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    1. Ginni's Avatar
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      #1

      How to calculate LCL or shared container load shipments?

      Until recently, I have been pretty much exclusively moving product around inside the US, and FedEx has been good to me. Im seriously considering expanding to import, and was wondering how to figure out shipping costs. The amount Im looking at is definitely going to be less than a container load, at least for now. I was wondering how I would calculate my shipping fees for a shared container load?
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      If your shipment won’t completely and firmly fill an eight-foot, ten-foot, twenty-foot, or forty-foot shipping container, then you’ll want to look into sharing the container in question. Technically, you want to get your cargo’s volume in cubic meters. Here’s how you do that -

      1. Measure your cargo’s (as it will be in the shipping container) length, width, and height in cubic inches. Multiply these values together to get your cargo’s volume.
      2. Divide your determined volume by 1,728 (number of inches in a cubic foot) to get your volume in cubic feet.
      3. Since all shipments leaving the US must be measured in metric, multiply this by 0.0283168466 to get your volume in cubic meters. Charges will be determined in cubic meters.

      Obviously, the volume you’re shipping will be used to determine your share of the total shipment charge. Final bills typically include charges for -

      ● Freight
      ● Bill of Lading
      ● Fuel/Bunker Surcharge
      ● Handling fees
      ● GRI/General Rate Increase charges
      ● On forwarding charges
      ● Shipper’s export declaration
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      #3
      Sharing cargo space might be a good way to cut down on shipping fees, most less-than-cargo-loads carry a minimum fee. Do your homework and work the math - if your load comes to less in general fees than the carrier’s minimum load fee, you would likely want to look at shipping by air.

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      #4
      Great information, thanks. Anyone has personal experience with sharing cargo space? I’m looking at some pretty irregular shipments simply because of the crazy shape of my goods, so LCLs are likely going to be the norm for me. I’d like to have some idea what to expect!

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      #5
      Ideally, you will want to know the merchants you’ll be sharing the space with. On a couple of occasions, I’ve had my entire load shipped back to source because one fractions of the load was counterfeit product. Customs locked the whole crate and shipped it back to origin! Needless to say, I lost some money on that shipment.

      As far as companies willing to ship LCL are concerned, most will brace for such situations. I’ve specifically worked through Small Volume and Easy-Imex. Both are quality shippers with comparatively low rates. Small Volume specifically deals with shipments on the lower volume end, and so offers very low minimal orders.

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