FCL (Full Container Load) Shipping Fact Sheet
From our Director of Sales
"What You Need to Know"

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Hello shipper! Listed below you will find important information about shipping your freight in a container.

    A. We work with the insurance brokerage firm, Travel Guard International or TGI as they liked to be called. TGI specializes in marine cargo insurance and can provide you with a number of different insurance plans. It should be pointed out that we haven't had any problems with TGI when a shipper has had to file a claim. They have been extremely courteous to all and have processed and paid the claim within a reasonable period of time.
    B. All Risks Policy:
    This policy is provided to those shippers who go with our full service origin and destination services for personal effects and/or autos when shipping with us. The rate that we charge is 2.8% of the value insured ($28.00 for every $1000.00 of insurance). This is an all inclusive policy that provides full blanket protection for your freight while it is in transit. In addition to major damages, it provides coverage for scratches, dings, dents etc. If you have antiques, art works, classic autos that have increased in value from the time of purchase then the type of All Risks policy sold here would be at Full Replacement Value and it would cover the increase in appreciation. This policy requires that you get your items appraised and certified in writing. The rate that we sell this policy at is 3.25%.
    C. Named Perils/FPA:
    This type of policy is sold to shippers who make their own origin/destination services for their freight. The policy is sold at 2% of the value insured ($20.00 for every $1000.00).This policy covers damage to you freight that results in total loss such as fire, theft, container washed out to sea, container dropped at the terminal and customs inspection at the US port of call that results in total damage. For more information on insurance please go to:
    D. There is a $65.00 flat fee for processing the certificate of insurance.
    E. The minimum insurance premium amount is $ 90.00.

2. CONTAINERS (pictures, dimensions, specs.):
    A. On our web pages there are plenty of pictures of containers with their exact specs. listed, but please keep in mind that containers are 4 and 1/2 feet off the ground and don't come with platforms, liftgates or ramps. A 20 ft. std. container when filled to capacity with personal effects will hold up to 1000 cuft. / 6000 lbs., a 40 ft. standard container 2000 cuft. / 12000 lbs. and a 40 ft. high cube with platforms will hold up to 2500 cuft./15000 lbs.
    For more information, please go to:
    B. In matching the container size to your volume, I would recommend that you make out a detailed inventory list which will be used by Customs, insurance purposes and for Sefco. This list helps us determine the volume and weight of the shipment and to make the best recommendations for your shipment. A general rule of thumb is that 1 and 2 bedroom apartments will have anywhere from 300 cuft. to 1000 cuft. and will need a 20 ft. container while 3 and 4 bedroom houses will have between 1100 cuft. and 2000 cuft. and will require a 40 ft. container while very large houses with 4 and 5 bedrooms with volumes over 2000 cuft. up to 2500 cuft. will require the services of a 40 ft. high cube.
    For more information, please go to:
    C. Now that you are aware of what a container looks like and it's sizes, let's discuss "drayage" or the details of trucking the container to your door. First, the trucker is a driver and is a member of the Teamster's Union. He is paid to drive. He can't assist you in any other way. Secondly you must take into account the local zoning ordinances and laws pertaining to fire, police, EMS, garbage pickup and no parking zones. Next you must take into account the physical conditions of the road, driveways and the trucker has total discretion on this. A good example of this is certain back alleys in the city of Boston that are way too small for the trucker to drive down.
    D. The trucking term that I used in your rate "live load" is an important term because when the trucker shows up he will expect you to have everything planned out ahead of time, staged, and ready to go within a 2-hour time limit. If you run over the 2-hour limit you will be assessed an hourly overtime fee for trucking. It's important to note that basically the same trucking rules for a live load apply when the container is being unloaded.
    E. "On-carriage" trucking service is subject to accessorial charges. Rate are subject to change, based on various factors including rising fuel surcharges, EIB equipment imbalance surcharges and route changes. On-carriage trucking is normally set up approx 7 - 14 days in advance of the actual movement of the cargo by the trucker and rates must be reconfirmed at that time.

Now that you have an idea on the trucking it's time to decide how you are going to pack/load the container. It's important to realize that you have a number of options from which to choose.
    A. The first option is for door to door with full service meaning that Sefco will provide you with complete origin (packing, loading) and destination services (unloading, unpacking, and Customs Clearance). Shipper should note that our origin and destination warehouses and the services they provide are some of the very best in the US and throughout the world. A very important point has to be made here in that our rates for origin services are determined by the exact volume/weight of you freight in relation to our online pricing guideline for that volume/weight. Regarding destination services the rates are normally fixed at one rate for 20 ft / 40 ft. container and are generally lower than the origin rates. For more information, please go to: www.sefco-export.com/originrate.htm
    B. The next option is a shipper can make their own arrangements with a local mover when it comes to origin/destination services and still retain our shipping services for the container. Shippers who are on a fixed budget choose this method and can save up to 50% or more on origin/destination services. Just remember to make sure they are fully licensed and insured.
    C. The next origin option is to use cheap labor to pack and load your container. Many of these people haven't been trained in container packing. However, if you are looking for somebody to just load the freight into the container, then using this type of labor is fine. But remember most of these laborers aren't licensed or insured and if something goes wrong you must assume full liability.
    D. Loading the container yourself during the 2-hour time limit for a live load. It sounds hard but many of our former clients chose this option because it best suited their needs and budget. These people planned ahead had everything prepacked, staged and ready to go when the trucker showed up so that everything went according to plan.

    For more information, please go to:
    www.sefco-export.com/how2load.htm and www.sefco-export.com/economy.htm
    E. Drop and pick option is a great option for those people who are doing their own packing/loading and need additional time to do so. The trucker drops off the container on a set date and will come back 3 to 5 days later and pick it up and bring it directly to the port. There is an additional charge for trucking for this service and it should be noted that this option can be offered on the other side too. This process is known as a double pick.
    Examples of drop and pick pricing:
    If you reside within 1 to 30 miles from the port or terminal the additional costs will be $650.00 extra, 31 to 100 miles $850.00, and 101 to 200 miles an additional $1000.00. All rates must be reconfirmed in writing within 30 days of the service being provided.
    F. If you are doing your own packing or subbing it out to a local mover, please realize that loading a container is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. You have to visualize the concept of linear space and realize that once you get the right pieces in first everything else will fit together.
    G. Unlike our competitors, if you make your own arrangements for origin packing/loading services, we offer an insurance policy known as "Named Perils" coverage and which will provide you with total loss coverage if something major happens to your shipment. It should be noted that this doesn't provide you with full blanket protection like our "All Risks" policy sold only to those shippers who go with our origin/destination services. However we have had no complaints from past shippers who felt the "Named Perils" policy provided them with adequate coverage and peace of mind.

Regarding the shipping of an auto, the shipper must have the actual title to the auto along with a lien release form from the creditor allowing you to ship the auto overseas. When shipping an auto abroad the shipper has a number of options.
    B. The second option is having the auto professionally stuffed into the container. For your information, putting an auto into a container isn't easy and isn't recommended to the novice shipper. Once your freight is loaded into the container, the container is brought back to one of our warehouses where our men at our warehouses will receive and inspect the auto before they load the auto correctly into the container. On the destination side you can either work with one of agents who will unstuff your auto or the SS Line will refer you to a reputable trucker and warehouses where the unstuffing of the auto will take place. The cost for professional stuffing of 1 auto will be $550.00 with the additional stuffing of a second auto into a 40 ft. container an additional $350.00.
    C. Your third option is to load the auto yourself. To do this, you will need to do the following:
    • Rent a flatbed truck with a tilt-back so that the auto will be picked up and slid into the container with the front end of the car facing the back of the container.

    • The gas line must be completely drained, and the vehicle's engine should be run until completely empty.

    • Battery disconnected battery cables tied up with electrical tape.

    • Wheels blocked and properly chocked.

    • Axels above the wheels properly lashed with nylon rope to the bull rings on the floor of the container.

    • Finally the shipper must state in writing on a waiver that is attached to the dock receipt that the auto has been made non-hazardous.

    • Shipper must be aware that if there is any damage done to the container by the auto while the container is in transit the shipper will be held liable for all damages.

Whether your auto will be professionally loaded or you will make your own arrangements to load the auto yourself, you must keep the following in mind when mixing personal effects and the auto:
    A. Personal effects go in first, followed by the bulkheading (building of a wall) of the auto, and lastly the auto.
    B. Keep in mind the dimensions and linear space of the container, e.g. with a 20 ft. container you can load up to 300 cuft. of personal effects followed by the auto.
    C. With the 40 ft. container up to 1300 cuft. followed by the auto.
    D. With a 40 ft. high cube about 1650 cuft. followed by the auto.
    E. To fit more freight into a container with an auto, sometimes platforms are built over the auto. This is especially true when shipping both household goods and an auto. Building a platform requires so much skill and technique that it is best left to the warehouse professionals.
    F. The next thing I want to mention about your auto is the insurance. Just like the personal effects if you allow us to load and unload the auto you can purchase full blanket protection for your auto while it is in transit. This is known as an "All Risks" policy. If you make your own arrangements, the policy for your auto will be a "Named Perils" policy.
    G. If you are shipping other items with an engine such as a boat, a jet-ski, a motorcycle, a dirt bike, or a car kit that has been assembled, the same advise applies regarding the proper documents needed, the way it should be loaded, and the availability of RORO service.

Since 9/11/01 there is no storing of containers at any US port, without paying heavy demurrage costs. There are no "free" rollovers by the SS Lines where we used to be able to hold a container at the port and miss a couple of sailings to accommodate the shipper’s time frame. At some terminal, costs for a container "rollover" are as high as $ 360 plus daily storage fees. Some say this is exorbitant, and indeed, it is. The goal of the terminal operators is to move containers in and out quickly.
    A. Demurrage:
    In general ( depending on the destination port ), you are given a very limited number of free days by the SS Lines before you will be assessed daily demurrage charges. Rates vary from port to port and from terminal to terminal. Usually the demurrage rates can be found on the website of the port/terminal operator.
    B. SIT (storage in transit):
    If you are looking to store your freight, then we can arrange this with one of our Sefco affiliates. The container will be trucked to their warehouse where the freight will be unloaded from the container then reloaded into storage bin and kept for the designated time frame until it is reloaded from the storage bin into the truck and inside delivery can take place.
    C. The costs for SIT storage in transit will have t obe confirmed on a case by case basis depending on the location.
    D. It should be pointed out that the vast majority of shippers (90%) who look into SIT will never use it because they normally find a place to live within 2 weeks of arriving.

If you need to buy a container, we can make these arrangements for a certified as seaworthy container to be brought to your door. On average you will be looking at a cost for the container with all the accessorial charges of $ 2705.00 for the 20 ft. and $ 3205.00 for the 40 ft. container. Again, prices are subject to change and must be confirmed in writing, and are generally valid for up to 30 days.
    B. More and more shippers are finding out that in many countries there just aren’t any storage facilities to store their freight or to put any additional freight that they accumulate during their stay. Buying a container can provide you with safe, dry, cheap storage.
    C. In addition, containers can be renovated to suit a wide variety of other purposes that the shipper may not even realize. e.g. restaurants, cafes, latrines, lodging and bunks, gyms, schools, churches, town centers, meeting and conference rooms, hospitals, research labs etc. The uses are literally endless.

    A. Duties:
    The general rule when shipping out of the US is that there will not be a duty on used personal effects that are over a year old and the shipper has no intention of reselling anything that is inside the container to the general public. However with shippers who are returning to their native country or who have purchased items that are less than 1 year old it is best to check with the consulate of the country that the shipper is planning on shipping to, please check before shipping, please go to: www.embassy.org
    B. Customs Clearance:
    For most countries shippers can contact the consulate of the country of the country they are shipping to and obtain the proper forms which are to be filled out and submitted to Customs. In some countries like the UK you can literally download the C-3 form and mail it in to Customs, but for other countries like Italy or France you may have to physically go to the port itself to clear the container. If you would rather have Sefco arrange this service, then please let us know before the container leaves the port of loading.
    Examples of our prices are as follows:
    1. US Customs Export Clearance of your auto in a container at $250.00 (on average) depending on the port of loading.
    2. Customs Clearance in another country must be paid COD collect if not using our full P-premium complete destination-Services.

    A. An important issue I want to talk to you about is that you will save a lot of money if you drive your freight directly to the port and load the container right there at the port. First you will not be allowed anywhere near the port for security reasons. Secondly only trucking personnel who have an interchange agreement with the SS Line are allowed in this restrictive area. Your freight will have to be dropped off at a nearby warehouse where the freight will unloaded and then reloaded into the container. You will end up paying for the local drayage fees of the container and the in and out fees for loading the container.
    For pictures of vessels at the port please go to:
    B. It's very important for shippers to realize that shipping rates are affected by a lot of what you hear and see on the news. War, the price of oil, Wall Street, terrorism to name just few can indeed have an affect on the shipping rate. We really try to do our best in presenting you with an all inclusive shipping rate that is valid with no hidden charges, but occasionally the SS Lines will have a GRI " General Rate Increase" or the price of oil has suddenly skyrocketed due to a major conflict and we have no choice but to pass these costs on to the shipper.
    C. Fees that go collect:
    On certain export shipments to certain countries, there are certain small fees that go collect. For example, in most Western European ports there is a CSC "Container Service Charge" for the port of discharge in which these small fees are paid collect. For delivery from port to door, it's the DDC "Destination Delivery Charges," and these fees are paid collect. The average costs - and it can vary - of a CSC fee is around $200.00 for a FCL full container-load (at most base ports in Europe.)

    A. I know that there are companies out there who are going to give you a lower price, but I feel that the quality of service known as "Soup to Nuts Service" that we can provide you and your freight with, far outweighs the lowest price mentality. I feel that peace of mind is just as important as a good price and with Sefco you are getting both.

Information, planning and preparation are the keys to a perfect move. The most important element is choosing the right shipping agent. Let Sefco be your choice. Any questions or comments, contact us at Sefco Export.

Peter DeStefano
Sefco Export Management Company, Inc.
Main Tel: 888-268-0565
Main Fax: 718-732-2863
Email: info@sefco-export.com

Further Reading
   [FCL preamble]
   [FCL breakdown]

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