shipping container guide

Shipping Container: The Definitive Guide for Your Goods Shipping in 2020


If you’re looking for a suitable shipping container when importing from China, then this is a must-read guide for you.


I am going to help you choose the right shipping container for your imports.

This guide covers every single detail you’d like to know – from shipping container sizes, designs, applications to transport relationship, among others.

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll learn here:

What is a Shipping Container?

A shipping container is a vessel or box that is commonly used to transport goods over a long distance.

It is also preferred for shipping goods across countries and continents.

Why do you need a Shipping Container?

You need a container for your business or company due to the several advantages that come hand in hand with them.

Some of the pros of using a shipping container are as follows:

They are suitable for storage of a variety of goods. From heavy bulky goods to livestock and flammable products.

Surety of the safety of your cargo. This is a secure means of goods transportation.

The containers are versatile and flexible. Therefore, they are easily movable across diverse locations.

They are strong and durable thus they can be used over and over again without being written off (usually for many years).

The containers can be used over various global destinations since they are internationally accepted.

They are also vast and spacious offering you just the adequate space you require for your consignment.

Affordable and effective, hence offers low transportation cost plus initial inexpensive buying cost.

Can be modified and used with other accessories e.g. padlocks, lock boxes to suit your needs.

Available in different sizes and therefore offers you the chance to select your preferred size. From 20 feet to 40 feet container.

By now am sure you have already made up your mind that you need a shipping container.

But before you make a purchase, you need to make a decision on the most suitable type.

With that in mind, why don’t we look at the various types of these containers?

What are the Types of Shipping Containers Available in the Market?

1. According to the Types of Goods you’re Shipping
Therefore, these containers also fall into the following classes:
i. General cargo container.
ii. Bulk shipping container.
iii. Liquid cargo container.
iv. Reefer shipping container
v. Tank shipping container.
vi. Flat rack shipping container.
vii. Open top shipping container.
viii. Car shipping container
ix. The livestock shipping container ( Pen Container)
x. The hide container
§  General Cargo Container
§  Bulk Shipping Container
§  Liquid Cargo Container
§  Reefer Shipping Container
§  Tank Shipping Container
§  Flat Rack Shipping Container
§  Open Top Shipping Containers

What is NVOCC ?

NVOCC is famously known as a Freight forwarder or forwarding agent.

Interestingly, the forwarder does not transport goods, but does logistics.

This agent usually contracts other carriers to do the shipment.

In most cases, shipments undertaken by forwarder involve several modes of transport that are ships, air, road, and rails.
Additionally, there exists international NVOCC who 


Ensure you read till the end.

Let’s do this.

What is a Shipping Container?

Well, it sounds a pretty obvious question.

Figure 1 Shipping container Shipping containers are preferred by many due to their rigidity, ability to sustain adverse weather conditions and strength together with their stipulations for use in turnover. Apart from that, you will most likely like the containers since they have a unique and distinct identification mode. All these containers are embedded with 11 alphanumericalpatterns referred to as box number. The first four digits are usually letters while the last seven digits are numbers.

Shipping container

Shipping containers are preferred by many due to their rigidity, ability to sustain adverse weather conditions and strength together with their stipulations for use in turnover.

Apart from that, you will most likely like the containers since they have a unique and distinct identification mode.

All these containers are embedded with 11 alphanumericalpatterns referred to as box number.

The first four digits are usually letters while the last seven digits are numbers.

Shipping container identification

Shipping container identification

The process of shipment of the goods is very simple.

They are loaded at the consignor’s warehouse or factorystoreroom thereafter shipped to the consignee’s warehouse.

The goods are thus unloaded at this point.

The good news is that, even if the truck is changed in the process of transportation, you need not worry.


Because your goods are safe and cannot be mishandled.

They shall remain within the box untampered with.

Due to the popularity of shipping containers, various countries and governments have made a significant input to ensure the safety and protection of customers and users of containers.

These nations, including China, Japan, USA, France and others have incorporated quality assurance bodies.

The containers are thus certified by the following organizations.

If you are indeed not sure whether you need to acquire a shipping container.

Then have a look at the next part.

Different types of shipping containers

Different types of shipping containers

What are the Types of Shipping Containers Available in the Market?

Well, for clarification, the shipping container types are classified based on FIVE categories.

They are thus grouped on the basis of:

  1. Types of goods you’re shipping.
  2. The shipping container material.
  3. Design and structure of the shipping container.
  4. Dimension and size of shipping container.
  5. Total weight of the shipping container.

Interesting uh?

I will take you through all these categories.

Ensure you continue reading till the end.

1. According to the Types of Goods you’re Shipping

Every type of container is designed with respect to the kind of cargo to be loaded into it.

Therefore, these containers also fall into the following classes:

i. General cargo container.

ii. Bulk shipping container.

iii. Liquid cargo container.

iv. Reefer shipping container

v. Tank shipping container.

vi. Flat rack shipping container.

vii. Open top shipping container.

viii. Car shipping container

ix. The livestock shipping container ( Pen Container)

x. The hide container

Our focus now is based upon these classes.

It’s time we discuss them.

§  General Cargo Container

It is also called a general – purpose container.

If your business deals with general groceries, then I bet this kind of container will just serve you dearly.

General Cargo Container

 General cargo container

Besides, it is very common and available.

Actually, it is liked by many since it serves many kinds of purposes.

In addition, it does not need to be adjusted to meet specific temperature ranges.

§  Bulk Shipping Container

Just as its name suggests, this container is basically used for loading and transporting very bulky goods.

 Bulk shipping container

Bulk shipping container

It is built to withstand the immense stress of handling and pressure caused by the freightload.

The cargo associated with this container may include powder, granules and large components.

§  Liquid Cargo Container

Are you in need of shipping liquid consignment?

Then you are catered for, this container is specifically built to assist in the transportation of liquid cargo.

Liquid cargo container

 Liquid cargo containers

It is therefore customized to suit the liquid loads and minimizes leakages that may be caused.

§  Reefer Shipping Container

Commonly known as refrigerated containers.

This is an inter-modal container used for the shipment of goods that are sensitive to temperature changes or conditions.

These containers are suitable for transportation and holding of perishable goods.

To serve their purpose, they are distinctively constructed.

There exists a refrigeration unit in their compartment.

The freezer relies upon electrical power points called reefer points.

Reefer shipping container

 Reefer shipping container

Some of these reefers are also equipped with water cooling scheme to serve together with the freezer for thermal regulation.

Their interior walls are constructed using a special material which has low thermal conductivity.

This helps to minimize any variation in the regulated temperature range.

Refrigerated containers usually control temperatures in the range of -65˚C to 40˚C.

§  Tank Shipping Container

Also known as tanktainer.

It is used for the transport of liquids, gases,and powders.

They are built in accordance to the ISO standardization.

They are thus effective for transport of both hazardous and non-hazardous freight.

Tanks shipping container

 Tank shipping container

This kind of container is specially structured.

It has a stainless steel wall coated with a layer of insulation and protection.

The container is usually made to fit into the center of a steel rigid frame with dimensions of 6.05 meters long, 2.40 meters wide, 2.55 meters high.

Measurements are aligned according to ISO standards.

Both smaller and larger containers are available for this kind.

Additionally, the components of these tanks should range from 17,500 liters to 26,000 liters.

The certified tanks used to transport of hazardous goods or products have to pass the quality tests and regulations.

Some of these requirements are those of the IMDG US DOT, etc. a variety of UN-portable tanks are used for transport of dangerous bulk chemicals.

§  Flat Rack Shipping Container

Unlike bulk containers, this type is suitable for loading large and bulky cargo that is impossible to fit in an ordinary container.

So then the cargo needs to be loaded from the top or sideways.

The cargo associated with flat rack container may include pipes, cables, steel coils and heavy machinery.

Flat rack shipping container

Flat rack shipping container

You will be amazed by the fact that they have collapsible and non-collapsible end walls.

Some with side walls while others without.

The sole advantage is that you can still stack many of these containers together.

The collapsible flat rack containers have got a big loading capacity floor.

They also have two end walls, but lack side walls.

However, their end walls are non-fitted and collapsible if need be.

They are therefore important for shipping wide cargo and due to their collapsible ends, it is possible to store them in limited space.

They are manufactured from steel and available in two sizes that are 20 feet and 40 feet.

Let’s have a look at their respective dimensions.

The table below shows the dimensions of the flat rack containers.

Parameters20 feet40 feet
Tare weight2,360kg / 5,203.8 lbs5,000kg / 11,025 lbs
Payload capacity30,140 kg / 66,458.7 lbs40,000 kg / 88200 lbs
Cubic capacity32.7 m³ / 1,154.3 cu ft62.2 m³ / 2195.7 cu ft
Internal width2.35 m / 7.7 ft2.40 m / 7.9 ft
Internal length2.3 m / 7.55 ft2.14 m / 7 ft

It is important to note that these dimensions may vary depending on the manufacturer’s preference.

§  Open Top Shipping Containers

Unlike the flat rack containers, this kind of containers has got a wide open top and firmly intact walls.

However, the top may be covered if need be using a material such as removable tarpaulin or hardened roof.

Open top shipping container

 Open top shipping container

This feature suits the oversize, irregular and bulky cargo that needs to be loaded from the top by use of a crane.

Some of these goods are timber and scrap metal.

They additionally have got end doors to serve hand in hand during loading and offloading of goods.

Loading is a lot easier when using an open top container.

This is because items can be loaded and offloaded directly into the container by a crane.

Afterward, the roof may be reattached if required and ready for shipping.

This kind of container is preferred by shipping companies, especially when clients need a container for overseas shipping.

Like flat racks, the open top containers are also available in 20 feet and 40 feet.

The various dimensions of the open top containers are summarized in the table below.

Again, note that they all depend on the manufacturer and sometimes can be customized.

Have a look.

Parameters20 feet40 feet
Tare weight2,350 kg / 5181.8 lbs3,850 kg / 8489.3 lbs
Payload capacity28,130 kg / 62, 026.7 lbs26,630 kg / 58,719.2 lbs
Cubic capacity32.5 m³ / 1,147.3 cu ft66.4 m³ / 2,343.9 cu ft
Internal length5.9 m / 19.3 ft12.03 m / 39.5 ft
Internal width2.35 m / 7.7 ft2.35 m / 7.7 ft
Internal height2.38 m / 7.8 ft2.38 m / 7.8 ft

Please note:

  • Ft – Feet
  • Cu ft – cubic feet
  • M – Meter

§  Car Shipping Container

Are you a car dealer?

Do you want to purchase some cars?

This type of container is therefore ideal for you since it has several adjustments to enable secure shipping of cars across the world and even overseas.

This container floor can be divided into two or more layers.

The automobiles are securely blocked and tied down to ensure absolute security during shipping.

Car shipping container

 Car shipping container

This helps to minimize the chances of damage to the autos.

§  The Livestock Shipping Container (Pen Container)

It is now more easy and safer to transport your livestock than ever.

This because the livestock container has several adjustments to accommodate your farm animals.


Livestock shipping container

The customizable provisions are:

  • Floor, side walls, a closed end wall and a roof.
  • Portioned interior space of the container.
  • Stalls for the livestock.
  • Feed storage segment for the livestock.
  • Ventilation partitions

All these justify the need for transporting your livestock, over a long distance in a pen container.

  • Hide Shipping Container

For this kind of container, it is particularly designed to transport the leaking portions of the animal skin such as rawhide’s.

Loading shipping container

 Loading a shipping container

It is fixed with a double bottom floor segment to trap the leakage.

Additionally, hangers are stationed at the roof to hook the hide leaving them hanging to enhance complete leaking of the liquid.

Let’s move onto the second classification of shipping containers.

2. In Accordance with the Shipping Container Material

The materials used to manufacture the containers are diverse depending on the suitability of each material.

Therefore the containers may be subdivided into:

i. Steel shipping container

ii. Aluminum alloy shipping container

iii. FRP Shipping containe

iv. Fiberboard shipping container

v. Wooden shipping container

Shall I guide you now through these types?

§  What is a Steel Shipping Container?

This kind is composed of steel as a major raw material.

Now, I know you might have some reservations about steel due to its bulky nature and reduced corrosion endurance.

Steel shipping container

Steel shipping container

Nevertheless, you might want to give that a second thought.

Below are some of the advantages of steel container you really need to know.

  • Extraordinary strength
  • Concrete structure
  • Great weldability
  • Good waterproof
  • Relatively cheap to buy

· What of the Aluminum Alloy Shipping Container?

This kind of container is manufactured of aluminum alloy materials.

 Aluminum shipping container

 Aluminum shipping container

Rewards for using this container are.

  • Light in weight
  • Beautiful exterior
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Elastic
  • Appropriate processing
  • Reduced processing cost
  • Little repair costs
  • Durable

It is prudent to mention that some of its disadvantages are that it is expensive to buy and inferior welding performance.

Still, you need to consider their numerous pros.

· FRP Shipping Container

This kind is constructed by use of Fiber Reinforced plastic material.

They are ideal for both shipping and storage of your cargo.

 FPR Shipping Container

 FPR Shipping Container – Photo Courtesy: ADAPTAINER

Some of the benefits of using this container are: its’

  • High power or strength
  • High rigidity
  • Great interior volume
  • Adequate capability for heat insulation
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Ability for chemical resistance
  • Ability to enhance easy cleaning and repair

The limitations associated with it are that:

  • It is heavy
  • It is notlong lasting
  • With time the bolt strength is minimized

· Wooden Shipping Containers

These vessels are entirely made of wood or timber.

They are commonly used for transporting heavy and immensely compact products.

 Wooden shipping container

 Wooden shipping container

Did you know that they are usually preferred for use by government agencies, especially in the shipment and delivery of military and government equipment?

Now you know.

·  Fiberboard Shipping Container

The fiberboard is usually used to build a folding container.

It can be molded into corrugated fiberboard container whose primary role may be for protection.



This container offers you a superior combination of services i.e.

  • Shipping
  • Material utilization
  • Availability of a variety of designs and structures.

Due to the fiberboard construction:

  • Container has got lightweight
  • It can be recycled
  • The container is firm enough to ship a wide range of goods

Having known that, it is time to move onto the next category.

3. In Relation to Design and Structure of Shipping Container

The container designs and structures differ widely.

Therefore, they can be classified into:

  • Folding shipping containers
  • Fixed shipping containers
  • Thin shell shipping containers

· Folding Containers

Are you in need of storage space?

Do you have a small floor space?

Then folding containers are the perfect answer for your situation.

These containers can be folded down and easily moved to different locations with a lot of ease.

Additionally, they are quick to assemble for use whenever required.

Collapsible shipping container

 Collapsible shipping container

This property gives them an edge over other pre-assembled containers that consumes a lot of time and space ,especially during transportation.

Some other advantages of foldable shipping containers are:

  • They are compact and hence can be carried to any location.
  • Due to they’re easy to carry nature, they help with savings of transportation and delivery costs.
  • They are easy to assemble, simple to set up and fold.
  • Strong and durable.
  • They come in different sizes – 2m, 3m, and 4m but have a uniform width of 2m.
  • They are also flexible and can be inter-joined to provide a larger storage area for your goods.

· Fixed Shipping Containers

These vessels are as well available in different types such as:

  • Open top containers
  • Rack containers
  • Pallet containers

More details had been issued on this subject.

 Example of fixed shipping container

 Example of fixed shipping container

For more information about them, please refer to the earlier discussion in the guide.

· Thin Shell Shipping Container

For this kind, all its components are embedded into a steel body.

Its exclusive advantage is that it is very light in weight.

Besides, it easily adapts to stress and torsion generated by the goods.

But no worry since no permanent deformation of the container can occur.

4.  According to the Total Weight of the Container

The container weights vary, but the common ones include 30 tons, 20 tons, 10 tons, 5 tons, 2.5 tons etc.

 Shipping container specifications

 Shipping container specifications

The weight, however, depends according to the container manufacturer.

Again, they can be customized to meet an emerging trend or serve a specific purpose.

5.  In Relation to the Dimension and Size of a Shipping Container

The dry containers that are commonly used globally are diverse.

They are classified into 20 feet, 40 feet, 20-foot cabinet, 40-foot flat bottom container just to mention a few.

I have compiled the table belowto assist you to understand the classification of the containers in this category in relation to their dimensions.

ContainerOuter dimensionsInternal dimensionsGross weightInterior volume
20 foot20 ft ×8 ft × 8 ft 6 in   
40 feet40 ft × 8 ft × 8 ft 6 in   
20-foot cabinet 5.69 m × 2.13 m × 2.18 m17.5 tons24 – 26 m³
40-foot cabinet 11.8 m × 2.13 m × 2.18 m22 tons54 m³
40 feet high cabinet40 ft × 8 ft × 9 ft 6in11.8 m × 2.13 m × 2.72 m22 tons68 m³
45-foot high cabinet 13.58 m × 2.34 m × 2.71 m29 tons86 m³
20 foot open top cabinet 5.89 m × 2.32 m × 2.31 m20 tons31.5 m³
40 foot open top cabinet 12.01 m × 2.33 m × 2.15 m30.4 tons65 m³
20-foot flat bottom 5.85 m × 2.23 m × 2.15 m23 tons28 m³
40 foot flat bottomed 12.05 m × 2.12 m × 1.96 m36 tons50 m³
20-foot folding platform cargo box 5.95 m × 2.22 m × 2.23 m27.1 tons29 m³
40-foot folding platform cargo box 12.08 m × 2.13 m × 2.04 m29.2 tons52 m³

Please note that the initials used are:

  • Ft – Feet
  • In – inches
  • m – Meters
  • m³ – cubic meters

Furthermore, the outer dimensions comprise of:

  • The longest length
  • Width
  • The height of the exterior parts of the container.
  • This is also inclusive of the permanent attachment points of the vessel.

This outer dimension is essential in determining if a container can be fitted between a ship, truck, a chassis or any locomotive.

This is, therefore, a vital technical information that has to be grasped by transportation authorities and agencies.

Also,the internal dimensions referto the maximum

  • Length
  • Width
  • Height

The height is the interior distance between the floor of the box and the inner topmost roof.

The width is the distance between the two interior liners.

On the other hand, the length now makes the distance between the inner part of box door and inner end wall.

These parameters aids in the calculation of the internal volume of the container and the maximum size of goods that can be fitted into it.

The interior volume of the container is also referred to as the loading capacity.

Dimensions of a shipping container

Dimensions of a shipping container

It can be calculated from the size of the vessel.

However, containers of similar specifications have got the difference in capacities due the varied structural designs and material.

Have you been wondering how the quantities of containers available are calculated?

Twenty- feet equivalent units (TEU) also called 20-foot conversion units is used.

Containerization in most countries, employs the use of 20 feet and 40 feet long containers.

For the sake of uniformity in the estimation of the number of containers, a 20-foot container is used as a single unit of calculation.

Likewise, a 40-foot container provides two calculation units to enhance the harmonization of the determination of container operations.

That brings us to the end of the discussion based upon the type of shipping containers.

You may be asking yourself:

So what type of container is the most suitable?

I’ll tell you this, there is actually no definite answer to that question.


Because all these containers are suitable and just effective to meet allyour needs.

You may want to figure out the features of the kinds of goods you want to ship.

Carefully evaluate them by noting them in a paper.

Afterward, go ahead and use your analysis to pick the appropriate container that addresses all those impressions amicably.

And, there you are.

Should I trust now that you have comprehended the types of shipping containers?

Let me take you through the next segment of our discussion.

You already know that several stakeholders are involved in the containerization.

Right from manufacturing and transport.

You will surely come along many parties and agencies.

Some of them include:

  • Non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC)
  • Actual carriers
  • Container leasing companies
  • Container yards (CY)
  • Container freight stations (CFS)

All of them comprises of a docket referred to as shipping container transport relationship.

Why don’t we concentrate now on that?

Shipping Container Transport Relationship

Let me walk you through this critical concept when dealing with container shipping.

1. Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)

This is an organization, company or may be an individual that arranges shipments of goods.

It does this on behalf of individuals or corporations to acquire products from different manufacturers.

Similarly, NVOCC operates on behalf of a producer to get his commodity to the market or final preferred distribution point.

Shipping containers

 Shipping containers

NVOCC is famously known as a Freight forwarder or forwarding agent.

Interestingly, the forwarder does not transport goods, but does logistics.

This agent usually contracts other carriers to do the shipment.

In most cases, shipments undertaken by forwarder involve several modes of transport that are ships, air, road, and rails.

Additionally, there exists international NVOCC who handles international transportation.

International forwarders are experts in the entire process.

They are fully certified with the customs department of the involved countries.

For NVOCC to undertake a shipment they review some documents or information such as;

For NVOCC to undertake a shipment they review some documents or information such as;

  • Commercial invoice
  • Bill of lading
  • Shipper’s export/ import declaration etc.
  • Relevant documents as required by the carrier or affected nation.
  1. Actual Carrier

This may be an individual who is trusted by a carrier to perform the actual carriage of cargo.

He/she transports freight from the port of loading to the discharge area.

The actual carrier usually signs some sort of contract with the shipper or carrier to take up the mandate.

In this case, large quantities of containers are incorporated.

This is vital to:

  • Accelerate the turnover
  • Enhance transfer
  • Promote an efficient management of containers
  • Ensure effective interconnection between containers and modes of transport.

2. Container Leasing Company

This is a unique and latest entity in the specialization that solely does the task of leasing out containers to interested parties.

3. Container Yard (CY)

This is a location within a port or a terminal where most container handling operations and activities take place.

These operations may be for loading and unloading containers or transshipment, storage and handover.

The containers are usually stored at this locality prior to being loaded onto the ship for export or even offloaded from the ship in case of importation.

4. Container Freight Stations (CFS)

Are you in need of a place to consolidate and prepare your containers for shipping out?

A CFS is a place, usually a warehouse where consignments are collected and stored briefly as they await shipment to the next location.

CFS is an integral locality for containerization and the whole process of shipping goods.

Actually, CFS is vital for LCL shipping.

LCL is knownas Less than Container Load is a term referred to a requisition prepared for transportation, which is short of a full container capacity.

At the CFS the following activities take place.

  • Packing of goods
  • Tallying and assignment of goods to their respective consignees.
  • Sealing of products
  • Issuance of receipts as required by the carrier is also provided here.

After the completion of these operations, the cargo is loaded onto a container and sent to the container yard for shipping to the final destination.

Bearing that in mind, I will guide you into different ways of handling shipping containers.

Shipping Container Handover Mode

In the course of the transportation of containers, there are numerous ways of handling transmission of the goods.

The goods involved here are FCL and LCL.

So what is an FCL? This is simply a full container load.

These methods of relocation include:

  • The door to door transportation
  • The door to Container Yard
  • The door to Container Freight Station
  • Container Yard to Door
  • Container Yard to Container Yard
  • Container Yard to Container Freight station
  • Container Freight Station to Door
  • Container Freight Station to Container Yard
  • Container Freight Station to Container Freight Station

Continue reading to have a detailed information.

Let’s move on.

a) The door to Door transportation

The container loaded by the shipper, in this case, undergoes a complete line of shipping.

Here, the carrier is fully responsible for the entire transport.

The goods, in this case, are shipped from the consignor’s warehouse/ factory/ business to the consignee’s warehouse/ business/ factory.

b) The door to Container Yard

This mode refers to the shipment of the consignment from the consignor’s warehouse or business to the destination or port of container unloading yard of the container handling area.

c) The door to Container Freight Station

Here the destination is the consolidation place for the goods.

Therefore, the goods are shipped from the consignor’s warehouse or business to the unloading port of container freight station.

d) Container Yard to the Door

The cargo is transmitted from the container loading area or packing harbor to be delivered to the consignee’s warehouse or factory warehouse.

e)      Container Yard to Container Yard

This involves the movement of goods from the original container loading or unloading area to the final destination of unloading boxes container terminal yard.

f) Container Yard to Container Freight Station

The cargo here is transmitted from the origin area of the container loading terminal yard to the destination or unloading CFS.

g) Container Freight Station to Door

Here the carrier loads the goods into the container at the terminal of the departure and delivers them to the consignee’s warehouse or factory storehouse.

h) Container Freight Station to Container Yard

The cargo is packed into containers at the port of origin by the carrier to be unpacked by the consignee at the container port of the terminal yard.

i) Container Freight Station to Container Freight Station

The carrier is responsible for packing goods into the containers at the port of origin/ departure; and shall be unloaded, or unpacked at the destination, or port of unloading at the container freight station.

It is also known as pier to pier.

Usually, most people tend to think that shipping container import and export business is so complicated and bureaucratic.

If you are a victim, I am sure by the end of this next section you will have comprehended the entire process.

Shall we proceed?

Shipping Container Import and Export Business Process

Just in case you are about to start this business then I bet you need to familiarize yourself with this trend.

Let’s kick off with the export process.

Shipping Container Export Process

I have compiled the following sequential flowchart to summarize for you the whole process.


§  Booking

This is the initial step.

The export company does the arrangement of the booking procedures and documentation together with the shipping company earlier enough.

In some cases, an agent is involved.

Both the parties involved have to abide by the terms of the trade contract signed.

Though, the seller needs to avail the following three licenses at this stage:

  • Registration of business licenses
  • License number registered export enterprises
  • Permit, export declaration form

§  Issue a packing list

Once the booking has been confirmed, the shipping company issues a packing list.

Thereafter, it supplies copies of the document to the container yard and freight stations.

An empty container and freight transfer are then organized.

§  Send an empty box

At this point, empty containers needed for full container load (FCL) shipments are sent by the shipping company to be received by the consignor.

However, the empty containers required for less than container load (LCL) shipments are collected by the freight station.

§  LCL cargo packing

At this point, the container freight station picks up the goods in accordance with the booking form.

The receipt of goods is then issued at the station.

The goods are sorted and packed in the boxes at the station ready for shipping.

§  Full container packing

Ones the consignor receives the empty container, he is responsible for packing goods thereafter shipping it to the container yard without delays.

§  Goods handover

The receipt issued by the station forms the basis of the consignor’s delivery certificate.

Similarly, it is the shipping company’s receipt.

§  In exchange for a bill of lading

The consignor consequently exchanges the bill of lading with the shipping company based upon the station receipt.

Afterward the consignor clears up the bill with the bank.

§  Shipment

Eventually, the container is shipped in relation to the ship stowage schedule.

Shall we look at the import process?

Container Import Business Process

Have a look at the sequential flowchart below for a summary of the import process before we proceed.

§  Shipping Documents

These include submission of the relevant licenses and shipping documentsused by the export company for the production and preparation of the goods.

The buyer has to possess and issue the following three licenses at this stage:

  • Business Registration license
  • License number registered export enterprises
  • Licenses, Import declaration form

§  Distribute documents

The documents are then forwarded to the concerned agents, container freight stations,and the container yards.

§  Arrival notice

This notice entails the actual time and dates the ship is expected to reach the destination port.

The consignee needs to be issued with this notice when the ship has docked at the port.

The arrival notice is essential since it enables the consignee to prepare adequately for receiving the goods.

An insurance cover for the goods may be bought to cover for any emergency.

§  Bill of lading

The consignee would now exchange the bill of lading with the shipping company or agent if any according to the arrival notice.

§  Bill of lading

The shipping company or an agent would issue another bill of lading to the consignee.

However, this is done only after he or she ascertain the authenticity of the original bill.

§  Pick Up of Goods

The consignee should now follow the protocols and formalities of collecting the goods with the bill of lading.

He may conduct supervision of the unloading from the ship and sign the time of receiving the goods.

Remember the consignee should have an import permit to pick up the goods in the container yard.

§  FCL

Eventually, the consignee shall receive the delivery of the container from the container yard, according to the bill of lading.

FCL vs LCL Shipping

FCL vs. LCL Shipping

The handover of the equipment may be done in collaboration with the representative of the consignor.

§  LCL

Unlike the FCL customers, for the LCL, they receive their goods at the container freight station delivered together with the bills of lading.

LCL Shipping

 LCL Shipping

That is it.

Simple indeed.

Have you ever considered partnering with a company that would spare you the headache of shipping your goods?

Well, you are on the right track.

In the following segment, we talk about Bansar Freight services.

BanSar Forward Freight Services from China

For over 10 years in this logistics sector, BanSar has been your premier freight forwarder partner.

With this vast experience in the field, we have created a stable network of carriers and airlines.

This thus makes us competitive to handle your shipping needs from China to any country.

What’s more?

We have a group of professionals who sort out all the paperwork on your behalf just in time.

So you need not worry about the customs laws and documentation.

Do you prefer air, sea, or land shipments?

We are fully equipped to just offer you any means, you prefer and need.

Moreover, the good news is that our rates are unbeatable in the market.

That’s true.

Our freight forwarding services are affordable, dependable, and prompt for efficient delivery of your goods at your location.

Just for you, we provide an absolutely free warehouse for your storage of goods in China.

Note that this provision is for 20 to 30 days.

You don’t need to get worried.

On top of that, after delivery of your goods at the destination port, we don’t just turn our backs on you.

Instead of the regular 7 day grace period for usage of the containers, with Bansar, we issue you with a waiver of 21 days.

That’s right, you shall get to use the containers for a maximum of 28 days.

Great deal, uh!

Outstanding provision.

With all these obligations, BanSar is surely the numberone-stop shopping destination for all your shipping needs.


Finally, you are worth making the best choice for the perfect container that suits your needs.

Which one will it be?

I trust you now know detailed information about the shipping containers.

This is because you now know the types of shipping containers, shipping container transport relationship,and the different handover modes.

Besides, I bet next time you want to import or export goods, you have fully comprehended the whole process of container import and export business.

Keep in mind to partner with BanSar Freight forwarder for your next shipment and stay stress-free as we handle all your concerns.

No hustle and bustle.


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