) as listed in the drop-down list of U.S. terminals of our online freight calculator:

Online freight calculator U.S.

  1. Freight terminals HIGHLIGHTED in green and listed WITHOUT asterisks (PHILADELPHIA, PA, for example) are direct international ocean freight carriers' facilities that are professionally called Container Freight Stations or CFS.
    Freight rates for cargo self-delivered directly to CFSs are based on their overall chargeable volume per cubic meter or cubic foot. The weight of cargo delivered directly at CFSs is not a pricing factor unless its density does not exceed the carrier's limit, typically equal to 2206 lbs (or 1000 kilograms) per cubic meter. Regular cargo most likely will not exceed the limit. You estimate cargo weight delivered to CFS for Customs and statistical purposes only.

    Shipping freight directly from a CFS is the cheapest way to ship goods in boxes, crates, or pallets from the U.S. overseas. There will be no additional freight charges to take your cargo on board the vessel.

    Please remember that if you cannot self-deliver your shipping items to a freight terminal, you can arrange the cargo delivery with a local moving company to deliver your goods. You don't have to deliver cargo in person. Anyone you trust can do it for you.

    USING A THIRD-PARTY ON CARGO DELIVERIES TO CFS: Due to changes in FedEx and T-Force Freight detention and re-delivery policies for LTL cargo, effective Monday, October 3rd, 2022, CFSs will no longer be allowing deliveries or pickups from these two companies. This change has not impacted other FedEx divisions, such as FedEx Ground. Please arrange to use an alternative carrier to deliver cargo to a CFS. IF NOT POSITIVE, CONTACT CFS BEFORE ARRANGING A THIRD-PARTY DELIVERY.

  2. Freight terminals WITH asterisks (*) and in lowercase that are not highlighted (Allentown, PA*, for example) are local warehouses of U.S. domestic LTL carriers. We call such terminals Line Haul terminals or LH. Cargo delivered and dropped off at such terminals must be line hauled to a CFS for further shipping from the USA overseas. Shipping goods from LH terminals is subject to the line haul charge on top of the international ocean freight rates such as CFSs.

    Please note that unlike shipping cargo delivered directly to a CFS, where the "ticket" in your international shipping is a Dock Receipt in our shipping instructions, the "key document" at an LH terminal is a U.S. domestic LTL bill of lading attached to our shipping instructions.

    With shipping cargo delivered to an LH warehouse, the same as at CFS, you may ask someone to bring your shipping items on your behalf.

  3. After all, we should be able to arrange a PICKUP of your cargo at the cargo location.
    We will determine pickup charges by your cargo location's ZIP (U.S. Postal) code entered in our online sea freight calculator.

    Please remember that pickup costs depend on the kind of shipping goods and the type of pickup location: whether you are transporting from the USA commercial freight or shipping overseas household goods or personal belongings. Selecting the wrong kinds of goods or pickup locations may result in a price change.

Sea freight from USA

Are you having difficulties finding a U.S. ZIP (postal) code? Use the ZIP Code Lookup.

To remind you, U.S. domestic Line Haul and Pickup charges are based on the shipping cargo's dimensional weight and freight class. You may find more about the dim. weight and freight class in this link.


3. How does it work? What should I expect with my international LCL shipment step-by-step?Back to the FAQ


STEP 1 – Book your international LCL shipment on our website

The first and absolutely necessary step to initiate an international shipment with us is to book a shipment via a freight quote obtained on our website. Please note that to avoid any confusion, we do not offer price information over the phone or calculate quotes for customers.

Watch the 3-minute video on YouTube to see how to calculate international shipping costs with our online freight calculator, or access the guidelines in the PDF file. Ensure that you understand what is included in quotes. 

Estimating the number of shipping units, dimensions, and weight: When quoting and booking international shipping from the U.S. with our freight calculator, it may be difficult to provide the exact sizes, weights, and the number of shipping units. Don't get stuck on that. That's OK. Just roughly estimate it.

The actual volume, weight, and number of shipping units are most likely to be different from the volume, weight, and number of shipping units that you submitted at the time of quoting-booking. Once the cargo is delivered to the ocean freight carrier's terminal (CFS), CFS will calculate and confirm the actual number of your shipping units, overall volume, and weight. We will provide you with a proof from the CFS. See the step #4.


STEP 2 – Please pay a deposit

Upon submitting your online booking request, you will receive an email with a unique Customer Reference number for your international shipment. The format of the Customer Reference number will look like US200105CL.

Besides the information you submitted at the time of booking, the email will contain a web link that provides you with options to pay a deposit. This deposit equals 75% of the estimated international shipping cost based on the shipment details that you submitted during quoting-booking. Consider this email as our invoice for your deposit. To initiate your international shipment with us, please pay the deposit.

The deposit will be credited toward our final invoice, reflecting the shipping cost based on the actual weight/measurement of your cargo verified by the sea freight carrier.

Please review the Payment Options and our Return Policy.


STEP 3 – Receive our shipping instructions in the email. Submit your documents online. Deliver your cargo to the freight terminal OR meet a pickup driver (if a pickup is requested)

After making a deposit, the payer will receive an email from us confirming the payment. Please consider the email as the payment receipt.

After that, typically within 24 business hours, the shipper should receive our email with shipping instructions. The instructions vary depending on the service requested.

Follow the shipping instructions. Deliver your goods adequately packed in boxes, crates, or on pallets to the assigned freight terminal OR meet a pickup driver (if a pickup is requested). 

IMPORTANT: You must complete and submit to us all necessary shipping documents to have your goods released for export from the United States before your cargo is delivered to a freight terminal or is tendered for pickup.


STEP 4 – Wait for your cargo departure from the U.S. We will keep you updated.

Once your cargo is delivered to the sea freight carrier's terminal (CFS), we will send you a copy of the carrier's weight/measurement (w/m) verification. If you see any discrepancy on the document, you can dispute that directly with the CFS.

If necessary, the CFS will palletize your cargo. We'll provide you with proof of the palletizing.

As long as all shipping documents are in order, we confirm to the carrier release of your goods to the export from the United States and email you a web link to your Shipper's Letter of Instructions (SLI). If any revisions to the SLI are necessary, you will inform us, and we revise it accordingly.

Then you should wait for our invoice for your international shipping, less the deposit already paid.

The invoice will be issued on/a few days after the ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) of your cargo from the USA. It will be generated based on your Bill of Lading received from the sea freight carrier. Sometimes, we may generate the invoice earlier based on a carrier's proof of your bill of lading.

If there are any delays with your shipment, we will keep you updated via email.

If an insurance certificate was requested at the time of booking, then the invoice will contain an insurance certificate to the name of the consignee in a PDF file attached.


STEP 5  – Receive your express release sea freight Bill of Lading

Once your cargo is confirmed as being on board the vessel, typically around ETD, the sea freight carrier generates a Bill of Lading. It includes a breakdown of associated freight charges. Then, we invoice you based on the freight cost from the carrier.

The freight cost will be based on the weight/measurement (w/m) verification from the sea freight carrier, not the w/m you provided when you quoted and booked your shipment. In other words, the freight cost will be based on the actual w/m you shipped rather than what you estimated to be shipped. I.e., as accurately you entered w/m of your shipping items at the time of quoting, as more our invoice will correspond with the quote.

The freight breakdown may also reflect unaccounted costs from the carrier that were not included in the quote (if any), such as charges related to palletizingfumigationdimensional weight verification, etc.

In other words, you pay for what you ship, not what you estimated to ship. If you have overestimated your w/m, then you pay less. If you have underestimated your w/m, you pay more. That's why we request a 75% deposit, but 100%.

Please note that if you have fully or partially paid for your shipment via PayPal, then upon your payment, we will need your proper reply to our email related to your PayPal payments.

Upon payment toward our invoice (and to your PayPal payments confirmation email, if necessary), we will email you your Express Release Bill of Lading. Consider the Bill of Lading as a title on your international shipping from the USA.

Check all the information in the bill of lading. Ensure that all the information is correct. Re-ensure that the contact information of your consignee and the notify party (if different) is accurate.

If you see any errors or need amendments, contact us ASAP. Incorrect information in your bill of lading may result in severe problems and charges when you recover your import at the destination. 

Provide the Bill of Lading to your consignee. Your consignee will need it to recover your shipping goods at the destination.


STEP 6 – Meet your goods at the destination. Arrival Notice.

After your cargo departs from the United States you should be able to track your shipment on the ocean freight carrier's website.

Several days before ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival of your goods to the destination country, the ocean freight carrier's destination agent should contact the consignee/notify party regarding your cargo delivery from the U.S. with an Arrival Notice.

IMPORTANT!: If you do not receive an Arrival Notice on ETA, we strongly suggest you contact the agent and ask them about your cargo's arrival statusYou can see the agent's contact information on your bill of lading. It is in the block "For Delivery / Pickup Please Apply to." Email or fax them a copy of your express release Bill of Lading, reconfirm your consignee contact details, and ask for further instructions.

It's advisable not to contact the agent too early. Typically, the destination agent will receive information about your arriving cargo just a few days before its arrival. Therefore, if you contact the agent well in advance, make sure to email or fax them a copy of your Bill of Lading, confirm your consignee's contact information, and wait for an Arrival Notice


STEP 7  – Import recovery at the destination. Destination charges.

Regardless of the mode of transportation, any import worldwide is subject to destination charges (sometimes called 'local charges'). Destination charges occur at destinations. Therefore, they are not considered freight charges. 

The destination charges are NOT included in the freight quotes generated by our online freight calculator. The charges are paid at destinations by the consignee. Typically, these charges relate to 1 - Destination country government and Customs associated charges. I.e., duty and taxes (if any), harbor or seaport fees, fee on filing entry, etc.; 2 - Destination terminal(s) handling charges (THC) and shipping documents turnover; 3 – Delivery of importing goods to the consignee, if a "delivery to door" is required."

Neither a sea freight carrier nor a U.S. freight forwarder can affect destination charges. AMID Logistics - a U.S. freight forwarder, is not affiliated with destination charges in any way.

The ocean freight carrier's destination agent listed on your Bill of Lading should guide the consignee in import recovery procedures.

Suppose you want to estimate destination charges and get details about import recovery procedures at the destination in advance. In that case, you may ask us for the contact information of a perspective ocean freight carrier's destination agent before processing a booking. TO GET THE INFORMATION FOR YOU, WE WILL NEED AT LEAST YOUR QUOTE REFERENCE NUMBER OBTAINED WITH OUR ONLINE FREIGHT CALCULATOR.

You may also want to verify with the embassy of your destination country in the U.S. or consult a customs broker in your destination country for specific regulations on importing goods from the USA.

Most of the time, consignees don't need to be present during import recoveries. Follow instructions from the ocean freight carrier's agent, provide the necessary information remotely, pay destination charges, get the import release, and collect your goods, or arrange delivery to your location in the destination country with the destination agent or hire a local cartage company.


4. Why should I pay the 75% deposit?Back to the FAQ

If you have already submitted a booking request via a quote obtained from our online freight calculator and received our email about the booking request, then you are welcome to reply and ask questions, if any. However, if this is your first-time shipment with us, to initiate your international shipping, please follow the link in our email and pay the deposit required to start our work on your shipment. That is our policy.

With our repeated customers, there are many case-by-case scenarios to initiate the shipping. However, most of the time, the process is the same.

Typically, this deposit equals 75% of the estimated shipping cost calculated based on weight/measurements (w/m) information provided by you in your quote and booking. The deposit will apply to the final shipping cost. Please review our payment options and return policy.

We understand that when quoting and booking a shipment, providing the exact sizes, weights, and numbers of your shipping units is usually challenging. Do not be frustrated. That's OK. Just roughly estimate. The actual volume, weight, and number of your shipping from USA units will likely differ from the number and measurements you provided when booking. Upon cargo delivery to the ocean freight carrier's shipping terminal (CFS), the CFS will calculate and reconfirm the number of your shipped units, the overall volume, and weight. 

Also, you will receive our final invoice, less the deposit already paid, not upon arrival of your cargo to the destination but when your shipment departs from the USA. I.e., we will invoice you at a time when your sea freight bill of lading (which is the title on your shipping goods) will be generated. Sometimes, we may invoice you upon proof of your bill of lading. Find more about the sea freight bill of lading.

Once again, please note: Your invoice will be based on the actual weight/measurements of cargo you have shipped but on the estimated shipping cost calculated at the time of quoting and booking. The invoice may also reflect unaccounted costs from the carrier not included in the initial booking (if any), such as charges related to palletizing, fumigation, GRI that occurred during the shipment, etc. In other words, you pay for what you have shipped but that you had estimated to be shipped. If you have overestimated your w/m, then you pay less. If you have underestimated your w/m, you pay more. That's why we request a 75% deposit, but 100%. Note that this billing practice is expected in the industry.

You can learn more about the unaccounted costs that may arise by following this link.


5. How can I find a cargo delivery address?Back to the FAQ

We work with numerous international carriers and domestic cargo transportation companies (U.S. LTL carriers) to ship overseas freight from the USA. Different carriers have different terminals within a city zone. Terminals located in city areas are listed on our website. You should see the addresses of freight terminals in the price quotes obtained in our online freight calculator. However, carriers occasionally change their freight terminals. Therefore, your cargo delivery address must always be reconfirmed in our email with shipping instructions related to your shipping from the U.S.

Upon your booking request and deposit, we will search for a suitable carrier terminal in the area selected in your booking request. Then, we will reconfirm the address and provide one to you in our email with shipping instructions. With our shipping instructions, you can deliver cargo for international shipping from the USA to the address provided in the instructions. You will have the terminal phone number. You may call the freight terminal in advance to find out about working hours, directions, etc.

Important: Shipping from the USA overseas is a complex process. Each international shipment is unique. To eliminate confusion, you should not accept verbal information as a guide to action (particularly about a shipping terminal location). All commitments MUST be documented in email.


6. What is the Express Release Bill of Lading?Back to the FAQ

By default, shipping from the USA with AMID Logistics is on express release. The 'EXPRESS RELEASE' will be stated on your Bill of Lading. Express = Telex release means that upon arriving cargo in destinations, consignees (recipients of shipping from the U.S. goods) do not need to provide a set of original Bill of Ladings for working on the recovery of importing from the USA goods. Goods recovered on express release should be released upon providing a copy of the bill of lading received in a PDF file. No originals are required. Find more about the sea freight bill of ladings at this link.

Several countries worldwide, particularly Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and certain African countries, do not accept express releases. Carriers should specify this at the time of issuing the bill of ladings. However, most of the time, sets of original bills of ladings will be generated in destinations. I.e., in such cases, issuing original bills of ladings during cargo transportation is still not required.

Very few countries in the world do not accept express release and do not allow printing a set of originals at the destination. Your BOL states that a 'SET OF ORIGINAL BILL OF LADINGS IS REQUIRED', and the carrier informs that their agent cannot print the set of originals at the destination. Then, we will request the carrier to mail the set of BOL directly to the consignee. The carrier may refuse to send it to the consignee and mail it to us. Then, upon receipt of the set of originals bill of lading from the carrier in the mail, we will mail the set of originals to the party responsible for the international shipping. USPS First Class Mail within the USA is free. Expedited mail must be prepaid.

Please keep in mind that if, for any reason, a shipper or consignee insists on a set of originals to a country that does accept express releases, then if the carrier agrees to issue such a set, there will be a $100 fee on top of the ocean freight carrier's fee for the issuing the originals. The shipper/consignee is responsible for the postage. All the costs must be prepaid. Issuing a set of originals to shipments on express release does not mean the set of originals is required.


7. Can I amend my Bill of Lading?Back to the FAQ

After a sea freight bill of lading is issued, the amendment may become quite complicated and may not always be possible, especially if goods arrive at their destination. Upon receipt of your sea freight bill of lading, it is strongly suggested that you carefully review all the information. If some data must be changed, immediately contact us and request an amendment.

Please remember that the information you enter at the booking time will be automatically transferred to your lading bill. You will have several opportunities to verify and correct the entered info while submitting documents online and receiving our responses and updates on your international shipping from the USA.

After your bill of lading is issued, any amendments may be subject to the ocean freight carrier's amendment fees. This fee varies from $70 to $250 or more. Please note that AMID's Logistics amendments processing fee of $50+ may also be added to the ocean freight carrier's amendment fee.
If you need amendments after your cargo arrives at the destination, we suggest you work with your ocean freight carrier's destination agent first. Requesting the agent to re-issue your bill of lading directly at the destination may be possible. If you experience difficulties with the agent, you may contact us. We'll attempt to work on these amendments on your behalf. However, there is no guarantee. Also, you should expect additional fees depending on the amendments' circumstances.

Please note that after your cargo arrives at the destination, amending a bill of lading is not guaranteed and may take an uncertain time.


If during your international shipping from the U.S., a set of original sea freight bills of ladings is required, but it needs to be amended or lost, then the ocean freight carrier may request a letter of indemnity. Here is the link with a sample of the letter of indemnity in respect of international cargo transportation from the USA.


8. What is a Cubic Meter and w/m?Back to the FAQ 

Here is the web page about Cubic Meters in respect of international cargo transportation from the USA by sea. 

W/m means weight or measurement, whichever is greater. W/m represents the cargo density limit, typically per Cubic Meter. 

Find more about w/m in respect of international cargo transportation from the USA by sea. 


9. Should I palletize my shipping boxes? / Back to the FAQ

Palletized and shrink-wrapped cargo have a much higher probability of reaching destinations without damage or loss. When shipping cargo from the USA LCL, it is highly recommended to palletize all shipping items. If you are sending from the USA more than 3-5 boxes, then the ocean freight carrier will most likely not accept loose boxes for shipping from the U.S. It must be palletized anyway. Shippers have to be aware of charges related to palletizing. The charges include:

Please find more about palletizing in shipping freight from the U.S.


10. Can I get marine insurance? / Back to the FAQ

Please refer to this web page about marine insurance in shipping cargo from the USA.


11. Do you guarantee transit time? / Back to the FAQ

If your shipment is time-sensitive, you may ask for the nearest vessel schedule upon receipt of a freight quote.

Typically, sea freight shipments depart and arrive as scheduled. As soon as cargo is in carriers' possession, carriers always do their best to ship it ASAP to free storage space. 

However, delays may occur. The reasons for delays are not just severe weather conditions. Your multimodal LCL shipment's transit time depends on cargo and documents cutoff at CFS, trucking or rail traffic, hubs and seaports conjunctions, and many other factors during your cargo transportation from the United States to the place of delivery in your destination country.

Please understand that as soon as the carrier processes a shipment, there is nothing a freight forwarder can do about that. We forward the updates to customers as soon as we receive updates from carriers. If there are significant delays, we do our best to find a reason with the carrier and explain it to our customers. Please be patient.

Shipping from the USA with trans-shipping: If a port of discharge in your bill of lading differs from the place of delivery, then the ETA in your shipping from the USA may not be the ETA to the place of delivery but to the port of discharge, where your cargo should be trans-shipped to the place of delivery (the final destination).

There are different modes of trans-shipping. Cargo can be either re-loaded on another vessel, or ground transportation can be done by rail, truck, or both. So, it will take additional time for your cargo to reach the place of delivery, as stated in your bill of lading.

Ground transportation from a port of discharge to a landlocked city can take 10-15+ additional days. If it is a hub-seaport, from Europe to Africa or Asia to Oceania, for example, it may take 25+ days to reach the final destination.

U.S. CBP inspections: Besides the routine delays associated with different factors during cargo transportation from the USA overseas, we would like to note separately the possibility of uncertainties related to cargo quarantines by the United States Customs Border Patrol. Such delays are infrequent. However, if the CBP flags a container for the examination, the delay may take an uncertain time. Until the hold is released, the cargo cannot sail on a vessel.

Furthermore, additional charges will likely be due to the exam, which will be equally divided among all cargo owners loaded in the container. No one can help with that. All complaints should be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Please keep in mind that sea freight cannot guarantee transit time. If you ship sea freight, then sometimes you may experience delays. In some cases, there may be significant delays.


12. Are there any hidden costs in your quote? / Back to the FAQ

There are NO hidden costs in price quotes obtained in our online freight calculator. Quotes are all-inclusive and based on the weight/measurement information provided and options selected when quoting-booking.

LCL sea freight refers to international cargo transportation between Container Freight Stations (CFSs) in the country of origin and destination. CFS means a bonded freight terminal under Customs supervision. Cargo received by CFS is not considered to be within the country's commerce zone unless Customs releases it. CFS is not a seaport. It can be near a seaport or in a landlocked city. If CFS is in a landlocked city, sea freight includes inland trucking from or to the CFS.

Here is an approximate payment structure in international multimodal cargo transportation utilizing LCL freight shipping from the U.S.:

*Unless subject to U.S. export restrictions.

Your invoice, less the deposit paid at the time of booking, will be based on the actual weight/measurements of cargo you have shipped but not on the estimated shipping cost calculated at the time of quoting and booking. The invoice may also reflect unaccounted costs from the carrier not included in the initial booking (if any). We list these charges below.

Your carrier's rated sea freight bill of lading that includes freight charges breakdown will verify the freight and freight surcharges in your international shipping from the USA.

In other words, you pay for what you actually have shipped but not what you had estimated to be shipped. If you have overestimated your w/m, then you pay less. If you have underestimated your w/m, you pay more. That's why we request a 75% deposit, but 100%. Note that this billing practice is expected in the industry.

The only exception that may lead to a discrepancy in a carrier's freight is a GRI (carrier's General Rates Increase) or a difference in carrier's freight that occurred since a shipment was booked till the goods departed from the USA. Such discrepancies happen exceptionally rarely. If it does happen, we will inform our customers as soon as possible and work on it in a case-by-case scenario. Note that minor discrepancies up to +/- $25 may be ignored unless a customer insists on a clarification. 

INTERNATIONAL SHIPPERS MUST BE AWARE OF GENERAL STANDARDS IN THE INTERNATIONAL LCL FREIGHT INDUSTRY. I.e., they must understand what is covered in a price quote obtained. That's why, if you are a first-time international shipper unfamiliar with shipping international freight LCL, we strongly recommend reading these FAQ and reference sections on our website before starting your international shipment. 

Below is a recap of charges that MAY NOT be covered in price quotes obtained in our online freight calculator.

I. Pickup. Pickup rates depend on the type of pickup site and the kind of commodity. When a shipper requests a quote/booking, they must select the appropriate pickup site type and the sort of commodity. Otherwise, the price may change.

Residential or businesses with limited access pickups are curbside curbside-services. A pickup driver will load cargo from a driveway, front porch, garage, or easily accessible loading area. Inside pickups are not permitted. Some additional charges may apply if pickup conditions or areas are out of the regular range. The following charges may occur: liftgate on pickup, attempted pickup, debris removal, waiting time, etc.

You may find more information on residential or business pickups with limited access on this web page.  

II. Price difference due to discrepancy in weight/measurements (w/m) provided at the time of booking request and the actual w/m of cargo tendered to the shipment. When quoting-booking, it is hard to predict the exact w/m (i.e., the number of shipping items and their dimensions and weight). Actual w/m in your international shipping from the USA will most likely differ from what you provided in your booking request.

After the ocean freight carrier's freight terminal (CFS) accepts your cargo, the CFS sends us a w/m verification of your shipment. I.e., the actual dimensions and weight of your shipping items. Our final invoice will reflect the verified by the CFS w/m but not the w/m estimated at the time of booking.

If, for any reason, you do not agree with the verified w/m, we will provide you with a copy of the verification document. Then, you can contact CFS and resolve the issue directly with CFS.

III. Extra-volume charges due to palletizing your loose shipping items.

Shipping loose items from the USA is unsafe. International shipping cargo should always be palletized. If you ship more than 3-5 items, carriers will palletize your shipping items, regardless of whether or not you request to palletize your cargo. As a result, the chargeable volume of your load will increase.

Also, the cost of pallets and labor will be added to the freight. Typically, this cost varies from $35 to $75+ per shrink-wrapped pallet, including the cost of the pallet.

You can find more about palletizing in international shipping cargo from the U.S. overseas on this web page.

IV. Dimensional weight and freight class reassignment by an LTL carrier (applies to shipments that require line-haul or pickups).

Pickup and line-haul charges are based on your cargo's Actual or Dimensional weight, whichever is greater. 

Our system helps you determine freight class based on density– one of four characteristics. However, the shipper must consider the rest of the characteristics and change the freight class on their shipment if necessary. You may also call the NMFTA directly at (703) 838-1810 to reconfirm the freight class on your shipment by commodity.

The shipper is held responsible for the freight class declaration. Our pickup/line haul price quotes are based on the freight class the shipper declares. The declaration of incorrect freight class may result in price schedule changes.

Please find more about dim. weight and freight class regarding shipping from the USA in this link.

V. Optional $35 fee for filing SED (U.S. Shipper's Export Declaration). According to U.S. Customs regulations, all cargo shipping out of the USA must be declared to the U.S. CBP by filing an SED in AES at

The most frequent exemptions from filing SED are:

International shipments without SED (if not exempt) cannot be released for export.

Our online booking form provides options for filing SED:

  1. Shippers can file SED by themselves. We must then receive ITN BEFORE cargo is delivered to an international ocean freight carrier's freight terminal (CFS) for international transportation from the USA.


  2. We can file the SED and obtain ITN on the shippers' behalf based on the commodity description provided in a commercial invoice or valued packing list for the fee of $35 up to two Harmonized Tariff numbers. $15 per Harmonized Tariff number after that.

If you are requesting us to file the SED on your behalf, then WE MUST HAVE FROM YOU:

  1. A valued packing list or commercial invoice, which contains (1) commodity description, (2) value of your international shipment in USD, and (3) estimated weight and volume.

  2. U.S. federal tax ID (EIN) or not U.S. residents, a copy of a foreign passport. 

IMPORTANT NOTE FROM U.S. CUSTOMS: Social Security Numbers (SSN) WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED as a valid USPPI ID as of December 3rd, 2009:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau / U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulation and per the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), Social Security Numbers (SSN) will not be accepted as a valid USPPI ID as of December 3rd, 2009. Any Authorized Agent that files on behalf of customers using an SSN as the USPPI ID needs to notify their customers that they need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). USPPIs can obtain an EIN by visiting and selecting "Employer ID Numbers (EIN)."

OBTAINING THE EIN FOR SED FILING: We found that some of our customers who do not have an EIN get one for shipping from the USA overseas online by requesting an EIN for the Sole Proprietors to satisfy banking requirements or local law. In this case, you may consider the following steps in this PDF file.

For more information, refer to the U.S. Federal Code 15 CFR Part 30 in this link
VI. Set of original international sea freight Bill of Ladings (if required). 

Most shipments with us are on express releases.

Express = telex release = surrender means that providing sets of original Bill of Ladings to recover cargo at the destination is not required. Cargo shipping from the USA overseas on express release should be released at the destination upon providing a copy of the express release bill of lading received from us in a PDF file. No originals are required.

However, several countries worldwide, particularly Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and Certain African countries, do not accept express release bills of ladings. International ocean freight carriers should specify that upon issuing a bill of lading. We will mail you a set of original sea freight bills of ladings by USPS First Class Mail within the USA/Canada for free. Expedited or international mail must be prepaid. If you request a set of original Bill of Ladings in your international shipping from the USA to countries that DO accept express release, a $50 fee will be added on top of the postage cost.

VII. U.S. CBP Inspection: The possibility of cargo quarantine enforced by the United States Customs Border Patrol (CBP).

CBP inspections are infrequent. CBP can inspect an entire container or a specific shipment. Consolidators usually inform cargo owners if an entire container is inspected. However,  when inspecting specific shipments, CBP may instruct carriers not to notify exporters. Consolidators will only provide sailing schedule updates until the cargo is confirmed on board. In such situations, exporters are informed about inspections through an inspection surcharge reflected in their sea freight breakdown.

If the CBP flags a container or a shipment for examination, neither the freight forwarder nor the carrier can affect it. The cargo cannot be released for shipping from the U.S. until Customs completes inspection and approves the release.

Charges incurred due to the examination will be added to the carrier's freight breakdown. If CBP inspects a whole container, all owners of cargo loaded in the container will share the inspection costs equally. If CBP inspects a particular shipment, then it is on the shipper's account.

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid these costs. Any complaints should be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

We understand the frustration that can arise from these unforeseen circumstances. However, it is essential to acknowledge that CBP inspections are beyond our control. We appreciate your understanding and patience in such situations.

VIII. DESTINATION CHARGES. ALL INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS, INCLUDING SEA FREIGHT SHIPMENTS, ARE SUBJECT TO DESTINATION CHARGES. Destination charges (sometimes called local charges) occur at the destinations. Therefore, they are not considered freight charges. These charges vary depending on the destination country's import regulations, the port of entry, the ocean freight carrier, and the carriers' destination agents. Destination charges are NOT INCLUDED in ocean freight quotes obtained in our online freight calculator and are on account of the consignee (the receiver of imported goods). As a U.S. Freight Forwarder, AMID Logistics does not connect to destination charges in any way.

The following information corresponds with explaining the destination charges to inexperienced, first-time international shippers in this article.

Destination charges can be assessed only on/after the day of entry of shipping from the U.S. goods to the Commerce Zone of the destination country. Consignees must clear their imported goods with Customs and pay all costs related to the cargo release(s) directly to parties involved in the cargo recovery.

In general, destination charges include (but are not limited by): 1 - Destination Country Government (Customs) related charges, i.e., duty and taxes (if any), harbor fees, fee on entry filed by a destination Customs Broker, etc.; 2 - Destination terminal(s) handling charges (THC) and other charges related to cargo de-consolidation at the destination; 3 - "Door delivery" charges (if consignee requests a "door delivery.")*

NOTE THAT A PART OF OR ALL DESTINATION CHARGES MAY REQUIRE TO BE PAID AT A PORT OF ENTRY, NOT AT THE FINAL DESTINATION. Depending on the destination country's customs regulations, all or a part of destination charges must be paid at the port of entry. The cargo will continue traveling to the final destination freight terminal, cleared with customs. Otherwise, it may be transferred to the final destination in bond and required to be cleared with customs at a bonded freight terminal at the final destination. Also, note that sometimes destination charges may be divided by separate invoices related to particular parties involved in import recovery.

Destination Charges are out of the control of U.S. Freight Forwarders and payable directly to parties related to import recoveries at destinations. As a U.S. Freight Forwarder,  AMID Logistics does not connect to destination charges in any way. Ocean freight carrier's destination agents should guide consignees in the complexity of cargo recovery procedures at destinations. Most of the time, the agents are customs brokers as well. However, the destination agent may ask you to clear your goods with Customs in certain circumstances. Also, in case of problems with your import recovery, we suggest that your first step is to seek an independent customs broker licensed in the country.

Destination charges apply to any import in any country, whether commercial or personal goods.

You may want to check in advance with your destination country's embassy or ask your destination country's customs broker about Government (Customs) regulations in your international shipping from the USA to the country.

Typically, importers don't have to be present in person to recover imports at the destination. Follow instructions from your destination agent. Provide all necessary information and documents on your international shipping from the USA remotely by phone, fax, or email; pay destination charges to get the release on your cargo; and, if you wish, arrange delivery of your goods "to your door" directly with the international ocean freight carrier's destination agent or use any local cartage company of your choice.   

IMPORTANT: All operational costs and charges until the freight is recovered will be debited to the consignee, with recourse against the consigner for unpaid invoices.  

IX. DELIVERING GOODS TO THE CONSIGNEE AT THE DESTINATION. "Door delivery" in destination countries is not included in shipping costs obtained with our online freight calculator. Cargo will be shipped to a bonded freight terminal (CFS) located within the greater city area as on the 'Place of Delivery' on your bill of lading. Cleared with Customs and released by the destination, CFS cargo should be picked up by the consignee.

Typically, ocean freight carrier's destination agents offer delivery services for an additional cost. Alternatively, the consignee can arrange for a local cargo transportation company to pick up and deliver the goods "to the door."

X. Other specific charges may apply to irregular international shipments. It all depends on the commodity you are shipping from the USA, shipping conditions, destination country import regulations, etc.

XI. Shipping a partial cargo. You combine two or more cargo deliveries/dock receipts into one single shipment/Bill of Lading.

Combining two or more cargo deliveries/dock receipts into one shipment/Bill of Lading is called "Shipping a Partial Cargo."

Shipping Partial Cargo is highly restricted by certain limitations and must be approved when booking your international shipping from the USA. Read about Shipping Partial Cargo on this web page.

For more information on partial international LCL shipments, please contact AMID Logistics in advance.


13. Can I ship a charity shipment? / Back to the FAQ

Yes, arranging for international charity shipping from the USA to overseas is possible. However, it is essential to note that after the donation arrives at its destination, the consignee (recipient of the donation) may be unable or unwilling to pay the associated destination charges for the recovery of the donation.

In some countries, particularly in South Africa and landlocked nations that receive ocean freight via South Africa, officials may refuse entry of goods if the commodity is described as a charity shipment, donation, free aid, used, second-hand, etc. It is important to note that such goods may be subject to stricter regulations, which should be considered before shipment. 

Shipping second-hand clothes, books, etc., from the USA to or via South Africa is prohibited. Before shipping, shippers must obtain an import permit from the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC).

If you plan to transport an international charity shipment from the US, please carefully consider the following situations.:

  1. The recipient of your charity shipment may not pay destination charges, even if you have transferred the money to pay for the release.

  2. You may need to correspond with destination officials for approval before sending a charity shipment. Any delay may result in customs penalties and carrier fees.

  3. Suppose the international shipment of goods from the USA cannot be released. In that case, you will be responsible for all charges associated with returning your donation or destroying your charity shipment.    

Suppose you're shipping from the USA, and the ocean freight carrier knows you're donating, but they have had a bad experience with charity shipments. In that case, they might tell you that your international charity shipment must be delivered on a DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) basis with all destination charges prepaid. In this event:

  1. Present a commercial invoice to the ocean freight carrier's destination agent before shipping your international charity shipment. This estimates total destination charges but may not be free or quick. 

  2. Actual destination charges may differ from the estimate and are typically prepaid based on the estimated cost plus 15-30%. 

  3. The consignee must pay additional charges if the destination fees exceed the initial estimate, or the international shipment will be destroyed.

In conclusion, we appreciate your kindness and generosity towards international charity efforts. However, we strongly suggest that a better-planned approach to charity delivery from the U.S. could help minimize any potential complications for all parties involved. We kindly advise you to consider making your donations prudently and thoughtfully. 


14. How can I cancel my shipment? / Back to the FAQ

  1. For new customers, shipments with unpaid deposits will not be processed. There is no obligation to cancel a shipment with an unpaid deposit.
  2. If a deposit is paid, we have processed the booking, but the shipment is canceled before the cargo has been tendered to the shipment, the customer will be refunded, less the $75 shipment processing fee.
  3. After the cargo is submitted to the shipment but is still at the origin and can be returned, we will request the carrier to put the load on hold. The customer will be refunded after their written confirmation that the goods are returned. The $150 processing fee plus any carriers' charges accrued on this return (if any) are on the customer's account.
  4. After a direct international ocean freight carrier has processed a shipment and the shipment cannot be returned to the shipper, i.e., cargo is on the way to the destination: consolidated in the container, entered in the international ocean carrier's container yard or pier to be loaded aboard a vessel, etc. a refund cannot be provided.

For more detailed information, please refer to our return policy


15. What if I do not pay your invoice? / Back to the FAQ

As soon as shipping goods are confirmed on board the vessel for the departure from the U.S. and the ocean freight carrier has generated their bill of lading (typically on/in a few days after the ETD - Estimated Time of Departure from the USA as stated on your shipping documents), a few days after the ETD, we'll email to a party responsible for the international shipment invoice, less the deposit paid. PAYMENT IS DUE UPON RECEIPT OF THE INVOICE.

Shipments with a short sailing time of less than 10 days may be invoiced in advance based on proof of bill of lading received from the carrier.

If you do not receive our invoice within a few business days after ETD, do not hesitate to contact us to clarify.

We may email a few reminders. If our invoice is not paid after the final reminder, we will consider such a shipment as a "Risky shipment." The late payment fee will apply. The late payment fee is 3% of the past due amount per day since our second reminder or US$200 minimum, whichever is greater.

Then, several days after the past due penalty was applied, but the invoice is still unpaid, we'll cancel the express release on the shipment. Due to express release cancellation, the consignee cannot recover shipping goods at the destination unless they receive a set of original bills of ladingsExpedited mail with the set of originals costs US$200 on top of the carrier's fee for issuing the set of originals. We will NOT take any responsibility for any storage, demurrage, and additional costs connected to the cargo release delays at any point on its way to the place of delivery. Cargo insurance, if initially requested, will be canceled, and the paid insurance premium will apply toward the unpaid freight.

Please remember that disputing an invoice does not extend the payment due. All disputing correspondence must be written in email and kept as evidence of the disputing. WE DO NOT DISCUSS INVOICES OVER THE PHONE.

If not paid within 30 days from the day of arrival at the destination, the international shipment may be considered abandoned and requested to be re-consigned, destroyed, or auctioned to cover the rest of unpaid freight, storage, demurrage, etc. The U.S. and destination country officials will be notified, and additional fines will be levied.



16. What documents should I submit? / Back to the FAQ

When shipping from the U.S. overseas regular cargo, most of the time, you will need to provide the following:

A. If you're shipping from the USA abroad a commercial cargo, then a Commercial Invoice. Typically it is an invoice from a U.S. merchant to a foreign buyer or a purchase receipt. A commercial invoice should describe exporting goods from the USA and the value in US$. Please email us a copy of such a document in a PDF file.

If a commercial invoice is unavailable for some reason, it can be a proforma commercial invoice submitted as a valued packing list. Proforma commercial invoices should be sufficient to get cargo released to depart from the USA. However, customs in the destination countries occasionally request a more specific document. Therefore, we'd recommend always providing copies of original invoices or purchase receipts if transporting from the U.S. commercial cargo.

B. If delivering from the USA household goods or personal belongings, it is a Valued Packing List - an inventory list with a value of goods in US$. Shippers in valued packing lists describe shipping goods and assign them a value by themselves.

However, Customs in destination countries can reconsider the value of fair market value on the day of entry of the goods to the commerce zone of the country.

C. If the declared value of exporting goods from the USA, whether commercial or for personal use, exceeds US$2500, the shipment must be declared to the U.S. CBP by filing a U.S. Shippers Export Declaration (SED).

Shippers can file SED by themselves and provide ITN in advance. Otherwise, we can file SED on the shipper's behalf for the fee of $35. Find more about SED on this web page.

D. You may need to provide copies or numbers of some identification documents, such as a copy of your passport, tax ID, license or permit, etc. However, shipping from the USA General commodity shouldn't be anything complicated to provide.

E. Basically, the above is all you'll need in most cases.

However, depending on the shipping commodity and destination country, other documents may be required.

As U.S. freight forwarders, we guide shippers in the documentation necessary to get cargo released from the USA. However, the consignee's responsibility is to provide a sufficient set of import documents at the destinationTherefore, we always suggest that before you initiate international shipping, contact the consulate of your destination country or a customs broker in the country to find out if there are any special requirements, limitations, or restrictions in shipping your particular goods from the U.S.

Please remember that all documents necessary to release cargo from the USA must be provided before/on the day of cargo delivery to an ocean carrier's freight terminal (CFS).

You can find more about other documentation in shipping goods from the USA abroad on this web page.


17. I'm not in the USA. Can I ship remotely? / Back to the FAQ

Yes, you can. Refer to this web page. Here is in short:

If you are shipping from the USA remotely, then follow these simple instructions depending on whether your vendor (seller) provides free delivery within the USA or not:


Upon your authorization, we may also contact your vendor on your behalf. Retrieving and providing general information is free of charge. Resolving time-consuming, more complicated issues in your shipping from the USA will result in fees estimated at $60 per hour/$60 minimum. 


18. PayPal/Credit Cards payments are limited to up to $750 on the TOTAL shipping cost / Back to the FAQ

Payments via PayPal/Credit Cards are limited by US$750 ON THE TOTAL COST PER SHIPMENT.

We accept credit card payments via PayPal up to US$750 per shipment. Shipping costs for shipments exceeding US$750 in TOTAL must NOT be paid with PayPal. Please use other available payment options: a U.S. bank check (we accept drafts of U.S. bank checks - mailing the original check is not necessary, bank wire transfers or direct deposits, Western Union, or MoneyGram. Ask us for details.

We reserve the right to refund unauthorized payments via PayPal less than the non-refundable PayPal transaction fee and a $50 unauthorized transaction fee without notice.

If we authorize a PayPal transaction, but the transaction is not covered by PayPal seller protection, we reserve the right to refund such a transaction less the non-refundable PayPal transaction fee.

A CONFIRMATION TOWARD PAYMENTS VIA PAYPAL/CREDIT CARD: If a shipment was paid with PayPal, to secure funds transferred to our account via PayPal, as soon as a load is confirmed onboard a vessel and a sea freight bill of lading is generated by the carrier, before providing the ocean carriers bill of lading, we will need a reply from the email associated with the payer's PayPal account. The email will appear like this:

"We have received the notification of your payment. Thank you. Your goods are on the way to the destination.

However, seeing that this shipment was fully or partially paid via PayPal before we will email you the carrier's Bill of Lading, you NEED TO DO THE FOLLOWING:

1. Hit REPLY to this email and keep the original email.
2. In the body of your reply email, as the first line, type the following:

"I have read and agree with the conditions on all my payments done by PayPal, as stated below."


I clearly understand that the Bill of Lading is the title for my shipment and the proof of the transfer of the ownership of my shipped goods to the consignee (recipient of goods) as I consigned. It is the final document received from Amid Logistics, LLC, on my international shipment.

I confirm that after receiving the ocean carrier's Bill of Lading and my goods will enter into the destination country commerce zone, the service provided to me by Amid Logistics, LLC is completed as agreed. PayPal and any other financial associations or any other parties concerned about my PayPal transactions associated with this shipment must consider this email as my confirmation of completion of Amid Logistics, LLC's service provided to me. This email is the receipt for all my PayPal payments with my virtual signature.


For more information, please refer to the following link --

After the reply, please wait for our email with the Bill of Lading.
You should receive it in a few days after ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) for your shipment. If, for some reason, you will not receive the Bill of Lading as expected, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Having this Bill of Lading, upon arrival of your goods into the destination country commerce zone, the consignee (recipient of shipped goods) can proceed with recovering your imported goods. Work on the recovery with the carrier's destination agent and, if necessary, with other parties that may relate to the import. For more details, please refer to this link in FAQ - - STEPS 6 & 7.

PLEASE NOTE: If, for any reason, you disagree, then you may re-pay all your PayPal transactions by a U.S. Bank check or transfer funds to our bank account. Please inform us by replying to this email. Then, upon receipt of re-payment(s), we will notify you and fully refund your PayPal transactions less, not refundable PayPal transaction fees."

If we do NOT receive such a PayPal payment confirmation email or a re-payment via U.S. Bank check or wire, then the issuing of the bill of leading will be suspended. The shipment will be considered a Risky Shipment. Additional penalties will apply. Refer to Risky Shipments and our General Terms and Conditions.


19. There is no transaction limit / Back to the FAQ

For payments for shipments exceeding US$750, we accept U.S. bank checks, business and personal checks, money orders, direct bank deposits or international wire transfers, and Western Union transactions.

We accept drafts of U.S. bank checks online. After submitting a draft of such a check online, it is unnecessary to mail the original check. We'll deposit the draft. 

We may proceed with a shipment upon receipt of a scanned or faxed copy of the check or money order to accelerate a shipment. However, this copy can be considered the payer's authorization for electronic funds transfer. In the event of a delay in receiving the original check or money order in the mail, typically later than 7 (seven) calendar days after receiving the copy, we reserve the right to process the fund's transfer based on the amount and the payer's bank information received in the copy of the check or money order.


20. Why are your shipping costs so low?

Our online freight calculator integrates direct freight rates from well-known and reliable Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (cargo consolidators). As a U.S. Freight Forwarder, we work on our service fee, which is separated from the carrier freight in our quotes and invoices. That's why our shipping costs are affordable and among the lowest in the industry.

LCL freight is for experienced exporters. However, small and mid-sized businesses prefer to hire freight forwarders to handle international shipping logistics. So they can focus on their core business.

We also offer this service to ordinary customers. Then, inexperienced exporters gain benefits from shipping their goods utilizing LCL freight. However, we advise them to read this article before participating in this venture. It should ensure that they have a clear understanding of the shipping process and associated costs.

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