How International Container Shipping Works


If you are a USA based company exporting commodities or goods to an international buyer, let us know the pickup location and the destination city. We will send a truck driver to your location who will arrive with an empty container. Once you have loaded your goods into the container, the truck driver will go to the assigned shipping dock. The container will be loaded onto the ship and sent to the destination country.

If you want to know how much does it cost to ship a container overseas, we need three things: 1) Location of Goods 2) Destination Country and 3) What you are shipping. Click on the "Free Quote" button to get to the container shipping form.

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ocean freight rates


What are the minimum requirements

  • 1 pallet minimum (standard 48x40, must be plastic pallet if it's going to Australia)
  • 1 cubic meter for crated goods

    We can either pick up from where the cargo is located or you can deliver your own goods to the closest terminals. Ship Overseas has terminals all across the country. These loading terminals will collect cargo and load it into the container, once it's full they will deliver to port and ship it. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Atlanta and Indianapolis.

    If you are too far from a terminal and do not have the means to transport your cargo to the terminal, then we'll only pick up from if the cargo is at a non-residential area (like commercial areas or a warehouse). The pick up site must have a ramp, loading dock or forklift to assist with loading.

    Shipping Container Measurements - 40 Foot and 20 Foot

    There are different container sizes to meet your needs. The 20ft, 40ft, 40ft HC (High Container) containers are the most common. The image to your right illustrates the height difference between a 40ft container and a 40ft HC. Here are our shipping containers’ dimensions.

  • Transport Information within USA -

    We have a nationwide network of transport trucks throughout the United States. If you are shipping a container overseas and need us to pick up your container, we can easily coordinate the pick up. If a company is shipping many containers, we can assist on getting you lower rates by railroad. This option is available only for multiple quantity containers.

    Marine Insurance -

    Shipping product in containers can be very lucrative. However, accidents can happen while out to sea. Ships WILL rock and your product may shift inside the container if not packed properly. If you have fragile items like electronics or anything that may break, then you should always purchase marine insurance. As courtesy, we will provide the optional Marine Insurance in the quote. You do not have to get it, but we provide it to cover any damages to your product while shipping containers overseas.

    Get International Freight Shipping Costs Here

    ocean freight rates

    Import Duty Information -

    All countries have different import regulations. In addition, import duties are different for the types of products a person or company is importing. This can be looked at from two perspectives.

    1) A person/company based in USA exporting a container - Many people don't need any special licenses to export a container. If more information is needed regarding licenses, we will tell you once you fill out the quote form and get your ocean freight rates. Alternatively you can go to the US Customs and Border Protection website. If you need to find help in the US, then find the Embassy of the country you are shipping to. Normally they are all in Washington DC so do a Google search for something like: "the country + Embassy Washington DC".
    2) Person/company importing (receiving) the product - Normally the person or company "receiving" the product is responsible for paying the import fees once the product arrives to the destination port. So if you are the person or company shipping the product in the US, you don't have to worry about import duties since the receiver pays for it, unless of course there is something prearranged.

    Additional Information -

    The United States CBP (Customs and Border Protection) is the government body responsible for enforcing that all goods exiting the US do so in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations. Although the CBP enforces export rules and regulations for many other government agencies, specific questions pertaining to commodity licensing requirements should be directed to that lead agency.

    Agency information, telephone numbers, and basic commodities which may require export licenses can be obtained by viewing either the U.S. Department of Commerce (the most common), Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Foreign Assets Control or the Bureau of the Census websites. These sites include information from numerous other agencies with export control responsibilities.

    For those of you new to international trade importing/exporting containers, this is a great source to learn from: US Customs & Border Protection - Basic Importing and Exporting

    Questions or comments for us?

    great questions