international-freight-forwardingKNOWLEDGE IS POWER:

Even though you may have experience importing or exporting goods overseas, there are always new developments and ways to educate yourself or your team on the best practices of international freight forwarding.

At ETC International Freight Systems, we work hard on providing solutions to our customers and that includes this blog. We feel it’s important to spend the time and effort to offer ideas, knowledge and other information that will ultimately help stream line any overseas shipping challenge.

In this blog, we are providing a basic checklist for those organizations needing to ship cargo across the ocean. As you will read, there are many different methods and considerations and each one helps you get closer to the perfect overseas shipping model.

Before we get started, we would like to offer some related information that should make your research more complete:


We always recommend partnering with an experienced freight forwarding company that can walk you through all the important aspects of shipping product overseas. That being said, we also recommend understanding as much of the process as possible.

Here are some of the simple and complicated facts about international freight forwarding:

1. Shipping Containers

A shipping container is typically 40 or 20 feet long and might also be referred to as an intermodal container, freight container or even a “seas can”. The better the container, the more easily it can me transferred from road, to ship, to airplane to sea and onto a railroad car.

2. Safety Compliance

Always be sure your shipment complies to international safety regulations. These are regulations established in 1972 by The United Nations & International Maritime Organization or IMO. These international shipping regulations were created at The Convention For Safe Containers.

3. Types Of Shipping Containers

There are different shipping containers for different needs. When shipping perishables, you will need a temperature controlled container commonly referred to as a “reefer“. Other types of containers specifically configured to handle individual needs include open top shipping containers and tank containers for the shipment of liquid type products.

4. Shipping Container Capacity

The standard size international freight forwarding container is 40 feet long. Translated to available space, these standard containers will carry approximately 1800 to 2250 cubic feet. You will have the choice between a 40 foot dry box container with a maximum payload of 59,000 lbs with a cubic capacity of 2300 cubic feet. The other choice is a 40 foot dry box high cube container that has a smaller maximum capacity of 57,000 lbs but with more cubic capacity of 2700 cubic feet.

You might hear shipping container capacity referred using the acronym TEU. This is common and refers to total capacity and freight broken down into twenty foot equivalent units (TEU). Other capacity considerations include slightly different measurements depending on the container manufacturer and environmental restrictions.

5. Ocean Shipping

Ocean shipping is probably the most popular method of international freight forwarding for many reasons. One of these reasons is that it is less expensive than air freight and because of the popularity. Another reason is that most equipment is configured to make all stages of ocean shipping compatible. Ports, cranes and other engineering speed up the loading and unloading process and as they say, time is money.

6. Other Shipping Uses

A 40 foot shipping container can be used for many different objectives. A 40 foot container is an excellent solution for shipping an automobile overseas as well. This solution is a preferred method to what is known as RO, RO shipping where the automobile is rolled on and then rolled off an international cargo ship. A 40 foot container leaves excess room for additional items so you can accomplish more when shipping a car overseas.

Remember, take the time to do your research and connect with an experienced international freight forwarding company. A good company will take the time to discuss the questions detailed above and any others you might have. To get an accurate rate quote on any type of overseas shipping…

Overseas-shippingFINAL THOUGHTS:

No matter if you needs include regular shipping or you have a one time need, we do encourage you to call and get all of your questions and concerns answered. Relationships matter in the shipping business or any other business and we at ETC International Freight Systems are confident you will feel comfortable with our experience, pricing and treatment of you… the customer.

To connect with us for any reason, just use the button below. This will allow you to further your shipping research, get a rate quote or establish a solid relationship with a provider who cares, and will demonstrate this care every step of the way.

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