6 Factors That Affect Container Shipping Rates

Need to ship freight internationally? Container shipping rates can eat up profits fast if one doesn’t plan ahead and know their options. Whether shipping from Houston or another area in the states, freight shipping costs will depend on six factors. Keep reading to find what they are.

Size and Weight of Cargo

Depending on which type of shipping gets used, weight or dimensions will affect pricing. Cost is based on weight when shipping via air. If going by sea, the container’s dimensions will factor in on cost.

Shipping Distance

Distance dictates charges with local deliveries and international shipping is no different. The further stuff has to go, the more it’s going to cost to get it there.

Shipping Type

There are three basic types of shipping methods used for international shipping. They are land, sea, and air. Each has different price ranges and delivery times. Air is quicker, but also more expensive than the sea. In fact, air shipping freight rates are about five times more expensive. If the company schedule allows for longer shipping times, one can save a bundle by opting for a sea shipment.

A lot of times land will still play a part in the final delivery regardless of whether the shipment goes by air or sea. Make sure and ask the shipping company if they offer door-to-door service or only port-to-port. A company that offers door-to-door service will save on extra inland delivery costs and logistics issues.

Port of Destination

Another thing to consider when shipping internationally is the extra customs fees. The country that a shipment is arriving at will charge customs duties and other service fees at the port. These extra fees can include:

  • Container Inspection Fees
  • Quarantine Fees
  • Insurance Coverage
  • General Rate Increase
  • Inland Delivery Fees
  • Terminal Handling Charges
  • Port Service Charges

Talk to the shipping company ahead of time to know which of these are required and how much they’ll cost.

Seasonal Rates

Between the months of August to September and January to February, expect higher freight shipping costs. These months are peak international shipping seasons. During this time, space for containers is limited as well because demand is greater. To save money, avoid shipping during these times if possible. Pre-planning well in advance is a challenge, but will help companies ship strategically.

Shipping Insurance

Always insure your cargo, especially when shipping internationally. The small added cost is worth it. Shipping insurance is based on the value of shipped goods. If one doesn’t buy a cargo insurance policy, the amount a shipper is entitled to under limited liability is figured on the weight. The difference between weight and commercial value is often significant, leaving a loss.

What’s the Bottom Line on Container Shipping Rates?

Container shipping rates depend on port charges and carrier rates. Size, weight and the shipping method you choose will all impact rates. Doing initial research and a shipping cost comparison is a smart way to increase bottom-line profits by reducing freight costs.

Need shipping containers? Check out our options to buy or rent them. We offer used containers too.

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