FAQ on International Shipping

What do you need to know about shipping goods internationally? We’ve got a few common questions (and answers) here.

1. What is Ocean Freight?

Most goods shipped intercontinental are transported via sea vessel in containers. This is rarely the only component to international shipping however. A reference to ocean freight cost usually refers only to the cost associated with the actual ocean-crossing portion of the shipment. Transportation of the freight to and from container yards at the ports of origin and destination is provided by trucks and are not part of an ocean freight charge. (Depending upon the destination country, a freight transportation management service can provide assistance with inland transportation after the container is unloaded at the port as well.)

2. Surcharges in Ocean Freight

Additional charges included in an international ocean freight price quote will generally include basic sea freight charges to cover the port-to-port transportation, a fuel surcharge, security charges, documentation fees and container delivery charges.

3. What is a Container Yard (CY)?

A Container Yard (CY) is a facility at which loaded and empty freight containers are accepted for loading onboard vessels. Containers are also off-loaded and stored at CYs.

4. What is FOB?

FOB stands for Free on Board. It is used to indicate when liability and ownership of goods is transferred from a seller to a buyer. In international shipping, “FOB [name of originating port]” means that the seller (consignor) is responsible for transportation of the goods to the port of shipment and the cost of loading. The buyer (consignee) pays the costs of ocean freight, insurance, unloading, and transportation from the arrival port to the final destination. The seller passes the risk to the buyer when the goods are loaded at the originating port.

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