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Freight from the USA

How does LCL work? Read this Step-By-Step Guide.

Please note that if you are an inexperienced, first-time international freight shipper, you may need to read one of these articles before getting into detail in the shipping procedures. Just click on what is fits your current shipping needs:

Seven steps in shipping freight LCL with AMID Logistics

  1. 75% deposit on estimated shipping cost.
  2. Receive shipping instructions in 24 business hours.
  3. Submit cargo to the shipping. Pay the final invoice.
  4. Receive Express Release Sea freight Bill of Lading.
  5. Wait for an Arrival Notice. Meet your cargo.
  6. Recover your goods at the destination.

All the procedures are typical for shipping from the USA any cargo using LCL service. However, this guide is adjusted for shipping goods from the U.S. with our online freight calculator.

STEP 1 – Quote and book your international shipment on our website

Please note that the first and absolutely necessary step to begin an international shipment with AMID Logistics is to schedule a shipment with our online freight calculator.

  1. You calculate a freight price quote on our website. You can calculate as many quotes for different shipping scenarios in your business as you wish. It's free, and there are no obligations.
  2. You email the quote(s) that you like to yourself. Please keep it on your records. Emailed quotes will be entered into our system. There will be a unique quote reference number for each quote. The format of a quote reference is USL20011786. Having the quote in an email, you can always reply to the quote and ask us questions or give us a call during our business hours.
  3. As soon as you are ready, you book your shipment via the quote that you like. Upon the booking, you will instantly receive a copy of your booking request. Each booking has a unique reference number. The format of a booking reference number is US200117BL.

Not sure about the number, dimensions, and weight of shipping units? That's OK. At the time of quoting-booking your shipment, just roughly estimate it. The actual volume, weight, and the number of your shipping units will most likely differ from the number and measurements you have provided at the time of quoting-booking. Upon your cargo delivery to the ocean freight carrier's terminal (CFS - Container Freight Station), the CFS will calculate and reconfirm the units' actual number, overall volume, and weight. See Step #4.

Please note that to avoid confusion, we do not provide price quotes and do not accept bookings over the phone. The entire quoting-booking process has to be completed on our website.

You can read the calculations guide or watch this three minutes video on YouTube. You will see how easy it is to manage shipping goods from the U.S. with our online freight calculator.


STEP 2 – To initiate a shipment, please pay a deposit

As soon as you submit a booking request via your quote, you will immediately receive our e-mail containing a unique Customer Reference Booking Number on your international shipment. The format of the booking number should look like US200123CL). The email will provide details on your shipment and a web link to pay a deposit on your shipping from the USA.

  • To initiate a shipment with us, customers have to pay a deposit. Typically the deposit is equal to 75% of the estimated shipping cost calculated on our website. The deposit will apply to the final cost of your international shipment. Consider this e-mail an invoice for your deposit

On shipments with a TOTAL shipping cost up to US$750, we accept payments online via PayPal.

On shipments with the TOTAL shipping cost above $750, we do NOT accept PayPal payments. You can pay with U.S. Bank checks, business, or personal. You can submit a draft of your U.S. Bank check online. Then it is not necessary to mail us the original check.  Otherwise, you can transfer or wire funds to our U.S. Bank account. We accept payments via Western Union, as well.

Please review the Payment Options and our Return Policy.


STEP 3 – Receive our shipping instructions in the email. Submit shipping documents online and deliver your shipping goods to a freight terminal, OR meet a pickup driver (if a pickup requested)

Upon receipt of a deposit, we will notify you by email. Consider the email a receipt for your payment.

Then we will email you our Shipping Instructions. As a rule, we email the instructions within 24 business hours. Sometimes it may take a little longer. If you did not receive our instructions within 24 hours, you could contact us. Before contacting, please check your spam folder.

Your shipping instructions are unique and generated on your particular shipment. These instructions will contain your Dock Receipt and provide:

  1. OCEAN FREIGHT CARRIER'S BOOKING NUMBER - The Ocean Freight Carrier's Booking Number is the KEY NUMBER for your shipment. You will need the number during the shipping from the USA to your destination from the beginning to the end when dealing with other parties related to the shipping.
  2. AMID Logistics's Customer Reference Number. This is our internal reference number. Always provide AMID Logistics's Reference Number when contacting us. Always keep the number in the subject lines of your email to us. The format looks like US200107DL.
  3. The freight terminal's address and phone number and:
    - If self-deliver to a CFS, then a web link to print your Dock Receipt
    - If self-deliver to a Line-Haul terminal, then an LTL BOL attached
    - If a pickup requested, then the pickup day and an LTL BOL attached
  4. Sailing details on your international shipping that includes:
    - ETD - Estimated Time of Departure
    - ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival 
    - The Vessel, Voyage, Routing
    - The latest cargo delivery day to depart on the scheduled vessel
  5. A web link to print your shipping labels;
  6. Link to fill out and submit a Valued Packing List if you cannot email us a copy of your commercial invoice OR shipping household goods or personal items 

Read and follow these shipping instructions. Reply and ask questions, if any. Submit your shipping documents online. Print shipping labels and label your cargo. Deliver your goods in shipping boxes, crates, or pallets to the freight for further shipping from the USA overseas OR meet a pickup driver (if a pickup is requested).

Please note: You do not have to pay anything at the freight terminal or the pickup driver. Please wait for our final invoice via e-mail.  

Most of the time, freight terminals do not accept payments. If shipping boxes require palletizing, then the palletizing cost will be added to the carrier's freight invoice. However, occasionally, if you self-deliver your shipping from the USA boxes to a freight terminal and request to palletize the boxes, you may be asked to pay for the palletizing at the terminal. Cost may vary from $35 to $50+ per pallet, depending on the terminal. Then please pay for it. Ensure a receipt is obtained. 


STEP 4 – Pay the final invoice. A weight-measurements discrepancy.

As soon as your cargo is delivered to the ocean freight carrier for further shipping from the USA overseas and all your shipping documents are in order, we will confirm the carrier's cargo release and email you updates.

After that, you should wait for our email with the final invoice. The invoice will reflect the shipping cost based on the actual weight-measurement of your cargo. The 75% deposit paid on the estimated shipping cost will be credited in the invoice.

If a marine insurance certificate is requested at the booking time, then the insurance certificate will be attached to the email.

The invoice will be generated based on freight charges in the ocean freight carrier's sea freight bill of lading, on/in a few days after ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) your shipping goods from the USA. Sometimes we may generate the invoice earlier, based on proof of the bill of lading from the ocean freight carrier.

Once again, please: The final invoice will be based on the actual w/m of the cargo that you shipped, but not on the estimated shipping cost calculated in our online freight calculator at the time of quoting and booking. The invoice may also reflect unaccounted costs from carriers that had not been included in the estimated shipping cost (if any). There may be added charges related to palletizing, fumigation, dimensional weight and length verification, GRI occurred during the shipping, etc. In other words, you pay for what you have actually shipped, but not that you estimated to ship. If you overestimated your w/m, then you pay less. If you underestimated your w/m, then you pay more. That's why we request a 75% deposit, but not 100%.

Upon your final payment, if you fully or partially paid for the shipping via PayPal, before issuing a bill of lading, we will always NEED YOUR REPLY email with your confirmation that you clearly understand that the Bill of Lading is our final document on your international shipping from the USA. It is the title on the shipping from the USA goods and the proof of transfer of the ownership to the consignee as in the Seafreight Bill of Lading (recipient of shipped goods). This will confirm that after receiving the sea freight bill of lading, our service provided to you is complete as agreed. All parties involved in payment(s) of the shipment paid by a credit card(s) will consider the confirmation email the receipt of payment(s) with the payer's signature in it. If, for any reason, you will not agree, then you may re-pay all your PayPal transactions by U.S. Bank check or wire funds to our bank account. Please inform us by replying to this email. Then, upon receipt of re-payment(s), we will notify you and refund your PayPal transactions.


STEP 5  – Receive your Sea freight Bill of Lading

Upon your final payment and reply toward your PayPal transactions (if any), we will e-mail you your ocean freight carrier's Express Release Bill of Lading in a PDF file attached. Consider the bill of lading as a title on your shipping from the USA goods. International shipments on express releases do not require sets of originals bill of ladings. If you're shipping goods to a country that does not accept express release, you should be notified.

The bill of lading will verify information in your international shipping. It will also provide you with the ocean freight carrier's destination agent's contact details that handle your cargo recovery at the destination.


STEP 6 – Be prepared to meet your goods at the destination.

In several days before the ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival, the ocean freight carrier's destination agent should contact your consignee and notify party (if any) about your international shipping from the USA with a Notice of Arrival. Typically they contact the consignee via the email that is in your bill of lading. Keep your eyes on the email. Do not miss it! Pay attention to the junk mail folder.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! If, for any reason, you will not receive an Arrival Notice on the ETA, then we strongly suggest you contact the ocean freight carrier's destination agent, which is in your bill of lading, about the status of your shipping from the USA goods on the day of ETA. Then provide them with a copy of your Express Release Bill of Lading, re-confirm your contact details, and ask for the Arrival Notice. 

Shipments with transshipments: If a port of discharge in your sea freight bill of lading is different from the final destination, then, unless specified in your sailing detail, the ETA in your shipping may not be the ETA to the final destination but to the port where your shipping gods will be transshipped to the final destination. Transshipments/fiders will take additional transit time in your international shipping from the U.S.

Please keep in mind that the ocean freight carrier's destination agent may not receive any information on your international shipping from the USA until very few days before the ETA. If you contact them far in advance, do not be frustrated if they are not aware of your incoming cargo. Then fax or e-mail them a copy of your sea freight bill of lading, re-confirm your contacts detail and wait for a notice of arrival. 


STEP 7  – Cargo recovery at the destination. Destination charges.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! All import, in all countries worldwide, is subject to destination charges (sometimes called 'local charges'). Destination charges occur at destinations and do not consider freight charges. If you are shipping goods from the United States overseas, you must be prepared for destination charges. No matter either you are shipping from the U.S. commercial cargo or transporting household goods or personal effects.

Destination charges are not included in freight quotes obtained in our online freight calculator and on account of the consignee. Typically the changes include (but not limited):

  1. Destination Country Government (Customs) related charges, i.e., duty and taxes (if any), harbor fees, fee on entry filing by a destination Customs Broker, etc.
  2. Destination terminal(s) handling charges and fees (THC).
  3. Service fee from ocean freight carrier's destination agent on handling and delivering your international shipment (if you request a delivery to your door).

Destination charges vary depending on the destination country,  ocean freight carrier, and carrier's agent. Destination charges are out of control of U.S. freight forwarders. As a U.S. freight forwarder, AMID Logistics does not connect to destination charges in any way. The ocean freight carrier's destination agent should guide your consignee to recover importing goods at the destination. 

Please note that, as a rule, your consignee should not be present in person at the time of recovery of your shipping goods at the destination. Follow instructions from the ocean freight carrier's destination agent. Provide them all necessary information on your shipping goods remotely; pay invoices on destination charges, and have your goods released.

Typically, destination freight terminals offer cargo delivery services. Then, if you wish, you may arrange delivery of your shipping from the USA goods to your door directly with the destination agent OR hire a local cargo transportation company of your choice.

If you want to estimate destination charges in advance, then having a quote or booking number obtained in our online freight calculator, reply in email and ask us for your perspective destination agent contact information. However, without a quote or booking reference number, we cannot see a carrier for your shipment and will not be able to assist you. I.e., when contacting us, have the reference ready.   

  • If you're transporting from the U.S. a commercial cargo, then destination charges depend on the commodity.
  • If you're shipping from the USA household goods or personal items, keep in mind that many countries around the world do not charge duty on household goods or personal effects. However, such goods are subject to all other applicable destination charges anyway. Based on our experience, when shipping personal goods, not for sale LCL, if the goods are exempt from paying the duty, destination charges may vary from $250 to $600 or even higher. For sizable shipments 8-14+ cubic meters, these charges may be comparable to FCL (full container load) - $600-$1000 and higher.

You may need to check with your destination country's consulate or ask a customs broker in your destination country about Government (Customs) regulations on your perspective shipment in advance.

Please note that a part of or all destination charges may need to be paid at a port of entree of your shipping from the USA goods, but not at the final destination. It all depends on your destination country's customs regulations. Then cargo will be transported to the final destination's freight terminal cleared with customs. Otherwise, it may be transporting to the final destination in bond. Your consignee will then clear the goods with customs at a bonded freight terminal located at the final destination. Also, keep in mind that destination charges may sometimes be divided by separate invoices issued by several parties involved in your import recovery.

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