Many people think that shipping containers are the preserve of large logistics companies who make thousands of international shipments over the course of an average year. However, this is far from the truth and smaller enterprises, as well as individuals, can hire them for moving items around without the need for expert knowledge. Read on to find out more about international containerisation and how you can take advantage of this well-developed system.
How Much Does It Cost To Ship Via A Shipping Container?
This is a key question that needs to be addressed because many people assume that renting a container for their delivery will be so expensive that it is not even worth looking into. In fact, depending on the exact nature and size of the items you want to be transported for you, containers can be extremely cost-effective.
This is because, as a modular system, they can be picked up by lorries, cranes, aircraft and ocean-going vessels without any problem at all. One of the key principles behind global containerisation is that it lowers cost by making moving abroad and handling of diverse items standardised.
|Destination Port||20ft Shipping Container||40ft Shipping Container|
|New York||£1,500 - £1,700||£1,900 - £2,000|
|Miami||£1,550 - £1,750||£1,900 - £2,000|
|Los Angeles||£1,900 - £2,100||£2,700 - £3,000|
|Montreal||£1,100 - £1,250||£1,800 - £1,900|
|Marseilles||£900 - £1,000||£1,400 - £1,500|
|Athens||£950 - £1,100||£1,500 - £1,600|
|Melbourne||£1,200 - £1,300||£1,900 - £2,000|
|Auckland||£1,250 - £1,350||£1,950 - £2,050|
As you can see, distance is not the primary factor in determining costs. Shipping via a container is often cheaper on the most popular routes. Sea freight is a lot cheaper than air freight but this price is reflected in the longer journey times you can expect. You can compare the prices of the container services offered by several moving companies easily by sending a single quotation request – all of them free and with no obligation – by completing our easy-to-use form.
What Are the Standard Sizes of Shipping Containers?
As you can see from the pricing, outlined above, there are two main container sizes used for international moving services. Although 8 ft and 10 ft shipping containers are made, these are generally not as commonly available as the two main sizes, 20 ft and 40 ft. The two main sizes are geared up for modern containerisation and will be suited to truck freight, rail freight and air freight as well as sea freight.
Larger shipping containers all have the same height of 8 ft 6 inches although you can find open topped ones if your shipment will not fit inside otherwise. Special arrangements will be needed to move such a load because it will not usually fit on a container ship and, if it is transported by road, certain routes will have to be avoided.
Along with their common height, both 20 ft and 40 ft containers have the same width which makes them easy to stack up on top of one another. Both are 8 ft wide. Therefore, a 20 ft container measures 6.06 by 2.44 by 2.6 metres in metric dimensions. The corresponding dimensions for a 40 ft container are 12.2 by 2.44 by 2.6 metres. Bear in mind that the internal dimensions of any container are slightly lower than this due to the width of the walls, floor, ceiling and doors. In addition, containers with extra equipment, such as chiller units, will have less available room inside. That said, a standard 20 ft shipping container offers over 33 cubic metres of space inside which is more than enough for the majority of international removal deliveries.
Which Are the Two Most Important Forms of Documentation For Container Shipping?
Other than your all-important customs declaration that is always needed when shipments cross international borders outside of free trading economic blocs, you will need to a bill of lading and a freight bill with any delivery being made via a shipping container. In some cases, your shipping agent or delivery company will organise this paperwork for you.
Essentially, a bill of lading is the contract you have with the shipping company that outlines how and where the shipment is to be transported, for example, from London to Felixstowe by rail freight and on from Felixstowe to Dubai by sea. The freight bill is an invoice which details all of the costs associated with the shipment, something that customs officials will need to inspect on arrival.
Advice When to Choose LCL or FCL Shipping
LCL stands for less than container load. It is a method of shipping items in a container that means you don’t rent all of the space inside. If you have a business delivery to make or are moving personal items overseas but don’t need a full container, then sharing your cost with another shipper can make it a lot cheaper.
LCL means that a freight forwarder or shipping agent will establish whether or not another client wants to make a similar shipment from the same port or airport at roughly the same time and match your consignments up together. You still get your goods delivered from A to B but they may share the same space for a time, usually when at sea. Under an LCL arrangement, a container could be shared by two, three or even many more customers.
On the other hand, FCL – or full container load – shipping makes sense if your consignment will take up all, or nearly all, of the space within a suitably sized container. It is also the best option to go for if you think that your items might be contaminated or damaged by sharing the same space inside a container with another delivery.
FCL also has the advantage that it occurs more quickly because delays at ports are minimised. Furthermore, less handling is needed to put orders together with one another which means the likelihood of accidental damage is reduced. That said, LCL is a great way to send smaller consignments and it often means making remarkable savings.
Compare And Save On Your International Removal Costs
If you want to work out the most cost-effective way of shipping items out of the UK to overseas destinations, then fill out our simple, free quotation request form. You will receive responses from removal companies and shippers with international experience without any obligation to proceed unless you wish to.