Shipping container cost estimating can be a complex procedure. There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration. How large a container is needed? Will it suffice to ship 20 ft container or is it necessary to ship 40 ft container? How many cubic feet or meters of household goods will fit into each? What specific items will fit into them? What about land transport to and from the port? While any good international container shipping company will be able to help you, it is always best to make your your container cost estimate as well, to avoid be over-charged.
First of all, the size of container must be determined. For household and personal goods, this is fairly easy. A standard 20 foot container is adequate for a typical 1 or 2 bedroom houseful of goods while a 3 to 5 bdrm home will require a 40 foot container. A 20ft container (known as 1 TEU) has roughly 1000 cubic feet of useable space, while a 40 ft (2 TEU) has about twice as much.
There are many services that may add to the overall container cost. For example, it is possible to get Full Service, which means the container freight company will handle everything, from packing up the household goods to unpacking them after they arrive at their destination. Other options include boxing and packing the container (stuffing, in industry parlance) yourself or simply boxing them and allowing the company to stuff the container for you. Whether you choose door to door service, door to port service, port to port service or anything in between, it will have a bearing on the overal container cost.
Insurance will be another container cost factor to consider. It is important to keep a meticulous record of every item that is being shipped, including its value. Then, should you have to make an insurance claim, it is all there in black and white. If insurance is included in your container shipping quotes, make sure it covers the full value of your goods. If not, you may wish to purchase supplemental insurance or negotiate a better policy.
Upon delivery to the port, there will be other costs involved. Generally, there is a port fee of around $250 when you ship 20 ft container or approximately $350 when you ship 40 foot container. Reputable international container freight companies will inform you of the exact cost for the port your goods are going to be delivered to, but because it must be paid directly to the port authorities, this cost will not be included in your container cost estimate.
A good container shipping calculator can take a lot of the guesswork out of container cost estimating, but it is not foolproof. It can act as a check list and help you not overlook all of the little things that are so easily left out, but can add up to a substantial sum. While shipping container overseas by sea is by far the cheapest way of transporting large amounts of personal goods, it is still costly. Minimize the container cost by calculating everything carefully and getting competitive container shipping quotes from a number of reputable international container shipping companies.