Container shipping explained

The shipping industry is one of the most important industries in the modern world of today. There are countless things that we use every day that have been, in one way or another, shipped from one side of the world or the other. Whether we are talking about food and eating fruits from other continents, or ordering a book from Amazon, the shipping industry and its favorite children, the shipping containers, are an unavoidable, albeit invisible, part of our everyday life. But what is their secret? Whether you are moving to Japan, or you are just shipping something to your friend in Europe, shipping containers will be a part of the process. So, how does shipping with the containers work? Here is container shipping explained just for you.

shipping containers stashed together
There are different types of containers and each has its own benefits

How are the goods shipped?

In this regard, there are basically two types of shipping. You can either use the Full Container Load or the Less-than-container Load. So, what does each option – FCL or LCL – entail? FCL,  the first one, is exactly as it sounds – You use the whole container. This usually happens when you are shipping a large shipment. The other option, the LCL, you use when you do not have enough goods to fill the entire container. By choosing this option, you allow the shipping broker to combine your with the shipments of others. 

What types of containers are there?

Shipping containers had undergone a standardization process, but there are still several types of containers out there. So, let see what each option offers:

  • Tanks – These containers are there to transport liquids such as fuels or water.
  • Flat rack containers – They have sides that you can collapse and fold. This makes them the containers of choice for transporting larger items such as boats, machines or cars.
  • Open side containers – The doors open completely on the sides. This allows wider loading of items.
  • Open top containers – These containers do not have a roof. Due to this characteristic, they are the go-to option for transporting items of greater heights.
  • Dry storage containers – The standard type. They are used to transport dry materials and would be the top choice for those moving internationally. They also come in varying sizes.
  • Refrigerated containers – They are used for the more delicate types of goods such as food or medicine.

    Container shipping explained
    Make sure you understand all the paperwork before you sign anything

How does the pricing work? – Container shipping explained

One of the most important aspects of containers shipping is, of course, the pricing aspect. There are several factors that influence the final price, and we will delve into them. The key step towards this is to understand which documents you will need to deal with. There are two essential documents regarding transporting goods that you will need to get acquainted with.

The Bill of Lading – This is practically the shipping contract. All the conditions of the cargo forwarding are on it and the owner of the ship signs it when the shipment is loaded.

The Freight Bill – The Freight Bill is the invoice that denotes the costs of transporting the shipment to the target destination.

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