When importing there are a number of freight terms(INCOTERMS) which are used to reduce confusion and misunderstandings. These terms are referred to in agreements to ensure both parties understand what has been agreed upon. In total there are 13 different INCOTERMS, however on a ‘day to day’ basis we generally only use a number of these. The most common INCOTERMS we use are: EXW, FOB, CNF, CIF & DDU.
EXW: buyer is responsible for pickup from seller’s factory or warehouse.
FCA: Free Carrier, unloaded at the seller’s dock OR a named place where shipment is available to the international carrier or agent, not loaded. This term can be used for any mode of transport.
FOB: Free On Board vessel, named ocean port of shipment. This term is used for ocean shipments only where it is important that the goods pass the ship’s rail. International Carriage Paid by the seller
CFR/CNF: Cost and Freight, Named ocean port of destination. This term is used for ocean shipments that are not containerized.
CIF: Cost, Insurance and Freight, named ocean port of destination. This term is used for ocean shipments that are not containerized.
CPT: Carriage Paid To, named place or port of destination. This term is used for air or ocean containerized and roll-on roll-off shipments.
CIP: Carriage and Insurance Paid To, named place or port of destination. This term is used for air or ocean containerized and roll-on roll-off shipments. Arrival At Stated Destination
DDU: Delivered Duty Unpaid, named place of destination, not unloaded, not cleared. This term is used for any mode of transportation.
DDP: Delivered Duty Paid, named place of destination, not unloaded, cleared. This term is used for any mode of transportation.
Full container load (customers own container)
FCL is the best option in terms of cost, timing and security. Your container will be used for your goods only and will generally remain sealed and closed from the time it leaves our warehouse until arrival at the destination.
20ft container usable space: 28CBM 40ft container usable space: 56CBM 40ft high cube usable space: 64CBM
Less than container load (Customer shares with an unknown party, decided by the shipping company)
If you have lower volumes this is the best option. Here your goods will be consolidated with other unknown parties to fill a container and as a result save you money. This option can generally take longer as the shipping company will need time to consolidate your goods with other parties. Here you will only pay for the space of your goods.
LCL is recommended for a volume between 0-15m3. However, it may vary depending on the port of departure. Please contact us for more information if required. It is important to note that the minimum weight / volume charged for an LCL shipment is 1CBM or one ton.
Airfreight takes the least time, however is generally the most expensive option. We suggest sending goods by airfreight if needed urgently or if they weigh less than 100kg. Airfreight charges vary depending on the time of year (such as Christmas/ Chinese New Year, demand and vessels available). Please check with our team so we can offer our advice.