AMID Logo E-BAY Logo
Freight from the USA
 

Shipping Household and Personal Goods from the USA overseas using LCL freight

LCL freight is the low-cost solution for shipping from the USA overseas goods in boxes, crates, and pallets. LCL shipping procedures are similar regardless of the international shipping company you choose.

Although experienced exporters mostly use this service, we offer it to ordinary customers as well. However, if you are new to international cargo transportation, to gain benefits from shipping LCL, and avoid misunderstanding and costly mistakes, we encourage you to read this article.

This webpage is written to provide the minimum necessary information for inexperienced, first-time international shippers who will be involved in shipping quite large cargo from the USA overseas. The purpose is to help understand the distinctions between international cargo transportation from the United States using LCL freight (3) versus shipping household goods and personal belongings with a parcel service (1) or international moving companies (2). Additionally, it focuses on the common challenges that arise when serving inexperienced, first-time international shippers exporting goods from the USA using LCL freight.

You can continue reading about the distinctions or SKIP AHEAD TO THE MOST COMMON ISSUES related to shipping LCL freight that inexperienced, first-time international shippers should know.

American Multimodal International Deliveries - AMID Logistics is a licensed and bonded U.S. Freight Forwarder. Our primary business is facilitating cargo movements, primarily as LCL freight, from the USA to overseas destinations.

LCL freight becomes cost-effective when shipping a relatively sizable or heavy cargo. For example, when making international deliveries of large shipping boxes or items exceeding 0.5 cubic meters (20+ cubic feet) in overall volume or weighing 100+ kilograms (250+ lbs). In such cases, LCL freight becomes the prudent and economical method for shipping out of the U.S. boxed, crated, or palletized goods that cannot fill an entire 40-foot sea freight container.

1. Do not confuse LCL service with parcel services:

When shipping LCL, freight rates for cargo delivered to sea freight carriers terminals (CFSs) are calculated based on its volume (per cubic meter or cubic foot), not its weight. However, there is a minimum charge of one cubic meter. Although LCL freight rates per cubic meter are quite affordable, if your cargo's total volume is less than one cubic meter, you will still be charged for shipping one cubic meter. Certain destinations may have minimums of two or three cubic meters.

We often receive inquiries from customers using our online price calculator who wonder why changes in the dimensions of their shipping units do not result in price changes. This is because their cargo's total volume does not exceed the minimum charge of one cubic meter. Only when the volume exceeds this minimum does the price begin to change.

It is important to note that international freight is always subject to destination charges. It is crucial not to confuse freight (or the statement "freight prepaid") with destination charges (sometimes called local charges). Destination charges occur in destinations. Therefore, the charges are not considered freight charges. Destination charges are not included in LCL quotes and must be paid by the consignees (cargo recipients at the destinations). For more information on destination charges, please follow this link.

In simpler terms, shipping small parcels may be more convenient and cost-effective using USPS, FedEx, DHL, or another parcel service. LCL shipping becomes cost-effective when shipping boxes with an overall volume of about or exceeding one cubic meter or when shipping relatively large or heavy items.

2. LCL freight Vs. Shipping household goods with an International Moving Company:

When relocating internationally or shipping personal belongings from the USA overseas, you should choose between convenience and price.

If your budget allows, prioritizing convenience over price may lead you to seek the services of a reliable international moving company. These companies will send an estimator to assess labor costs, packing materials, and freight expenses. Essentially, they will estimate the total cost to ship your goods from the USA overseas without requiring additional effort.

Some international moving companies even offer door-to-door services, ensuring a seamless shipping experience from start to finish. They take responsibility for dispatching your international shipment and assisting you in the recovery process upon arrival in your destination country. This includes liaising with customs and seaport authorities, handling all charges related to cargo release, and delivering and unloading your belongings at your desired location. If you opt for this comprehensive service, it is crucial to carefully review the second part of your shipping service agreement, which outlines the procedures for cargo recovery at the destination.

However, the costs associated with international moving companies for shipping household goods from the USA abroad are high. This may be fine if your international move is business-related and your employer covers the expenses. However, consider an alternative approach if you are personally responsible for the shipping costs. One such alternative is to ship your goods directly with an international ocean freight carrier, with the assistance of U.S. freight forwarders.

Running ahead, you can hire a domestic moving company to properly pack and deliver your goods at an ocean freight carrier's terminal. Such terminals are professionally called CFS – Container Freight Stations. In this case, we'd suggest you ask the company if they are familiar with international cargo transportation regulations. Particularly with ISPM15 regulations. It may be prudent to pay extra, but be sure you won't get in trouble at the end of your international shipping due to your goods' improper packaging.

3. Shipping LCL:

Yes, typically, you can ship household goods and personal items from the U.S. overseas using international sea freight carriers instead of hiring an international moving company.

If you can pack all your goods in boxes or crate them, then our Economy LCL Sea Freight Service is worth considering. This service is specifically designed for shipping relatively large cargo packed in boxes or crates. It is undoubtedly more cost-effective than sending goods from the USA overseas with international moving companies.

By opting for our Economy LCL Sea Freight Service, you can save a significant amount of money while ensuring the safe transportation of your belongings and:

However, when shipping freight LCL from the USA, some specific rules and limitations must be kept in mind. These regulations may seem daunting initially, but they are pretty logical. By using common sense and adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Unfortunately, some first-time shippers make the mistake of treating shipping sizable cargo from the U.S. abroad as if it were as simple as mailing a postcard overseas. However, they soon discover that their lack of experience can lead to costly mistakes.

At AMID Logistics, we have been assisting customers with shipping household goods and personal belongings from the USA overseas for over 20 years. We aim to make this process as easy, stressless, and predictable as possible. We take pride in our business and the satisfaction of our customers. We are proud of our customers' reviews.

However, despite our best efforts, we occasionally receive complaints. All of these complaints come from first-time and inexperienced exporters. Therefore, IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME SHIPPING FREIGHT INTERNATIONALLY FROM THE USA OVERSEAS, WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE BEFORE INVOLVING IN INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. DOING SO CAN AVOID POTENTIAL PITFALLS AND ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL SHIPPING EXPERIENCE.

 

LCL freight is primarily designed for experienced exporters, but we also offer this service to ordinary customers. However, to fully benefit from shipping LCL and avoid any confusion, inexperienced shippers need to pay attention to the explanations provided on our website.

In this article, we would like to address the common issues that often arise when serving first-time international shippers who export goods from the USA using LCL freight. These topics are already covered in the FAQ section and references on our website. Nevertheless, we will focus on customer confusion and provide examples to help clarify these matters.

All the requirements, regulations, and restrictions mentioned are standard in international cargo transportation LCL. Regardless of the shipping company you choose for your international shipments from the USA, you must be aware of these basic procedures. If there is anything you need help understanding before engaging in international shipping from the U.S., please feel free to contact us or seek clarification from third parties.

1. Pack all your goods in boxes or crates. Palletizing.

2. You deliver cargo directly to a sea freight carrier's terminal (CFS).

3. Need a pickup? Then please be prepared for the pickup.

4. If you deliver to a line haul terminal, you may deal with palletizing.

5. Submit the necessary shipping documents.

6. Sea freight cannot guarantee transit time.

6.1. U.S. CBP inspection

7. Import recovery. DESTINATION CHARGES ARE ON ACCOUNT OF THE CONSIGNEE.

7.1. Shipments with transshipments.

8. Door deliveries at destinations.

9. 75% deposit. The actual shipping cost will most likely differ from the estimated quoted shipping cost.

10. A discrepancy in the number of shipping units.

11. Do not confuse LCL service with parcel services.

12. How far in advance should I book a shipment?

13. Please first calculate a price quote online.

14. Is there a hidden cost in your quote?

15. Why are your shipping costs so low?

 

Shipping from the USA

 

1. Pack all your goods in boxes or crates. Palletizing, insurance, restricted and prohibited commodities. 

1. With LCL freight, all shipping items must be appropriately packed. I.e., boxed or crated and labeled for international delivery.

Sometimes, customers ask: "Can we ship unpacked items? Particularly pieces of assembled furniture such as a sofa, chair, dresser, etc."

The answer is: "No. You can't. With LCL freight, all shipping items must be boxed or crated."

We recommend using heavy-duty cardboard moving boxes, which are widely available in stores and online.

If crating, keep in mind ISPM15 regulations or use crates designed for international shipping, Uline crates, for example. 

Please pay extreme attention to packing your goods. Whenever it is possible, hire a professional packing company. Remember that if you insure your shipment under an "All risk" policy, NOT PROFESSIONALLY PACKED GOODS TURN AN 'ALL RISK' POLICY INTO A 'TOTAL LOSS' POLICY.

After shipping goods are boxed, the boxes have to be palletized. I.e., they will be stacked on pallets in skids and shrink-wrapped.

You can self-palletize your shipping boxes. Otherwise, an ocean freight carrier's terminal should properly palletize and shrink-wrap your shipping boxes. Ocean freight carriers' terminals are called Container Freight Stations or CFS.

a. The palletizing at CFS should cost you $35-75 per pallet, depending on CFS. The fee includes the cost of the certified pallet that complies with ISPM15 regulations.

b. If you ship numerous boxes, CFS may charge you hourly for the labor. However, please keep in mind that palletizing too many shipping boxes may not be available at certain CFSs. If you ship too many boxes (say 30-50+), you should consider palletizing your cargo before the delivery to CFS.

The cost of palletizing is not included in the quotes. The palletizing fee will be added to the carrier's sea freight.

c. It is essential to understand that palletizing increases the chargeable volume of your cargo. However, this is the only way to ship from the USA abroad a number of boxes safely, by protecting cargo from damages and loss. Ocean freight carriers may not accept shipping more than 3-5 boxes from the U.S. unless palletized. To decrease the "dead" volume, we recommend using boxes of the same size and shipping an even number of boxes to fill rows of boxes on pallets. Then, they should fit pallets evenly. Find more about palletizing on this website. If possible, follow this rule when considering the sizes and number of shipping boxes.  

At a glance, these palletizing requirements may look complicated. Not at all. Use common sense. Your palletized boxes will be handled by forklifts, professionally loaded, and secured into a 40-foot multimodal sea freight container. Palletized cargo is protected from damages, loss, and theft at each stage during international transportation from the USA overseas. If you palletize your load, you can pack shipping items in moving boxes purchased at Walmart, Home Depot, etc. Using heavy-duty boxes in shipping from the USA overseas is preferable.

Shipping cargo on pallets is the standard in LCL freight. Experienced international shippers are aware of that. However, sometimes inexperienced international cargo transportation customers are frustrated about the increasing chargeable volume after palletizing. Using our online freight calculator, they accurately enter the dimensions of boxes, box by box. Then, they expect the final shipping cost based on the calculated total volume. That's not correct. Palletizing always increases chargeable volume and adds a fee to the freight cost. However, it's worth it.

People ask, "How can I know the chargeable volume after the palletizing?" The answer is: Unless your boxes are stacked on a pallet and shrink-wrapped, no one can predict the dimensions of the skid. However, CFS's employees are professionals in palletizing. They should do their best to make your skids as accurate and safe as possible. You can read how to estimate the chargeable volume on our website.

People ask, "Can we ship items from the U.S. abroad in luggage cases, plastic bins, etc.?" The answer is: If you ship it loose, then no, you can't. However, if you palletize, then yes, you can. Just ensure that it is strong enough to keep its shape. We recommend labeling each unit. In case your skid falls apart during international transportation, all your shipping items in the skid can be identified. Our shipping instructions will provide a web link to print your shipping labels.

2. People ask, "I want to send some valuables from the U.S. by sea. Is it safe?" What should we answer? Almost everything you see in Walmart, Costco, etc., came by sea in 40-foot sea freight containers. Add extra protection to your unique items. Bubbles wrap it. Insulate it. Hire a professional packing company. The majority of sea freight shipments from the USA arrive at destinations without damage or loss. If you consider extra protection, then insure your cargo.

Please remember that the typical deductibles are $500 for commercial cargo and $1,000 for shipping household goods.

IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND! NOT PROFESSIONALLY PACKED GOODS TURN AN 'ALL RISK' POLICY INTO A 'TOTAL LOSS' POLICY. For more information, refer to MARINE CARGO INSURANCE.

3. Restricted and prohibited commodities:

To simplify it, when packing goods for international delivery from the U.S. overseas, do not add items prohibited for shipping abroad in parcels listed in your local USPS post office. Stay away from the shipping of:

Commodities that are subject to special U.S. export regulation:

If you are not confident that some of your goods are legal for international shipping from the USA abroad, do not put your entire shipment at risk. Leave it. Do not ship.

 

2. Deliver cargo directly to a sea freight carrier's terminal (CFS). It is the most cost-effective option for shipping goods from the U.S. overseas.

CFS is the abbreviation for a Container Freight Station. CFS is a warehouse under U.S. Customs supervision that accepts cargo for further consolidation and international shipping out of the U.S.

Shipping freight directly from a CFS is the most economical way to ship goods in boxes, crates, or on pallets from the U.S. overseas. The capacity of cargo vessels is not limited to cargo weight but by the hold of ships. Therefore, the weight of cargo delivered directly to a CFS is not a pricing factor unless its density exceeds the carrier's density limit, typically equal to 2206 lbs (or 1000 Kilograms) per Cubic Meter. Regular cargo most likely will not exceed the limit.

Freight rates for cargo self-delivered directly to a CFS are calculated by the overall cargo volume per Cubic Foot or Cubic Meter. You estimate cargo weight delivered to CFS for Customs and statistical purposes.

People ask, "Will the sea freight rates be rounded to whole cubic meters?"

The answer is "No. The overall volume calculation results include fractions. 1.73 CBM or 6.745 CBM, for example. However, in LCL freight, there is always a minimum charge. Most of the time, the minimum equals shipping of ONE CUBIC METER (or ~35 Cubic Feet). For example, if your overall cargo volume is less than one cubic meter, say, 0.75 CBM, you will be charged for shipping one cubic meter anyway. However, the minimum could be two or three cubic meters for certain non-transatlantic or transpacific routes that use smaller vessels, sipping to Central America, for example, or to non-transportation-demanded countries. Carriers should specify it at the time of booking."

Using our online freight calculator, 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. CFSs are HIGHLIGHTED in green and listed WITHOUT asterisks. For example: PHILADELPHIA, PA.

 

SEA FREIGHT CARRIER'S BOOKING NUMBER IS THE KEY NUMBER IN YOUR SHIPMENT: As long as we process a booking request, all the information that you entered in our online booking form is transferred to a sea freight carrier and stored under the unique carrier's booking number. The booking number is always on our dock receipt that you received with our shipping instructions. Please do not confuse our Customer Reference Number assigned to your shipment when booking on our website with the Carrier's Booking Number, which you receive with our shipping instructions.

While we process your shipment, you can request us to correct the information submitted in your booking request. However, the Carrier's Booking Number will remain the same. 

Please remember that CFSs usually accept cargo from different consolidators (in respect of LCL freight - Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers, NVOCCs). That's why IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO PROVIDE A SEA FREIGHT CARRIER'S BOOKING NUMBER upon cargo delivery to a CFS. 

You can self-deliver your cargo to a CFS or arrange delivery with a local moving company, a third-party logistics company, or an LTL freight company. You don't have to deliver cargo in person. Anyone you trust can deliver on your behalf.

However, IF USING A THIRD-PARTY IN CARGO DELIVERIES TO CFS, ENSURE THAT CARRIER'S BOOKING NUMBER IS THE KEY REFERENCE NUMBER ON YOUR DELIVERY DOCUMENT. It is on your Dock Receipt. Otherwise, your delivery order or LTL Bill of Lading must show the carrier's booking number as the key reference number. If your delivery document misses the Carrier's Booking Number, the CFS may not recognize your cargo and may be rejected or misrouted. Keep a copy signed by the CFS document as Proof of Delivery (POD). 

POD (PROOF OF DELIVERY): Always be able to provide POD. Online tracking is NOT considered a POD. POD must be signed by CFS and dated.

If you deliver your cargo to CFS with our Dock Recept, your POD is a copy of the Dock Receipt signed and dated by the CFS. 

However, if you use a third-party trucking company, such as FedEx Ground Shipping, UPS Freight, etc., always request a signature on delivery. For example, always select the Signature Confirmation Option when submitting a delivery order. Then, you should be able to ask the trucking company for a formal POD (copy of Proof of Delivery with a signature). Online tracking does not consider POD.

The reason is that sometimes, delivery drivers drop off cargo at the gates of freight terminals unattended without obtaining signatures on shipping documents. As a result, drivers could leave the load at the wrong freight terminal or gate or deliver just a part of the cargo.

IMPORTANT!: If a shipper cannot provide a formal POD, then CFS may reject any claims and will not initiate an investigation on missing cargo.

Also, due to changes in FedEx and T-Force Freight detention and re-delivery policies for LTL cargo, effective Monday, October 3rd, 2022, CFSs are no longer allowing deliveries or pickups from these two companies. Please arrange to use an alternative carrier to deliver cargo to a CFS. IF NOT POSITIVE, CONTACT CFS BEFORE ARRANGING A THIRD-PARTY DELIVERY.

 

3. Need a pickup? Then please be prepared for the pickup. 

When booking a shipment with a pickup, in your online booking request, you must provide the name and valid U.S. phone number of the person responsible for the pickup. The consigner's (shipper's) contact information can differ. However, the person must answer phone calls related to the pickup, meet the pickup driver, and submit your cargo to the shipment accordingly. 

We use U.S. LTL domestic carriers for cargo pickups, not moving companies. LTL cargo transportation primarily operates between commercial facilities with loading docks and forklifts. There will be only one driver in the pickup truck. So, LTL drivers can refuse to handle too many boxes or oversized or heavy cargo on residential pickups, as it is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Therefore, you must be prepared to help the driver with your cargo load at pickup time.

NO INSIDE PICKUP IS PERMITTED. Cargo must be located on ground level with easy access to the pickup truck, such as porch, garage, etc.

If you're going to ship too many boxes, then the pickup option may not be available. There is no particular limit on the number of boxes on residential pickups. However, based on our experience, submitting more than 6 boxes may become problematic. It would be best to consider self-palletizing your shipping items or hiring a moving company to do the job for you. If palletizing, use ISPM15 stamped or plastic pallets. Request a liftgate pickup truck in our online booking request form's 'Comments and Questions' line.

As long as a residential pickup is scheduled, but you are unsure about the pickup possibility, you may call the LTL company customer service directly. The phone number is on our shipping instructions. Discuss the conditions of your pickup in advance. However, please remember that if you call and inform them that you submit loose boxes, they will most likely insist your cargo must be palletized.

After submitting loose boxes, they may be temporarily palletized at the LTL carrier's freight terminal for domestic transportation to the CFS, where they will be shipped overseas. If, upon arriving your cargo at CFS, the CFS considers the palletizing insufficient for further international transportation, then the CFS should properly re-palletize it for a fee.

Please understand that if an LTL carrier refuses a residential pickup for any reason, we can't do anything with it. If they refuse to pick it up, you must request them to cancel the pickup. Afterward, inform us to switch our shipping instructions to self-delivery to the nearest freight terminal. With our revised shipping instructions, you will self-deliver your cargo to the terminal. The pickup cost will be eliminated in our final invoice. 

You can always hire a local moving company to palletize and transport your cargo to the freight terminal on your behalf. If you hire a moving company, make sure that they follow our shipping instructions. Otherwise, your shipment may be rejected or misrouted. You may follow them and control the delivery into the terminal for further shipping from the USA overseas.

LIFTGATE: If you ship items heavier than 100 lbs, you may need a pickup truck with a liftgate. Liftgate trucks are subject to surcharges of $75-150 depending on the pickup zone. The surcharge is not included in the quotes and will be added to our final invoice. Liftgate trucks are not always available.

If a liftgate is not requested in the 'Comments and Questions' line when submitting our online booking form, but by the description of your cargo, a liftgate is required, we have to include the liftgate option in your pickup anyway. Otherwise, you should be able to discuss the liftgate needs by calling the LTL company's dispatcher phone number provided in our shipping instructions.

Liftgates are limited to 2500 lbs and should handle freight equal to or less than 96 inches wide and 48 inches deep. However, if the width of a shipping unit exceeds 60", using a liftgate becomes problematic and may not be permitted.

PICKUP WINDOW: Please remember that the pickup time window is typically from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You may call the trucking company's dispatcher on the pickup day to find a more specific driver's arrival time. The dispatcher's phone number is in our shipping instructions. When calling, refer to the reference number in our shipping instructions and your LTL BOL.

RESCHEDULING A PICKUP: If, for any reason, you are not ready to meet the pickup driver on the scheduled pickup day, then that's OK. However, in this case, you must call the trucking company's dispatcher directly in advance. Otherwise, an attempt pickup charge may apply. Assign a new pickup day. Please notify us to track your pickup. No changes in your LTL bill of lading are required. Use the same LTL bill of lading that you received with our shipping instructions.

 

4. If you delivered boxes to a line haul terminal, you may deal with palletizing. 

Our online freight calculator lists the domestic U.S. LTL line haul terminals in lowercase with an asterisk (*). For example, Orlando, FL*.

On the one hand, unlike ocean freight carriers' terminals (CFSs), LTL line haul terminals are not obligated to palletize cargo. On the other hand, most of the time, LTL LH terminals temporarily palletize loose boxes to handle loads by forklifts. However, they do not follow ISPM15 rules since the rules do not apply to U.S. domestic cargo transportation.

According to our experience, line haul freight terminals usually accept loose boxes and temporarily palletize them without questions. However, they occasionally give you a pallet and ask you to stack your shipping items on the pallet, charge a fee, or even tell you to bring your own pallet. Please be prepared for the worst.

Bringing ISPM15 stamped or plastic pallets along with your boxes to the LH terminal is a good idea. Then, upon delivery of your skids to CFS, you don't have to pay for re-palletizing onto ISPM15 stamped pallets for shipping from the USA overseas. Such pallets with your boxes should eliminate the worst scenario if an LH terminal refuses to palletize your shipping goods.

Also, before delivering your loose boxes, you may contact the line haul terminal in advance and conduct the business to avoid possible confusion at the time of delivery. However, please remember that if you call and inform them that you submit loose boxes, they will most likely insist your cargo must be palletized. So, if you contact them in advance, be creative.

If calling in advance, always provide the LTL bill of lading number. The number is on the LTL BOL attached to our email with shipping instructions in a PDF file. Otherwise, the terminal will not recognize your shipment and cannot assist you.

Do not confuse palletizing shipping boxes at LTL U.S. domestic line haul freight terminals with palletizing at ocean freight carriers' terminals (CFS). In our online freight calculator, CFSs are listed in uppercase and highlighted. PHILADELPHIA, PA, for example.

CFSs usually offer to palletize or re-palletize and shrink-wrap an internationally shipping cargo for a $35-75 per pallet fee. The fee includes the cost of certified pallets that obey ISPM15 rules. Find more about palletizing. CFSs typically do not accept cash on palletizing. The price will be added to the carrier's freight.

 

5. Submit necessary shipping documents 

If you ship goods overseas, please remember that it is the shipper's responsibility to provide all necessary documents to initiate and get the release for international shipping from the U.S. After that, upon arrival of the internationally shipped goods to the destination, the consignee (cargo receiver) must provide all the documents required to comply with the destination country's import regulations.

You should always separate the necessary documents to obtain your cargo release for international shipping from the USA (1) and the required documents to get import release in the destination country (2).

1. Documents necessary to get cargo released for international shipping from the USA:

All ocean freight carriers follow the same rule: "No docs, no ship." That means your cargo cannot be released to international transportation from the USA unless all necessary export documents are in order and submitted to the ocean freight carrier. If the cargo is already at the container freight station (CFS), but some documents are missing, it will remain on hold at CFS until all the necessary documentation is present. Otherwise, the shipper must take the cargo back.

Free storage time is limited. Depending on CFS, free storage time varies from a week to a few weeks. After that, storage charges will begin accumulating. If a shipper decides to take the cargo back, they must pay an "in-out fee" on top of storage charges to get the terminal's release.

Do not delay your export documents. Prepare and submit all documents in advance, or at the latest, on the day after your cargo is delivered and stored at the CFS. 

Do not enclose or attach any shipping documents to your cargo. Do not write a list of the shipping items on boxes. It may attract thieves. All shipping documents must be submitted on our website or via email. Then we'll provide it to your carrier electronically. Only label your boxes with the labels provided in our shipping instructions. The carrier's booking number on the labels refers to all the information related to your shipment.

Even though you most likely palletize your cargo, we suggest labeling all boxes inside your pallet(s). Then, if a pallet falls apart during international cargo transportation, each box can be indemnified. 

Does it look too complicated? Not at all. 

If it is a commercial shipment, then most of the time, you will need to submit a copy of a commercial invoice or purchase receipt. The document should list items you are shipping from the USA abroad and the value of the items in US$.

People ask, "I'm shipping household goods from the USA overseas. How can I get a commercial invoice?" 

The answer is, "It is easy." If you ship from the U.S. household goods or personal belongings, you describe your shipping items and assign the value yourself in the Valued Packing List. This document substitutes commercial invoices.

With AMID Logistics, you will receive an email with shipping instructions that contain a web link to submit your Valued Packing List online. Find more about the Valued Packing List at this link. You can see what your Valued Packing List will look like in this link

When submitting your Valued Packing List, you should list all your shipping boxes, whether you will palletize them or not. However, to save time, you can combine several boxes of about the same commodity, the value, and the weight in one line in your valued packing list.

When you create a valued packing list for shipping from the U.S. household or personal belongings, please keep in mind that you do not have to list every single spoon and fork. Provide a general description, such as used tableware, clothes, disassembled furniture, etc. 

However, avoid too uncertain descriptions like "17 boxes with mixed household goods. The total value is $2,499". It may be OK to get your goods released for shipping from the USA. However, the destination country's customs may ask your consignee (recipient of your goods at the destination) for a more detailed list.

Therefore, we highly recommend creating a comprehensive Valued Packing List when initiating your international shipment. In such a case, you will most likely avoid unnecessary questions from officials at the time of your import recovery in the country of the destination.

HS Code: International cargo transportation regulations require providing harmonized codes (HS Codes) on shipping documents. At least the first eight digests. Regarding international shipping from the USA of mixed household goods or personal effects, if no major commodity is described, we may suggest HS Code 4016.99.05, "Household articles not elsewhere specified or included." Otherwise, shippers may search the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule at http://hts.usitc.gov/

Occasionally, when the shipping documents are submitted and a cargo consolidator confirms the release for the cargo departure from the United States, the shipping line or overseas agent may demand to change a U.S. HS Code to an H.S. Code that is used in the destination country. Then, we usually follow their recommendations and approve the amendment of the HS Code on the Bill of Lading.

You'll receive a web link to print your shipping labels in our instructions. Even though all your boxes will be palletized, we recommend labeling each box. Write in your shipping labels like Box 1 of 20, 2 of 20, 2 of 20, etc. Then, each shipping item can be identified if your skid falls apart during international transportation from the U.S.

Depending on the destination country, the ocean freight carrier may ask shippers for additional documents like copies of photo IDs, tax info, etc. However, there should be nothing complicated in submitting the necessary documents. Freight Forwarders should inform and guide you in the documentation required to obtain your goods' release to depart from the USA.

IMPORTANT: If, in your valued packing list, you assign the total value of goods US$2500 or higher, then according to the U.S. CBP regulations, you must submit the U.S. Shippers Export Declaration (SED in ACE). You can submit the Shippers Export Declaration by yourself, or we will file it on your behalf for $35. To do so, we will need either the shipper's EIN (U.S. tax ID) or a copy of the shipper's foreign passport. U.S. passports or SSNs are NOT accepted. If you are a U.S. citizen, you must obtain an EIN. Read more about Shippers Export Declaration at this link.

 

2. Documents necessary to get import release in the destination country.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND that as soon as your goods are entered into the commerce zone of your destination country, any issues related to the import recovery, including providing all required by the destination's customs import documentation, are the consignee's responsibilities (in respect of dealing with customs, consignees called "importers of records"). Neither a freight forwarder nor an ocean freight carrier can assist you. 

Suppose you ship overseas and are unsure about what documents you will need to provide at the time of your import recovery. In that case, you should find that in advance by contacting your destination country's consulate in the U.S. or a licensed customs broker in your destination country.

Most of the time, the set of documents you have submitted when getting your cargo released from the U.S. is enough. However, certain countries may require additional documentation.

With LCL freight, you are not alone. With LCL freight, your bill of lading always contains the ocean freight carrier's destination agent's contact information. The agent should issue an official arrival notice to your consignee and guide the consignee in the complexity of import recovery. Read more about the arrival notice at this link. However, providing all the documentation the destination country officials require is the consignee's (importer of records) responsibility.

Please understand that you are the one who is sending the cargo from the U.S. abroad. Freight forwarders and carriers are only assisting with your needs. Therefore, you are responsible for providing proper documentation in shipping your goods from the U.S. overseas, but no one else.

 

6. Sea freight cannot guarantee transit time. 

Sea freight shipments typically depart and arrive as scheduled. Once the cargo reaches CFS and is in a sea freight carrier's possession, the carrier tries to ship it as soon as possible to free up storage space.

However, delays can occur. Delays can happen for various reasons, not just due to severe weather conditions. The transit time of your multimodal LCL shipment depends on factors such as cargo and document cutoff at CFS, trucking or rail traffic, hubs, seaport conjunctions, and other variables while transporting your cargo from the United States to your destination country.

Please understand that once the carrier (cargo consolidator) processes a shipment, there is nothing a freight forwarder can do to expedite it. If a delay occurs, we promptly forward any updates we receive from the carriers to our customers. In the event of significant delays, we work closely with the carrier to determine the cause and provide explanations to our customers. We kindly ask for your patience in such situations.

Shipments with trans-shipping: If a Port of Discharge on your bill of lading differs from the Place of Delivery (the final destination), then the ETA in your shipping from the USA may NOT be the ETA to the final destination but rather to the Port of Discharge. From there, your cargo must be trans-shipped to the final destination, which may involve reloading onto another vessel, ground transportation by rail, truck, or a combination of both. Consequently, additional time should be expected for your cargo to reach the designated delivery point, as specified in your bill of lading.

If the cargo needs to be transported from a port of discharge to a landlocked city, the process can take an additional 10-15+ days. For hub-seaport routes, such as Europe to Africa or Asia to Oceania, the transit time may exceed 25 days before reaching the final destination.

U.S. CBP Inspections: Besides the routine delays associated with various factors during cargo transportation from the U.S. overseas, it is essential to highlight the possibility of delays caused by cargo quarantines enforced by the United States Customs Border Patrol (CBP).

CBP can either inspect an entire container loaded with cargo from multiple shippers or order an inspection of a specific shipment before it is loaded into a container. If CBP orders an inspection of an entire container, consolidators typically inform all cargo owners and provide updates until the inspection is complete. However, when CBP inspects a specific cargo from a particular shipper, they may order the carrier not to notify the exporter. Then, the consolidator only sends sailing schedule updates without informing of the reason for the delay until the cargo is confirmed on board.

Delays related to CBP inspections are infrequent. However, if the CBP flags a container or a shipment for examination, the delay duration becomes uncertain. Neither the freight forwarder nor the carrier controls this situation. U.S. Export regulations govern it. The cargo cannot be released for shipping from the U.S. until Customs completes inspection and approves the release.

Moreover, additional charges will likely be incurred due to the examination and 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 and strive to provide our customers with the best possible service. However, it is essential to acknowledge that certain factors, such as CBP inspections and their associated delays, are beyond our control. We appreciate your understanding and patience in such situations.

In summary, it's important to understand that sea freight does not guarantee transit time. While sea freight is a reliable mode of transportation, occasional delays may occur. In some cases, there may be significant delays.

 

7. Import recovery. DESTINATION CHARGES ARE ON ACCOUNT OF THE CONSIGNEE. 

Once you have decided to ship your goods from the U.S. abroad, it should be clear that U.S. laws will not apply to your freight once your goods leave the U.S. commercial zone.

You should clearly understand that THE RECOVERY OF IMPORTING GOODS IN THE DESTINATION WILL BE UNDER THE DESTINATION COUNTRY'S IMPORT REGULATIONS. COMPLIANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS AND ALL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE IMPORT RECOVERY ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF YOUR CONSIGNEE AND ON ACCOUNT OF THE CONSIGNEE. As soon as imported goods arrive in the destination country, neither a U.S. freight forwarder that dispatches shipments on shippers' behalf nor an ocean freight carrier will be able to manage or affect your import recovery overseas. A carrier (in respect of LCL freight, a cargo consolidator) is obligated to deliver cargo to the destination in bond. In-bond means imported merchandise to be entered at a port of entry without appraisement or payment of duties. Then, all the import clearness formalities, shipping documents turnover, cargo deconsolidation handling, etc., are under the destination country regulations.

With LCL freight, upon arriving your cargo at the destination, an ocean freight carrier's destination agent should coordinate your import recoveryThe contact information of the agent is on your bill of lading. Typically, it is under "FOR DELIVERY PLEASE APPLY TO." However, depending on the form of your bill of lading, it may be under another heading.

The agent should guide you in your import recovery. However, the agent is not a U.S. business. If you face a problem with your import recovery at the destination, no one but your consignee (in respect of import recovery, professionally called Importer of Records) can be aware of and work on issues that lead to the problem. 

Yes, International Maritime Laws apply to your sea freight. However, the laws may be interpreted differently depending on the country you ship to. Do not say about other subjective factors peculiar to your destination country.

You should expect an Arrival Notice from the carrier's destination agent as soon as your cargo arrives at the destination. You should expect it on/in several days before your goods arrive at the destination. Please expect and don't miss or ignore the Arrival Notice. Start working with the carrier's destination agent on your import recovery without delay.

Typically, with LCL freight, you do not need to hire a destination country's Customs broker. Most of the time, the carrier's destination agent is also the Customs broker. However, in certain circumstances, the destination agent may ask you to clear your goods with Customs. Then, your consignee has to seek a Customs broker licensed in the country. Also, in case of problems with your import recovery, we suggest that your first step is to seek an independent Customs broker.

 

DESTINATION CHARGES: ANY IMPORT IS SUBJECT TO DESTINATION CHARGES. NO MATTER WHETHER YOU SHIP COMMERCIAL CARGO OR YOU SEND FROM THE USA HOUSEHOLD GOODS OR PERSONAL BELONGINGS. Destination charges (sometimes called local charges) occur at the destinations. Therefore, they are not considered freight charges. We inform shippers about destination charges while initiating every single shipment. When booking, shippers must agree with this statement: 'I understand that Destination charges are payable by consignee...'. Otherwise, shipments cannot be initiated. 

Do not confuse destination (local) charges with customs duties. The main part of destination charges is handling cargo deconsolidation, documentation turnover, storage, and release. Read more about destination (local) charges on this web page.   

Skilled exporters are aware of and always consider destination charges in their business. However, inexperienced international shippers sometimes do not pay attention to the facts. Then, upon arriving their goods at the destination, they are frustrated or even complain about the arising charges. The destination charges are the main reason for the frustration of inexperienced exporters. If you are involved in international freight, regardless of the mode of transportation, always keep in mind the destination charges.

To estimate destination charges, you may contact the carrier's destination agent in advance. The carrier's destination agent contact information is typically in our shipping instructions. The shipper may contact the agent before proceeding with a shipment.

Suppose shippers would like to estimate the charges before booking a shipment. Having a quote obtained from our online freight calculator, they may ask us for the contact information of the prospective carrier's destination agent. After that, they may contact the agent to find out about cargo recovery procedures at the destination and estimate the charges.

If contacting, you should inform the agent about the U.S. consolidator (indirect carrier, NVOCC) considered for your international shipping from the U.S. It is not AMID Logistics. AMID Logistics is a U.S. Freight Forwarder dispatching your shipment with the consolidator. We will determine the consolidator based on your quote from our online freight calculator and let you know.

Please remember that the carrier may change their agent while processing your international shipping. The agent's contact information must be reconfirmed on your bill of lading. However, the procedures for your import recovery and destination charges should typically remain about the same.

Please understand that we cannot see your shipment routing without a quote or booking reference number. Then, before requesting an ocean freight carrier's perspective agent contact information, you should obtain a quote or booking reference number on our website.

SHIPMENTS WITH TRANS-SHIPMENTS: If a Sea freight Bill of Lading shows that a PORT OF DISCHARGE is different from the PLACE OF DELIVERY BY ON CARRIER, then the cargo will be reloaded from the vessel in the port of discharge on board another ship, rail, or truck for the transportation to the place of delivery by on carrier (to the final destination).

PLACE OF DELIVERY BY ON CARRIER can be a seaport or a landlocked city, even in a different country than a PORT OF DISCHARGE. Then, depending on routing, the transshipment can be by a transcontinental vessel, a smaller feeder vessel, or by rail or truck.

By Maritime Law, regardless of the PORT OF DISCHARGE, the freight (the cost of transportation on a rated bill of lading) includes the cost of cargo transportation to a CFS (bonded warehouse) in the greater city area of the PLACE OF DELIVERY BY ON CARRIER.

IMPORTANT! Please keep in mind that a carrier's agent may contact the consignee at the time of cargo arrival at the port of discharge. Then the consignee has to provide the information necessary to set up the transshipment to the place of delivery by oncarrier. I.e., the import recovery may begin at the time of arrival of shipping goods to the port of discharge before the shipping goods arrive at the final destination (PLACE OF DELIVERY BY ON CARRIER).

Also, depending on the destination country's customs regulations, a part of or all destination charges may be required to be paid at a port of entry but not at the place of delivery by the oncarrier. In this case, the cargo will continue traveling to the final destination cleared by customs. Otherwise, it may be transferred to the final destination in bond. It must be cleared with customs at a bonded freight terminal (destination CFS) at the place of delivery.

Sometimes, destination charges may be divided by separate invoices related to particular parties involved in import recovery.

What can we suggest if you experience problems while recovering your goods at the destination?: 

  1. If, for any reason, you will not be contacted by the sea freight carrier's destination agent on/within a few days before ETA (estimated day of arrival), do not wait and contact them first. The contact information is on your bill of lading.
  2. Always request a legal Arrival Notice. Your arrival notice must be dated and contain the agent's letterhead and breakdown of destination charges. Phone calls or random emails are not enough.
  3. Work appropriately with the sea freight carrier's destination agent. Respect the agent's job. Their business is to get a release for your goods as quickly as possible. Follow the agent's instructions. Pay destination charges (sometimes called Local Charges) and possess your released goods.
  4. If you face a problem with your international cargo transportation, please get in touch with us. However, if you do not provide a copy of your legal arrival notice, we will most likely be unable to work with the carrier on your behalf. I.e., we will always need a copy of your arrival notice.
  5. Finally, suppose you still experience problems recovering your imported goods at the destination or would like to dispute the destination charges. In that case, you should seek assistance from a customs broker licensed in the destination country. You may also contact officials in the relevant organizations of the country.

Remember: Import recoveries are time-sensitive! The quicker you begin working on it, the less likely you will face deadline penalties: storage, demurrage, customs penalties, etc.

Suppose you are not aware of specific import regulations in your destination country. In that case, you may contact the consulate of the country in the U.S. or a customs broker licensed in the country in advance. You may find specific import regulations and limitations in your country in this link.

 

8. Door deliveries at destinations. 

Customers often ask us if we provide "door-to-door" service. The shipping cost quoted for LCL freight does not include "door delivery" service.

At the origin, in the United States, you can self-deliver your boxed or crated cargo to a freight terminal. Otherwise, we should be able to arrange a pickup of your boxed or crated cargo "from your door."

However, your goods will be shipped to a bonded warehouse located within the greater area of the designated city in the destination country assigned in your booking request. Not "to the door." 

A bonded warehouse, professionally called CFS - Container Freight Station, is a freight terminal under Customs supervision. If the CFS does not release the cargo, it is still outside your destination country's commerce zone.

CFS is not a seaport. CFSs may be located near seaports or in landlocked cities. Sea freight includes inland transportation from/to CFS for landlocked origin or destination. However, upon entry of importing goods into the destination country, the consignee (the cargo receiver) may be required to begin working on the import recovery at the time of the entry of the goods into the destination country commerce zone. I.e., upon arriving the importing goods to a seaport.

The ocean freight carrier's destination agent assigned in your bill of lading should contact you a few days before your shipment arrives with an arrival notice, guide you in your import recovery, and get the release for you.

Ocean freight carrier's destination agents and CFSs typically offer delivery services at an additional cost. Then, you should be able to order a "door delivery" and pay for the service directly to them at the destination. Otherwise, your consignee may hire a local cargo transportation company and arrange a pickup of released goods "to the door."

Please remember that the Arrival Notice is NOT a freight release document. An Arrival Notice is a document that allows the consignee to file an entry of importing goods into the commerce zone of the destination country and initiate the import recovery under the country's law. The carrier's destination agents typically contact you upon arriving your cargo at a port of entry, but to the place of delivery as in your bill of lading. Then, you have to begin working with the agent to get your cargo to the place of delivery without delay.

Most of the time, the agent is a customs broker as well. You must follow the agent's instructions, pay destination charges, and obtain the release. Cargo will be available for pickup or "delivery to the door" of the consignee after customs clearance and release by destination CFS.

 

9. 75% deposits. The actual shipping cost will likely differ from the estimated quoted shipping cost.

Sometimes, people ask us about COD (Cash on Delivery) or Freight Collect service. They probably confuse international cargo transportation with the sale of goods by mail order, where payment is made on delivery rather than in advance. If the order is not paid, it returns to the retailer. It doesn't work with LCL freight.

If you are a first-time shipper with us, we welcome you to use our service. However, when we book a shipment on your behalf with a carrier, we assume responsibility for all associated costs. Therefore, to secure funds, you must pre-pay at least 75% of the estimated shipping cost calculated based on the weight/measurements (w/m) information you provided in your quote and booking request.

When quoting a shipment with our online freight calculator, it may not be easy to provide the number of your shipping units, the exact sizes, and weights. Do not be frustrated. That's OK. Just roughly estimate. The actual volume, weight, and number of your shipping from USA items will most likely differ from the number and measurements you provided at the booking time.

After your cargo is delivered to an ocean freight carrier's terminal (CFS), the CFS WILL VERIFY AND RECONFIRM THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF SUBMITTED SHIPPING UNITS, THE OVERALL VOLUME, AND THE WEIGHT on their Warehouse Receipt. Then, we'll provide you with a copy of the Warehouse Receipt. If, for any reason, you disagree with something you see on the Warehouse Receipt, you may dispute it directly with the CFS.

If you quoted more than three loose boxes (or other smaller shipping units), then the boxes must be palletized at CFS. Typically, CFSs provide palletizing services. However, the palletizing will add a fee and increase the chargeable volume of your shipment. Unless you quoted pallets or forkliftable crates, our freight calculator does not reflect shipping costs increase due to palletizing.

After palletizing your cargo, we will provide you with a document from CFS that reflects the chargeable volume after the palletizing. To decrease the "dead" volume, we suggest you follow the guidelines

You should clearly understand that your invoice will be based on the actual weight/measurements of cargo you have shipped but not on the estimated w/m you provided when quoting and booking. The invoice may also reflect unaccounted costs from the carrier not included in the initial booking (if any). It can be charges related to palletizing or re-palletizing due to ISPM15 restrictions, fumigation, etc. I.e., you pay for what you actually have shipped but not what you had estimated to be shipped.

In other words, the more accurate the w/m provided at the time of quoting, the more accurate the price quote is. 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 such a billing practice is expected in the industry.

Also, keep in mind that you will receive our final invoice, less the deposit already paid, NOT upon arrival of your cargo to the destination country, but when your freight is confirmed onboard the vessel for departure from the USA. I.e., you should expect our invoice on/within a few days after the ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) as on your shipping documents and updates. The ETD is when the carrier's Sea freight Bill of Lading is generated. Occasionally, if transit time in your international shipping is short, we may invoice you upon receipt from the carrier a rated proof copy of your Bill of Lading.

By following this web link, you can learn more about the unaccounted costs that may arise during shipping from the US.

 

10. A discrepancy in the number of shipping units.
 
The above has already explained discrepancies in weight/measurements.
 
However, after a shipment is booked on a certain number of shipping items and our shipping instructions are already emailed, customers frequently ask, "There are changes in the number of items I'm going to submit to international shipping. Should I request changes in your shipping instructions?"
 
For example, you booked to ship 16 boxes and received our instructions to send 16 boxes. However, after you finished packing, you ended up with 12 boxes. Should you request us to change the number of shipping items in your dock receipt or the LTL bill of lading (if applicable)?
 
The answer is, "NO, YOU DON'T NEED ANY CHANGES ON YOUR RECEIVED DOCUMENTS." Use the document initially received in our shipping instructions.

When submitting your cargo to the freight terminal or the pickup driver, have at least two copies of the document. Then, ASK THE PERSON WHO ACCEPTS YOUR CARGO:

KEEP THE SIGNED COPY OF THE DOCUMENT ON YOUR RECORDS. It is the proof of delivery (POD) of your shipping units' actual number to the international shipping from the U.S. overseas. It should also be a good idea to picture the document and email the picture to us for further tracking.

Upon delivery of your shipping items to CFS, we will email you an update with proof verifying your cargo's weight/measurements at CFS. If you will need to dispute the w/m from the CFS, you should dispute that directly with the CFS. 

If, in your cargo delivery, you use a third-party trucking company, such as FedEx Ground Shipping, UPS Freight, etc., always request a signature on delivery.

 

11. Do not confuse LCL freight with parcel services. The minimum charge is one cubic meter. Destination charges.
 
LCL service is designed for shipping relatively sizable cargo from the U.S. overseas. In LCL, there is a minimum charge of one cubic meter. For example, if you send a shipment with a total volume of less than one cubic meter, you will be charged for one cubic meter anyway. Certain destinations may have minimums of two or three cubic meters.
 
Sometimes, people calculating the shipping cost in our online price calculator wonder, "Why do changes in the dimensions of shipping units not result in price changes?" That is because their cargo's total volume does not exceed the minimum charge of one cubic meter. As soon as the volume exceeds the minimum, the price begins to change.
 
More importantly, international freight is always subject to destination charges. Do not confuse freight (or the statement "freight prepaid") and destination charges (sometimes called local charges). Destination charges are not included in LCL quotes and must be paid by consignees (cargo recipients) at destinations. U.S. freight forwarders do not connect to destination charges.
 
In other words, shipping small parcels may be more convenient and cost-effective using USPS, FedEx, DHL, or another parcel service. LCL becomes cost-effective if you send overseas many boxes whose overall volume is about or exceeds one cubic meter or relatively large or heavy items.
 
 
12. How far in advance should I book a shipment?
 
It usually takes up to 24 business hours to book a shipment with carriers. Sometimes, it may take longer. Occasionally, carriers need to pre-approve a shipment overseas. It may take three to seven business days to process such a booking.
 
We recommend booking and paying deposits 5 to 15 days prior to your scheduled cargo delivery or intended pickup date. We'll then book your international ocean freight on the nearest available vessel with the latest cargo received day (LRD or cargo Cutoff) based on the shipping day in your booking request.
 
However, you can book and pay a deposit up to a month in advance. We will then confirm your payment, but to ensure the vessel schedule, we can delay your booking or pickup (if the pickup was requested) about 10 days before the requested shipping date.
 
If a shipment is booked but the shipper delays or misses the Cutoff, we will automatically roll the shipment to the next available vessel without additional notice and email updates. Typically, they depart a week later. The first rollover is free of charge. $35 per rollover after that. Refer to our Return Policy. Follow the same shipping instructions you previously received, with the same customer reference and carrier's booking number.
 
 
13. Please first calculate a price quote online.

We frequently receive inquiries about shipping personal belongings from the USA overseas without providing specific shipment information. Slightly exaggerating, it sounds like this, "I'm moving overseas. I want to ship my personal belongings from the U.S. overseas. How much does it cost?"

It doesn't work this way. To answer, we need to know at least the basic details of your shipment: The exact origin, destination, type of shipping goods, the service requested, a rough estimation of the number of shipping units, dimensions, and weight of the units, etc.

THAT'S WHY WE ALWAYS ASK CUSTOMERS TO CALCULATE A FREIGHT QUOTE ON OUR WEBSITE before discussing international shipping. A submitted quote ensures that the customer is straightforward in the inquiry and understands the quoting process.

Upon obtaining a quote online, you receive a unique quote reference number. Then, if you have any questions about the quote, ALWAYS PROVIDE THE QUOTE REFERENCE NUMBER. Without a quote reference number, we cannot properly assist you with international shipping.

Please note that we do not offer price information over the phone or calculate quotes for customers. Calculating a quote yourself using our online freight calculator is essential, as this ensures that you can provide at least the necessary information on your international shipping.

Please remember that any professional transportation company should ask you for basic information to provide a fair price quote. If an international transportation company does not ask for this minimum information, be cautious, as their quotation may be unfair. They could involve you in a deal, but they change the price after they possess your cargo.

Alternatively, you can seek service from an international moving company where an appraiser visits you and provides a shipping cost without your calculations. However, if you intend to ship goods overseas for a reasonable price without involving an international moving company, please be specific in your inquiries.

Once again, the best way to start is to get a price quote on our website before discussing the shipment details. Once you submit this basic information in your quote, you can easily request quotes from other international transportation companies to compare services and prices.

FOR FURTHER REFERENCE: If you process a shipment with us, please do not confuse our Quote or Booking Customer Reference Number, assigned at the time of quoting-booking on our website, with the Carrier's Booking Number, which you receive with our shipping instructions. CFSs accept cargo from different consolidators (in respect of LCL freight - Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers, NVOCCs). That's why, upon cargo delivery to a CFS, it is necessary to provide a sea freight Carrier's Booking Number. The booking number is always on our dock receipt received with our CFS-CFS shipping instructions.

 

14. Is there a hidden cost in your quote?

Freight quotes obtained in our online freight calculator are based on the weight/measurement (w/m) information provided and options selected when quoting-booking.

In respect of international cargo transportation using LCL freight, sea freight means 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. Sea freight includes inland trucking from or to the CFS to or from a seaport.

Here is what is included in the price quote obtained with our online freight calculator:

*Unless subject to special U.S. export regulation.

Basically, the more accurate information you enter in our online freight calculator, the more accurate your freight cost is.

However, we always suggest inexperienced exporters read this article before participating in their venture. In particular, they have to pay attention to these two main reasons affecting the final cost of shipping: the palletizing of shipping items and destination charges.

You can also learn about other conditions that may affect your shipping cost.

 

15. Why are your shipping costs so low?

Sometimes, inexperienced international shippers ask such a question. They have already shopped around. They believe the international shipping cost obtained on our online freight calculator is too good to be true.

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 on the market.

LCL freight is for experienced exporters. We also offer this service to ordinary customers. Then, inexperienced exporters gain benefits from shipping their goods utilizing LCL freight.

However, TO AVOID COSTLY MISTAKES AND FULLY BENEFIT FROM SHIPPING LCL, INEXPERIENCED SHIPPERS MUST PAY ATTENTION TO THE EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED ON OUR WEBSITE.

 
About Us  |  Contacts  |  Privacy & Cookies  |  Work with us  |  Affiliates  |  Troubleshooting |  Site Map |  Customer reviews
 
Copyright © 2007 - 2024, A.M.I.D. ("American Multimodal International Deliveries") - AMID Logistics, LLC
Share