Sea freight, also known as ocean freight, is one of the longest established forms of transporting goods internationally. It's also one of the most economical. While air freight is favoured for time-sensitive shipments, sea freight is still the first choice for many businesses and individuals looking for a cost-effective solution.
Deep Sea Freight Ltd act as a shippers’ agent, and make booking arrangements with shipping lines that best suits your needs.
We offer cost effective port-to-port FCL sea freight services to over 500 international ports.
We understand that every consignment is different, so whether you are a first time exporter/importer or a regular we aim to give you a tailored service that will meet your requirements.
• Plan ahead: Sea freight times are much longer than air freight times, so it’s a good idea to make a booking well in advance of your desired delivery date. Our specialist freight team will be able to give you estimated transit times depending on the vessel and routing.
• Think big: As a rule of thumb, greater volumes almost always mean cheaper delivery prices when shipping goods internationally. This is especially true for sea freight.
• Protect your goods in transit: It’s important to package your goods correctly to minimise the risk of damage during transit.
Our team will actively monitor your shipment and notify you with any status updates when they take effect so you have full visibility of your goods.
FCL (Full Container Load) is when you pay for the use of an entire container instead of paying to use part of it. When shipping using FCL, there is a flat rate for the container and you have access to all the available space within it.
Benefits Shipping FCL
If you’re looking to import a large amount of stock (over about 15 cubic metres) then FCL (Full Container Load) shipping may be the method for you. All you need to do is establish the container size you’ll need and understand some key bits of the process. As your goods are the only thing in the container it will be loaded by your supplier and unloaded by you on arrival.
A 20ft container (20ft in length) can generally squeeze about 25-28 cbm worth of goods inside. This is massively dependent on the nature of the goods as some commodities won’t be able to stack and some boxes are too large to fit in efficiently. You can often load over 15,000 kg without incurring a ‘heavy weight surcharge’.
As you’d expect, a 40ft container has the capacity of around double a 20ft container. A 40ft container (40ft in length) can generally squeeze about 54-58 cbm worth of goods inside. Again, this is dependent on the nature of the goods and the size of the cartons. You can often load over 20,000 kg without incurring a ‘heavy weight surcharge’.
It stands for International Commercial Terms and they are an internationally recognised system of establishing clearly, in sales contracts, the legal obligations of the buyer and seller with regard to the DELIVERY OF GOODS. It is beneficial to all parties involved, in international transactions especially, to have any vagueness, misunderstandings and confusion in international contracts removed. Incoterms have been written to do just that in this important area of delivering the goods. Incoterms 2010 are the most recent rendition.
What does each incoterm mean?
With CFR terms the seller’s invoice will include the cost of the goods plus the cost of transporting the goods to the port of discharge (not including local charges). Although CFR terms can appear to be a good option, the buyer has little control over the shipping process and the associated costs.
The same shipping terms as CFR, plus a marine insurance policy also paid by the seller.
CPT shipping terms indicate that the seller bears all costs of transporting goods to the port of discharge. The seller’s responsibility for the goods, however, ends on delivery to the carrier at a named place. CPT can be used for all modes of transports including air and sea.
CIP terms indicate the same seller responsibilities as CPT (cost to the port of discharge, responsibility to delivery to carrier) but with the additional inclusion of maritime insurance.
With DAT terms the seller is responsible for delivery to the named terminal at the destination port, and unloading ready for buyer/carrier collection – after which, the responsibility for the goods passes to the buyer. The seller is responsible for the goods export customs clearance. The buyer is responsible for all costs from the point of delivery, including import customs clearance, duties and taxes. Can be used for all modes of transport.
Very similar terms to DAT, with the difference that the buyer is responsible for unloading the goods at the named place of delivery. Buyer assumes responsibility from the point of unloading the goods, including import customs clearance, duties and taxes. Can be used for all modes of transport.
A term indicating that the shipper/consignor is responsible for paying all duties and taxes at the agreed delivery point. DDP terms indicate that the seller is responsible for carriage and delivery to a named place, including clearing for import and all applicable taxes and duties. Can be used for all modes of transport. They maximize cost and risk for a seller, and minimize them for the buyer. The buyer’s responsibility for the goods begins when they receive them for unloading at destination. Can be used for all modes of transport.
EXW terms indicate that the buyer is responsible for collecting the goods from the seller and accepts all onward arrangements, including associated costs, risks and liabilities.
FAS terms require the seller to place the goods alongside the carrier vessel at the port of export, with seller responsibility for export customs clearance and risk and cost up to that point. The buyer takes responsibility for the goods from loading onto the vessel onwards.
FCA terms indicate that the seller is responsible for the goods, including costs, up to delivery to the buyer’s chosen carrier at a named location often a terminal or transport hub or forwarder’s warehouse. The seller is responsible for export clearance, after which the responsibility transfers to the buyer. If the named location is the seller’s place of business then they are responsible for the loading of the goods. At all other named locations the buyer is responsible for loading.
FOB terms indicate that the seller and the buyer have fairly equal responsibility for all costs, risks and liabilities associated with transporting the goods. The seller is responsible up to the arrival to board the ship, including charges at the loading port. The buyer is responsible from loading onwards, until the goods reach their final destination. FOB is usually the recommended option for importers and buyers, as it allows greater control over costs.
The shipper’s ability to pack and load a container in an efficient manner can reduce shipping costs significantly. There are specialised packing companies that can handle the palletising or construction of wood boxes.
There are two types of commonly-used pallets:
• Standard: 47 ¼” X 39 ⅜” or 1.2m X 1m
• Euro: 47 ¼” X 31 ½” or 1.2m X 0.8m
A standard container, both 20-foot and 40-foot, has a door opening of dimensions 7’ 8” X 7’ 6” X 19’ 4” (2.34m X 2.28m X 5.898m x 5.898m). You will need to secure and put your shipment onto pallets. A 20-foot container fits 10 standard pallets or 12 Euro pallets on the floor of the container, unstacked. And a 40-foot container fits 20 standard pallets or 24 Euro pallets, unstacked.
All shipping lines are legally obliged to provide coverage for the cargo they transport on their vessels. But this coverage is very limited, and is advisable to buy additional coverage to fully protect yourself.
Please note: you are not automatically covered for marine insurance. We strongly recommend you have this insurance to cover your shipments. We do not provide this service – acting as an agent only.
Here are the elements of ocean freight quotes and what they consist of.
Freight: This is the base rate charged by the carriers.
BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor): This is also sometimes referred to as FAF, or Fuel Adjustment Factor. This is a compensation fee for the shipping vessel’s fuel cost, which can sometimes fluctuate and get adjusted last minute without prior notice.
CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor): This is a charge that applies when the shipment is payable in a foreign currency subject to major exchange rate fluctuations. It compensates for any existing exchange rate risks.
EIS (Equipment Imbalance Surcharge): Shipping lines sometimes impose this temporary charge in order to recuperate the loss of having to transport container between countries with a trade imbalance.
GRI (General Rate Increase): A General Rate Increase is the adjustment (normally an increase) of freight rates across shipping routes by shipping lines.
Congestion: This fee involves shipping vessels sometimes having to line up and wait for their turn to load and/or unload.
PSS (Peak Season Surcharge): This is a fee that’s applied during the peak shipping season. It applies to all shipments being transported along certain trades during the busy periods.
LSF (Low Sulphur Surcharge): This fee offsets additional costs incurred by shipping lines for switching to cleaner fuels in Emission Control Areas (ECA). It came into law at the start of 2015.