Container Yard Cutoff

Container Yard Cutoff: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

In this guide, you will find all information you’re looking for about container yard cutoff.

Remember, knowing these freight terms will help you save both cost and time when importing from China.

So, keep reading to learn more.

What does CY (Container Yard) Cutoff mean?

A Container Yard (CY) is a holding place for shipping containers on the dry land or terminal before they are offloaded or loaded on a ship or vessel.

CY cutoff or closing time is the set date by which a container has to be checked-in in the CY before sailing.

Shipping container yard

Shipping container yard

Who determines CY Cutoff?

CY cutoff is usually determined by the carrier or freight forwarder.

When is CY Cutoff?

Mostly, the Cutoff is set two days before the set sailing date.

However, CY Cutoff varies depending on terminal or port and can be anywhere between 3-5 days.

What is the Difference between CY Cutoff and CFS Cutoff?

Importantly, CY is ultimately used for Full Container Load Shipment (FCL).

On the other hand, Container Freight Station (CFS) is primarily used for consolidation and deconsolidation of Less than Container Load (LCL) shipments.

Notably, from the CFS, the cargo moves to the CY.

Below are some significant differences between the two cutoffs:

CY CutoffCFS Cutoff
The Cutoff is mostly set two days before the sailing dateThe Cutoff is usually set five days before the sailing date
The carrier sets CutoffThe CFS sets Cutoff
The cutoff date is independentThe cutoff date is mostly dependent on the CY Cutoff
Cutoff varies per carrierCutoff differs per CFS

What is Si Cutoff?

Shipping Instructions (SI) is the documentation issued to the carrier by a shipper, highlighting a cargo’s details and transportation requirements.

Therefore, SI Cutoff is the deadline for a customer to issue the mentioned documentation to the carrier.

Mostly, an SI contains:

  • Shipper
  • Consignee
  • Booking Number
  • Port of Loading
  • Port of Destination
  • Container and Seal Number
  • Packaging type and Number of Packages
  • Weight/Volume
  • Payment terms for Freight
  • Place of Payment
  • Cargo Description

What is the relationship between Si Cutoff and CY Cutoff?

SI is essential for the documentation and submission of a shipment’s manifest.

Consequently, timely submission of SI (before SI Cutoff) will enable your shipment to meet the CY Cutoff.

On the other hand, delayed submission of SI will translate to your shipment not having adequate documentation.

As a result, the merchandise won’t meet the CY Cutoff.

Notably, the SI is used during the booking. Without booking, you will not be able to ship your container leave alone meet the CY Cutoff.

What is the importance of CY Cutoff in shipping?

CY Cutoff ensures strict adherence to the shipping schedule. Shipping of goods is an intermodal affair.

Hence, the shipping schedule should be upheld.

Any deviation from the shipping schedule may result in the complete disruption of the shipping process.

For this reason, CY Cutoff closes out any containers that do not meet the deadline to prevent any delays in shipping.

Also, CY Cutoff enhances operational efficiency.

As an importer, you will know when your cargo is due to be shipped.

Consequently, you will arrange the transport means you will use to pick your shipment from the port/terminal to your preferred warehouse.

How does knowing CY Cutoff benefit my Business?

As an exporter, knowing the CY Cutoff will guide you on when to provide the SI.

The SI will is used in preparing a Bill of Lading, which is an essential document in shipping.

Ultimately, the manifestation and shipping of the merchandise will also be done on time.

This will boost your customer’s confidence. Consequently, you will end up having extended transactions with the customer.

Besides, knowing CY Cutoff will save your exporting business from unplanned costs.

When your shipment is within the shipping schedule, there will be operational efficiency.

This, in turn, eliminates any expenses that may result due to delayed shipping.

How does CY Cutoff Factor in Transit Time Calculations?

Generally, transit time is the time it will take to move your cargo from the point of origin to the point of destination.

Since CY Cutoff determines which container will be loaded on the carrier vessel, it will affect the transit time.

Take an example of a cargo is set to be shipped from point A to point B on 1st January 2021.

The transit time is 30 days. Therefore, its expected arrival date is 31st January 2021.

However, the CY Cutoff date is 2nd January 2021.

Meaning, the cargo will not be loaded on the vessel until the cutoff date lapses.

Hence, resulting in a late departure from the point of origin.

Significantly, you should set CY Cutoff to be around two days before shipping when calculating transit time.

As a result, you will get the Expected Arrival Time (EAT).

Which Service Loops do I need for CY Cutoff?

The service loops you will need for CY Cutoff will depend majorly on your merchandise’s availability and readiness.

How do I choose Service Loops for Container Yard Cutoff?

Observe the following when choosing Service loops:

  • Ensure that the CY Cutoff is in line with the time you plan to ship
  • Establish when your merchandise will be ready for shipping
  • Consider all the various Service loops and choose the most cost-effective

Are there Circumstances under which Container Yards may accept Containers past Cutoff?

Most shippers are strict on the CY Cutoff dates set since there is a shipping schedule.

Any disruptions on the schedule have a lot of negatives on the shipping company.

As a result, most Container Yards will reject containers delivered past Cutoff.

However, your container may be let into the Container Yard, depending on your forwarder.

If, for example, you informed the forwarder that you will be running late due to unforeseen circumstances.

It will be ethical for the forwarder to give you some grace period.

Shipping container yard

Shipping container yard

What happens when I deliver Shipments past CY Cutoff?

Unfortunately, your shipment will not be loaded on the planned vessel.

Consequently, your shipment may have to wait for the next shipping.

The waiting period may last for over a week.

In the worst-case scenario, your shipment may be rejected altogether.

But here is the good news, your container can be accepted in specific scenarios.

Say there was traffic on the way to the port, or even loading the container was hectic.

All you need to do is call the forwarder and explain the ‘unavoidable circumstance.’

However, this is not a guarantee that the forwarder will be lenient.

What is Incoterms Relation to CY Cutoff?

Incoterms 2020

Incoterms 2020

Incoterms spell out where the transfer of liability occurs between the seller (exporter) and the buyer (importer).

Most incoterms are used to oblige the seller to deliver the merchandise to the CY in time.

The seller is preferred since the CY is within his/her locality.

However, in incoterms like EXW or FCA, either the buyer or the seller is responsible for meeting the CY Cutoff.

Knowing and understanding the incoterm used in a trade will help define who is liable if the merchandise does not meet the CY Cutoff.

Who bears Liability when Containers are delivered past CY Cutoff?

Depending on the incoterm used, either the buyer or seller can bear the liability for delivery past the CY Cutoff.

Notably, in a case where the buyer sought a shipper’s services, the liability can be transferred to the shipper.

How do I know CY Cutoff date and time?

Most if not all of the terminals post their CY Cutoff date and time on their website.

Hence, you can easily access and know the Cutoff date and time of the terminal you intend to use.

Alternatively, you can directly contact a terminal and request their CY Cutoff date and time.

Also, you can make a shipping booking.

When the forwarder confirms the booking, you will receive a letter with the CY Cutoff date and time.

Do Carriers extend CY Cutoff during Peak Seasons?

Although most carriers will not extend their CY Cutoff during peak seasons, they can accept your shipment after the deadline.

However, your shipment will be considered for the next sailing.

Logically, extending the CY Cutoff will do more harm than good.

Since large numbers of shipments characterize peak Season, an extension will only worsen the situation.

How do I make CY Cutoff when shipping during Peak Season?

Early and fast preparation is vital. Ensure you have all the documentation needed.

Check that your cargo is compliant with all the necessary regulations.

Also, hire the services of a reliable shipper.

Ensure that the shipper knows how to navigate through the peak season.

Consequently, your shipment will be delivered on time to the Container Yard.

Notably, an experienced shipper is a guarantee that your shipment will arrive before the CY Cutoff.

Can I Deliver Containers Too Early before the CY Cutoff Date?

In this scenario, forget about the early bird catching the worm.

Early might turn out to be more costly to you.

You may end up incurring demurrage charges and port storage charges.

Port storage charge is the amount you will pay when your container exceeds the port’s free storage days.

On theother hand, demurrage charges is the fee you will pay for the extended use, past the free period, of a shipping line’s container.

As a result, a too-early-delivery will not be advisable.

If you plan an early delivery to the container yard, ensure you are within the free period issued by the port and/or the container provider.

However, if you own a container, you need not worry about demurrage costs.

Is it Advisable to Book shipping weeks before CY Cutoff?

Before you can know the CY Cutoff, you first have to make a booking.

When the forwarder confirms the booking, you will be informed of the CY Cutoff in the confirmation letter.

However, most forwarders provide the CY Cutoff for various shipping lines.

Thus, there is no need for booking first.

You can directly check the CY Cutoff date.

Assuming you know the CY Cutoff, you should preferably make an early booking for shipping.

Thus, you will have ample time to put your shipment’s requirements in order.

Consequently, you will be able to deliver your shipment before the CY Cutoff.

However, when you make an early booking and change your mind, the terminal may charge you a booking cancellation fee.

COSCO shipping Lane

COSCO Shipping lane

What happens if the CY Cutoff date on my booking does not match the Cutoff date on either the Terminal or Carriers website?

The CY Cutoff date on the website might be outdated.

You should preferably use the one for the booking.

Nevertheless, do not leave anything to chance.

You can contact the forwarder or carrier to understand the reason for the contradiction better.

From there, you will be advised on the best course of action.

How do I ensure Timely Container Delivery to CY?

If you plan to make the delivery on D-Day, you should know the route to the CY.

Although it sounds insignificant, it can cost you.

Say, for example, the route to the CY usually is full of traffic; leaving the warehouse early will be advisable.

Also, ensure that your shipment is loaded in the container in time.

Avoid the last-minute-rush of loading the container on the CY Cutoff date.

You may complete the loading process after the deadline has elapsed.

Putting the shipment’s documentation in order will also come in handy.

With everything in order, you will deliver your container to the Container Yard in time.

Lastly, hire the services of an experienced shipping company.

They will work hand in hand with you to ensure timely delivery of the container to the CY.

Going all solo in the shipping business may be a hard nut to crack.

Can a Delay in Container Delivery to CY Affect Export Clearance?

Yes, containers are mostly handled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

When you deliver your container late to the CY, it may be rejected, halting the process of Export clearance.

However, if it is accepted, you may be unlucky to find that it’s well past Export customs officers’ working hours.

CY cutoff dates and times are set considering all the processes the cargo has to go through before loading.

Export clearance is among these processes.

Any breach of the set dates and times means interference with a process resulting in operational inefficiency.

At BanSar, we  provide a cost effective shipping solution from China to cny global destination.

Contact us today for a cost effective freight forwarding solution.

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