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How to Calculate Shipping Costs

  • General
11th February 2020

Shipping containers today are being used for so much more than just their intended purpose. Some people have customised their units to make a home, others an office, whilst other people have used them to create restaurants, garden sheds or to house plants and machinery.

Some people, however, want to use it for the purpose that it was designed for – namely, shipping.

Containers have been designed for storing cargo safely and securely and even if you don’t want to trasnport your belongings – or products, they can be a great option for storage.

Whether you are just storing your possessions or planning on moving them around the world you have a number of options with regards to freight boxes.

Container Sizes

One of the features – and one of the reasons why they can be so effective – is because they are in a standard size and shape. This enables space-efficient stacking and storage on freight liners, trains and lorries as well as ease of transferring between them.

There are three main sizes – 10ft20ft and 40ft. Each of these can also be found with extra height for more volume. You can also buy shipping containers that are refrigerated if you are looking to transport products like certain types of food or medicine.

The Costs of Shipping

There are a number of factors that determine how much it costs to transport your cargo to your chosen destination. These include:

  • How far
  • How much cargo you have
  • The size of your unit
  • The popularity of the destination of your cargo – how often freight liners are going
  • The transport that you require – will you need a boat, train or truck? Or a combination of the three?
  • The time of year – it is usually more expensive to ship your cargo in the summer
  • Whether you are sharing your cargo
  • Any additional services which you need – insurance, loading and unloading, additional storage time
  • The type of cargo that you are transporting

Comparatively, shipping by sea is a very cost-effective way to transport your cargo, with trucks being the most expensive. By sea does, however, take a long time, whereas trains and trucks will usually be faster.

Another factor that can determine the cost is where you start the process.

  • Door to Door – This involves your cargo being picked up at your door and delivered to your destination address. The storage container will usually be delivered to your address where they will pack it, take it to the port, take it to the destination address and unpack it for you. This is the most expensive option but very common, especially amongst people who are moving to a new house.
  • Drop and Fill – This is where the unit is delivered empty to your address where you will fill it. It will then go to the destination address where you will then unload it. There is no reason, however, why you can’t hire someone separately to help you to load or unload your cargo at each end.
  • Port to Port – This is the basic sipping option, where you will load and unload your shipping container at the port itself. This is the service that most prices are based on.

If you are thinking about shipping cargo using storage containers there are some other things which you should think about:

  • You will probably need insurance – check whether that is included in the price
  • Some countries make charges at customs so do your research before you wave your belongings goodbye
  • If you are thinking about moving abroad and are wanting to move all of your belongings to another country, you can also think about keeping your possessions in storage until you are sure and have permanent residence.

There are many reasons why people want to buy or hire a shipping container. Moving cargo around the world in a storage unit is a cost-effective and easy way to do it, but it can be difficult to predict the prices. By contacting a logistical transport company, you can explain exactly what you are after and then get a better idea of how much it will cost.

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