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Freight from the USA

Shipping commercial cargo from the USA overseas

This LCL freight calculator above simplifies pricing for shipping from the United States cargo packed in boxes, crates, or pallets without waiting for quotes.

The online platform provides instant quotes for international cargo deliveries from the USA overseas. You'll receive the quote immediately. If you decide to book a shipment, you'll have instructions within 24 business hours. If you're not ready to book yet, you can keep the quote and compare it with other options for shipping your goods from the United States. The platform is user-friendly, and the entire process is quick and easy.

Watch the 3-minute video on YouTube on how the freight calculator works.

Freight calculator

LCL freight is a cost-effective solution for shipping aboard relatively large cargo.

  • LCL shipping from the USA cuts transportation costs for overseas orders.
  • Manage orders either in the U.S. or from overseas and maintain control over international deliveries, regardless of your location.
  • The real-time freight calculator works perfectly for e-Commerce and remote shipping

International trade demands a reliable tool to connect global buyers and sellers. Bookmark the website and focus on international trade. Utilizing the online freight calculator, you can arrange international deliveries of goods from the U.S. without involving a third party in international cargo transportation.

Shipping goods overseas with the freight calculator is easy. However, if you're new to it, check out this step-by-step guide for shipping goods from the USA using LCL freight.

  1. Transit time.
  3. Cargo deliveries at destinations.
  4. Weight/measurement discrepancy. 75% deposit.
  5. LCL Vs. FCL and parcel services.

Sea freight USA

1. Ensure that all your shipping goods are properly packed.

If you ship an order from the USA overseas using LCL freight, all your goods must be packed in cardboard boxes, created or stored on pallets, and shrink-wrapped. The best way to ship goods overseas is to ship them in the original manufacturer's packing.

If you are not in the U.S. and order goods from a U.S. seller, then at the time of dealing with the U.S. seller, ensure that they will properly pack your goods for international transportation overseas. Then clarify with the U.S. seller easer they offer delivery orders within the USA or not.

If your order contains more than 3-5 boxes, it must be palletized. You can palletize it at your warehouse. Otherwise, the ocean freight carrier terminal (CFS) will palletize your shipping boxes at the CFS for a fee of $35-50 per pallet. You may find more about palletizing goods sipping from the USA on our website.

If your shipping order contains dangerous goods, before you purchase such items for further shipping from the USA aboard, request the seller to provide you with the U.S. Dangerous Goods Declaration in proper form. Otherwise, please do not purchase it. It cannot be shipped overseas.

Stay away from shipping from the USA any prohibited commodity. If you are unsure about the legality of shipping goods, double-check it with the U.S. and your destination country officials.

2. If you requested a pickup, then be prepared to meet the pickup driver. If necessary, be ready to provide help in loading your cargo into the pickup truck.

If you need to collect your order for overseas shipping at your business location, select a pickup option in our online freight calculator.

Businesses operating with loading docks should expect regular pickup by an LTL transportation company.

Smaller businesses without loading docks should be aware of some limitations in LTL freight. LTL freight is mostly designed for cargo pickups at commercial facilities with loading docks. There will be only one pickup driver in your pickup. LTL drivers may refuse to handle multiple shipping boxes, as it is not part of their job to move multiple items. You may request a liftgate on a pickup of heavy items. Ordering liftgate pickup trucks is subject to an added cost of about $100 per pickup and is not always available. Therefore, please be prepared for a pickup. You may need to call the LTL company's dispatcher to discuss and conduct your pickup conditions in advance.

If your order is not ready for pickup on the scheduled day, please call the LTL company dispatcher in advance. Otherwise, an attempt pickup charge may be added to your shipping cost.

When calling, refer to your pickup reference number. It is in our shipping instructions. Get a new pickup reference number. Inform us without delay. No changes in your LTL bill of lading are required. Use the same LTL bill of lading that you received with our shipping instructions.


3. Cargo self-delivered to a Line-Haul terminal may need a temporary palletizing.

If you self-delivered a shipping order to a line haul freight terminal for the transfer to an ocean freight carrier's terminal (CFS), and your boxes are not palletized, then you should be prepared to deal with palletizing with the Line-Haul terminal.

Remember that in our online freight calculator, LTL line haul terminals are listed in lowercase with an asterisk (*). Daytona Beach, FL*, for example.

According to our experience, unlike CFSs, LTL line haul terminals are not obligated to palletize cargo. However, typically, they temporarily palletize loose shipping items for further handling by forklifts. But unlike CFS, they do not follow ISPM15 rules. These rules do not apply to U.S. domestic cargo transportation.

Sometimes, a line haul terminal may charge a fee to palletize loose boxes or require them to be palletized. To avoid confusion, before delivering orders to a line haul terminal, you should call the terminal and discuss the palletizing at the freight terminal in advance. When calling, always provide the LTL bill of lading number. The LTL BOL is attached to our shipping instructions.

4. Timely submit all necessary shipping documents.

When shipping orders from the USA, remember that the rule: "No docs, no ship!" applies to all extorting from U.S. goods. Cargo cannot be released to international shipping unless all documents are in order. There are no exceptions.

If the export documents for cargo delivered at a Container Freight Station (CFS) are missing, the cargo will be put on hold until all required documentation is submitted. In case the shipper decides to take the goods back, they will be charged a CFS in/out fee along with storage charges (if any).

Ensure that all shipping documents are submitted to CFS before the cargo delivery day.

Do not include original shipping documents with your cargo. Submit all documents as PDF attachments via email. Files other than PDF format may be rejected. 

When shipping internationally, you will usually only need to provide a commercial invoice. This should list the items being shipped from the USA and their corresponding values in US dollars.

If you cannot provide a commercial invoice in your international shipping for some reason, you may substitute it with a document called Valued Packing List.  It acts as a proforma commercial invoice. Our shipping instructions will contain a web link to submit your valued packing list online. You can see what your valued packing list will look like in this link.

Ocean freight carriers may request additional shipping documents for international shipping, such as a copy of a photo ID or tax information. Providing these documents should not cause any issues.

However, certain countries may require special documents associated with importing goods to a particular country. Before exporting goods from the USA to a specific country, we suggest contacting the country's consulate in the USA or officials in the country to determine if any import restrictions apply. We'd also suggest you consider regarding documents and regulations in your international trade.

Please keep in mind that if the value of your shipping goods exceeds US$2500, then you must submit the U.S. Shippers Export Declaration (SED). If you submitted the Shippers Export Declaration by yourself, then provide the ITN. Otherwise, we will file it on your behalf for a $35 fee. To submit SED on your behalf, we will need from the shipper either an EIN (U.S. tax ID) or a copy of the shipper's foreign passport.

Please note that a U.S. freight forwarder's responsibility is to assist a shipper till exporting goods are entered into the commerce zone of the destination country. In other words, until shipping from the U.S., goods will reach a bonded freight terminal (CFS) in the destination country. All issues related to the recovery of the goods at the destination, including providing all documents required by the destination country customs and other government organizations, are consignees' responsibilities (in respect of dealing with customs professionally called 'Importer of records'). Neither the freight forwarder nor the ocean freight carrier will be able to assist you in the task.

When shipping goods LCL, unlike with FCL, you always have an assigned ocean freight carrier destination agent. Your sea freight bill of lading will contain the contact information of the ocean freight carrier's destination agent. The agent should issue an official arrival notice to your consignee and guide the consignee in the complexity of your import recovery.


5. Ocean freight cannot guarantee transit time.

As a rule, cargo vessels depart from the U.S. and arrive at destinations as scheduled. You may reply to the quote obtained in our online freight calculator and ask for the nearest vessel schedule. However, if your shipment is time-sensitive, you should be aware of possible delays.

Severe weather conditions are not the only reason for a possible delay in your shipping from the USA. Transit time in multimodal LCL international shipping depends on cargo and documents cutoff at CFS, trucking or rail traffic, hubs and seaport conjunctions, and many other factors that may impact the time of cargo transportation from the United States to the destination.

There might be delays due to cargo quarantine by the United States Customs and Border Patrol. In such cases, the cargo cannot be loaded until the CBP releases it. There may be extra charges due to the examination, which should be divided equally among all owners of the cargo. Unfortunately, nobody can help you with these charges, and any complaints should be directed to the CBP.

When involved in international trade, be aware that all imported goods are subject to destination charges, regardless of commodity, mode of transportation, or country of destination.

Destination charges are NOT included in the price quotes received in the online freight calculator. Destination charges (sometimes called local charges) occur at the destinations. Therefore, they are not considered freight charges.

Our customers are reminded of destination charges throughout the shipment process. At the time of booking, shippers must agree with this statement: 'I understand that Destination charges are payable by consignee...'. Otherwise, shipments cannot be initiated. You may find more about destination charges in the step-by-step guide in step 7.

Once goods leave the U.S. Commerce zone, U.S. laws no longer apply to international shipping cargo. The consignee is responsible for cargo recovery in the destination country and for all charges associated with the recovery. Neither a U.S. freight forwarder nor an ocean freight carrier can assist with import recovery overseas.

In LCL freight, unlike FCL, an ocean freight carrier's destination agent is assigned to meet a container that contains consolidated cargo. The agent takes the container off the container yard, de-consolidates the cargo, and keeps it in bond at a CFS or transfers it to the delivery location mentioned in your bill of lading. Usually, the agent is a customs broker who will guide your consignee in the import recovery procedures. The agent charges your consignee for the job.

When importing goods through LCL, despite having a customs broker on your staff, you must initiate the recovery process with the ocean freight carrier's agent. 

To get the destination agent's contact details, request a quote from our online freight calculator. Without a quote or booking reference number, we can't provide routing information. Remember to get a quote or booking reference number before requesting agent contact information.

Keep in mind that a part of or all destination charges may be required to be paid at a port of entry but not at the place of delivery where you are shipping goods. Depending on the destination country's customs regulations, all or a part of destination charges may need to be paid at the port of entry. The cargo will continue traveling to the freight terminal at the place of delivery as in your bill of lading cleared with customs. Otherwise, shipping goods can be transferred to the final destination in bond and are required to be cleared with customs at a bonded freight terminal located within the place of delivery area.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes, destination charges may be divided by separate invoices related to particular parties involved in import recovery.

If, for any reason, you will experience difficulties in the recovery of your order at the destination, then we'd suggest:

  1. If your consignee is not contacted by the carrier's destination agent on/in a few days before your cargo ETA (Estimated day of Arrival), do not wait. Contact them first. The agent's contact information is in your bill of lading.
  2. Request a legal Arrival Notice. Your Arrival Notice must be dated and contain the destination agent's letterhead and destination charges breakdown. Phone calls or random emails are not enough.
  3. Follow the agent's instructions. Pay destination charges (sometimes called Local Charges), and receive your released goods.
  4. If you experience difficulties in the recovery of an order at the destination, you may contact us. However, if you do not provide a copy of your legal arrival notice, we will not be able to work with the ocean freight carrier on your behalf. We will always need a copy of your legal arrival notice.

Import recoveries should be handled promptly to avoid deadline penalties such as storage, demurrage, and Customs fees.


7. Door deliveries at destinations.

It's important to note that LCL shipments do not come with a 'door delivery' service. Instead, your order will be delivered to a freight terminal located within the greater city area specified in your bill of lading. Please keep this in mind when planning for the arrival of your shipment.

If you can't send a pickup truck, many ocean freight carriers offer delivery services for an extra fee. You can order a 'door delivery' and pay the destination agent directly.


8. 75% deposit. The actual shipping cost most likely will differ from the estimated shipping cost quoted.

When initiating an international shipment, you must pre-pay 75% of the estimated shipping cost based on the weight/measurements provided in your quote and booking.

When booking your LCL shipment, it's okay to estimate dimensions, weight, and quantity.

Upon delivery to the ocean freight carrier's shipping terminal (CFS), the CFS will re-measure and confirm the actual quantity, volume, and weight of your shipping cargo. You should read this step-by-step guide, as well.

Also, you should expect our final invoice, less the deposit already paid, not upon arrival of your cargo to the destination but at the time when your cargo will depart from the USA. In other words, we will invoice you at the time when your sea freight bill of lading will be generated. Occasionally, as soon as we receive a rated proof copy of your bill of lading before the departure, we may invoice you upon the proof.

Your invoice will be based on the actual weight/volume of your cargo, not on the estimated shipping cost provided during quoting and booking. The invoice may also reflect unaccounted costs from the carrier not included in the initial booking (if any), such as palletizing, fumigation, GRI that occurred during the shipment, etc. You'll pay for what you actually have shipped but not what you had estimated to be shipped. If you have overestimated your w/m, then you pay less or receive a refund. If you have underestimated your w/m, you pay more. That's why we request a 75% deposit, but 100%.


9. Do not confuse LCL service with parcel services. The minimum charge of one cubic meter. Destination charges.

When shipping freight LCL, keep in mind that LCL freight service is designed for shipping from the USA a relatively large cargo. In LCL, there is always a minimum charge of one cubic meter. In other words, if you ship cargo with a total volume of less than one cubic meter, you will be charged for the price of sipping the volume of one cubic meter anyway. Certain destinations may have minimums of two or three cubic meters.
When using our online freight calculator to determine shipping costs, if the total cargo volume is less than one cubic meter, the price remains the same. However, once the volume exceeds one cubic meter, the price will begin to increase accordingly.
Also, there are always destination charges in LCL freight shipping.
If you ship small items that can be sent by parcel services, using FedEx, DHL, Amazon shipping, etc., is likely to be more convenient and cost-effective. However, if you are shipping from the U.S. relatively large or heavy items, LCL becomes much more cost-effective.

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