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International Shipping Guide


ShippingQuest is an online pioneer for international ocean shipping. You can obtain online quotes for your packaged goods or get professional guidance from our trained staff that can cater a service specifically designed for your needs and budget. Please read below to better understand the process and requirements.


What you need to know:

-Online Quotes / Catered services
-Self Packing
-Professional Packing
-Labeling your items
-Pickup at business or home
-Ocean shipping
-Shared container
-Customs clearance
-THC / Port fees
-Delivery at destination


Online Quotes / Catered Services

ShippingQuest offers instant online quotes for port to port door to port and door to door services. The online quotes requires that your goods are all packed up, labeled and ready for pickup or drop off at our nearby terminal. Everything must be properly packed, nothing exposed or loosely packed. 
Catered services are available, our professional team will assess your needs such as professional movers to pack your goods or single item that might need crating. Our trained staff will quickly asses your needs and provide you a documented via email with a variety of options that you can choose from that best fits your needs and budget. You can get a free no obligation quote.  


Self Packing

As with any shipping service you have the right to pack your goods without using the services of professional packers or movers. Most items can be packed with corrugated boxes and makeshift boxes that can be purchased at any Uhaul stores which also offers a great return policy on unused boxed. If your need to wood crate your items please use treated stamped wood other wise your run the risk of having your goods fumigated and penalties will be assessed. You are required to prepare your inventory list describing what your shipping per box with general descriptions.


Professional Packing

ShippingQuest can offer professional packing and crating services for your items. Depending on what your shipping most packing services are done on premises. Wood crating service are generally done in our depots and then shipped out. All wood crating services meet international standards and are heat treated and stamped. Our professional packers will pack and wrap your goods then load to the truck or directly to the container and have your goods transported to the port for export. Movers will prepare your inventory and a copy will be provided to you which then be used to clear customs over seas. 


Labeling your items

All boxes, crates, and all items must have shipping labels. Shipping labels have the shippers name, address, telephone and email, and the consignee (receivers) name, address, telephone and email along with your terminal booking # which should be on top. Labels can be hand written or typed and prepared by you if your doing self pack or by movers if professional packing is done. When placing an online order with ShippingQuest; our system automatically prepares your labels with all the information required on the labels, just print and tape. It is recommended that 2 labels be placed on each box, one on the top and another on the side.


Pickup at business or home

For full container loads and less then container we offer pickup service from your business or home, whether your doing a self loading or professional movers. If your schedule for a self load service, please consider to schedule for a lift gate if you have many boxes or heavy items, drives for self service do not load heavy items without lift gates. For self loading please ensure the trucker can arrive on your block. Pickups are done in the afternoon for self service, professional movers can be scheduled for early pickup. Your goods will get collected and immediately transported to the export terminal for export.


Ocean Shipping

ShippingQuest international services are offered via ocean freight. We provide exclusive 20', 40', and 45' containers from all points in USA and globally to all points world wide. ShippingQuest offers international shipping via consolidation from over 50  drop off terminals nationwide to more then 160 countries and 3000 terminals world wide, (terminal to terminal). We can offer a pickup service and delivery at destination. All our ocean shipping services have scheduled sailings. Upon booking your online account will provide you with the vessel name, voyage #, etd and eta.



International shipping is mainly based on volume you occupy when shipped in a less then container load mode (LCL). If your goods are shipped in an exclusive container then you can fill up the container to its capacity. With LCL shipping your final volume will be determined upon arrival to the export terminal. Your goods will be measured by an third party and a documented volume receipt will be issued. Your final invoice will be based on your final volume.



International shipping does have weight limits, although high, for exclusive containers the weight limits are 20,000 lbs for 20' container and 40,000 lbs for 40' container.  For LCL (Less then container loads) shipping, the weight limit is 800 lbs per cubic meter. Weight does matter if a pickup service is involved, domestic carriers tariff is based on weight.



All goods must fit inside the shipping containers. If your goods are longer then 10' then additional fees will apply for the access length. These requirements are for pickup service, ocean and delivery if required. When shipping boxed goods, they will most likely get palletized, banded and shrink wrapped. The standard dimensions are 48" x 44" x 80".  20' container can hold up to 10 standard pallets and a 40' container can hold up to 20 standard pallets.




20'  container   


Inside Length:
Inside Width:
Inside Height:
Door Opening:
Cubic Capacity:
7'6"W x 7'4"H
1,172 ft.


40' container   


Inside Length:
Inside Width:
Inside Height:
Door Opening:
Cubic Capacity:
7'8"W x 7'6"H
2,387 ft.


40' container high cube  


Inside Length:
Inside Width:
Inside Height:
Door Opening:
Cubic Capacity:
7'8"W x 8'6"H
2,686 ft.


45' container


Inside Length:
Inside Width:
Inside Height:
Door Opening:
Cubic Capacity:
7'8"W x 8'6"H
3,030 ft.


Shared Containers

Sharing a container or consolidation service is a standard practice for international shipping. Upon receipt of your goods at our terminals; the items will be documented, palletized, labeled with the terminal booking # and all freight are separated by card board partitioned when loaded into the container. ShippingQuest co-loads with dozens of industry leaders consolidators. All our consolidation services have scheduled sailings so ETA will be available to you upon booking.


The required documents for international shipping are:

-Ocean bill of lading ( we provide )
-Inventory list ( You provide if self service, we provide of full service )
-Passport or Valid ID ( for the consignee on the ocean bill of lading ) 
-Customs documents that required to be completed per destination country

If your shipping a motor vehicle then the original title will be required without any liens unless you can produce an original release letter from the lien holder. After US Customs clears the title the broker will over night the title to you.

Customs Clearance

Upon arrival to any destination country, customs clearance will be required. You will be required to provide the ocean bill of lading (Original or Express release copy), inventory list, and valid ID. We offer customs clearance with all our door to door services. International shipping with services limited to the port / terminals do not include customs clearance service as part of the overall service and you will be required to clear customs, pay port fees and collect your goods in the allotted  time.

THC / Port Fees

THC or Terminal Handling Charges also known as Port fees are assessed to every container entering any port. 
The receiving agent collects the container from the port and transports the goods to his bonded warehouse. The goods are off loaded for all the consignees and stored in the bonded warehouse where every consignee is responsible to clear customs and collect the goods. The receiving agent will prorate the THC and his fees for all the consignee's for every container. THC fees vary from terminal to terminal and from country to country. Some terminals offer 5 days free storage and some offer 30 days storage.


If the container has only one consignee then the entire THC is at the sole responsibility of the consignee along with collecting the container from the port after clearing customs. Ports normally give a grace period of 5 days to clear customs. Port fees vary from port to port and country to country. At times, customs can pull containers off the line and request to have the container inspected or x-rayed, the delay can be anywhere from 1 day to 30 days. All fees associated with special exams, x-rays and inspections are passes along to the consignee as they are not part of the normal procedures. 


Terminal handling charges are assessed in many countries when exporting. The fees can be loading fees, transport fees, doc fees and security fees, along with many miscellaneous fees. When shipping anywhere try to find out all the fees involved so they do not surprise you when exporting or importing.

Delivery at destination

Depending on the service you opted, we offer 3 types of service, port to port, door to port and door to door. Only with door to door service is customs clearance, standard port fees, and door delivery are included in the quote and it also must specify on the quote that these services and fees are included. Door deliver can be do your home or business, delivery up to the second floor without elevator. Services limited to the port requires the consignee to clear customs, pay port fees and collect the goods from the terminal.



ShippingQuest is a pioneer for online freight shipping connecting you to hundreds of carriers you know and trust at discount prices for domestic and international shipping. Get connected to the most powerful and trusted name in the shipping industry and start saving today!


Get Shipping Quotes (less then container loads)
Get Shipping Quotes (Full container loads)
Contact us
Call us toll free: 855-QUEST-US (783-7887)



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