Container Shipping Companies

You need to work with container shipping companies when you want to ship freight containers. Those provide container shipping services. They are shipping lines, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, freight broker, etc.

Shipping lines

You can contact shipping lines or their local offices and tell them your need. Shipping lines are the companies operating container vessels and provide shipping services to customers like you.

To contact, you search companies’ names, phone numbers (from shipping directories or Google), give them a call, and ask for concerned information. Click here for more information about shipping lines

When talking to shipping lines, you may hear some shipping jargons. Some of them are described below:

- FCL or LCL: you want to ship full containers (FCL – Full Container Laden) or just part of it (LCL – Less than Container Laden)?

- CY-CY or Door-Door: the method you want carrier to carry your cargo. It may be from CY (container yard) of loading port to CY of discharge port. In the other case of Door-Door term, meaning from your inland premise to final destination warehouse.

Usually shipping lines have expertise and prefer to carry full laden containers (FCL) with CY-CY services. They will receive your full laden CY of loading port, load onboard their vessels, carry to the destination port (with some calls at intermediate ports, if any), and unload the vessel, then place your container on the CY of discharge port, waiting for picking up by your designated consignee (the receiver).

With CY-CY term, you as a shipper or consignee have to deal with additional parties to arrange hauling the empty container from depot of shipping lines to the shipper’s premise (e.g. warehouse), stuffing (loading cargo into container), securing with seal, then hauling the laden container back to CY, where it will be loaded onto vessel later on. Of course, you also have to complete relating customs procedures for containers to be exported to destination country.

At discharge port, the reversing process happens. Your consignee arranges to pick up laden container from CY, unstuff the container, and then re-deliver the empty container back to designated depot.

Those things may sound confusing a little. If that’s the case, you’d better use a complete service (door-door), in which container shipping companies will do almost all for customers. You as a shipper only need to prepare cargo to load into container at your “door”, have relating document ready for customs clearance, which you can also hire a specialist to do it for you. At destination, the consignee will receive an arrival notice from service provider, arrange customs clearance, and then receive cargo at their “door”.

For such service, you should contact shipping lines and ask whether they have such service (beside CY-CY) on your desired route. Many lines, such as Maersk Line, APL, have a separate logistics division, to take care of such need. They have wide agent network worldwide to serve clients.

Freight forwarder

Besides shipping lines’ logistic division, shippers can also find suitable services from intermediate parties, usually called freight forwarders.

With numerous number and flexible networks, freight forwarders can help you ship your cargo from/to almost anywhere around the world.

Unlike shipping lines, a freight forwarder may be different in scales, credibility, as well as service quality. The thing is how to choose a suitable forwarder. Though that’s the matter of experience, you may need some useful advices on how to find and choose a freight forwarder.


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