Your complete guide to sea freight shipping when planning your overseas move

Introduction to International Shipping

When planning an overseas move, it's important to consider various transportation methods. While air freight is ideal for time-sensitive items, sea freight provides a cost-effective solution for larger shipments such as furniture and vehicles. 

Crown Relocations offers a range of transportation options to customize your move based on your budget, timeline, and unique requirements.

Why Choose Sea Freight Shipping?

Sea freight is significantly cheaper than air freight, according to The World Bank, making it a more economical choice for delivering your boxes and belongings. While sea freight may be slower, it is suitable for less time-sensitive furniture shipments and offers a better carbon footprint with less environmental impact compared to air freight.

How Does Sea Freight Work?

Sea freight involves packing your belongings into containers for delivery by ship. Depending on the quantity of your items, you can choose between Less than Container Load (LCL) or Full Container Load (FCL) options.

Understanding LCL and FCL in Sea Freight

LCL (Less than Container Load) and FCL (Full Container Load) are terms used in sea freight to describe the quantity of cargo being shipped. 

LCL refers to shipments that do not fill a full container and are consolidated with other small shipments. On the other hand, FCL allows you to have exclusive use of a container (20 feet or 40 feet) and fill it entirely with your own belongings. LCL is cost-effective for small shipments, while FCL is more suitable for larger quantities of goods.

Container Options for Sea Freight Shipping

Choosing the right container size can be daunting. Crown Relocations provides a handy reference guide to explain the available container types, sizes, dimensions, and capacities.

20 ft standard ocean shipping container 

A 20 ft container, used by freight forwarders and shipping companies, is the smallest international container with external measurements of 5.898m long x 2.44m wide and 2.394m high. Its cubic capacity is approximately 30 cubic meters.  

Container capacity 
A 20ft container can hold the typical contents of a 2-bedroom apartment or townhouse. In the image below, you can see approximately what that equates to in terms of personal items. 

40 ft standard freight shipping container 

The 40ft container has external measurements of 12m long x 2.44m wide and 2.394m high. Its cubic capacity is approximately 60 cubic meters.  

Container capacity 
A 40ft container can hold the contents of a typical 4-bedroom apartment. 

40 ft High Cube shipping container 

The 40ft High Cube container has external measurements of 12m long x 2.44m wide and 2.99m high (hence its name, High Cube!) Its cubic capacity is approximately 70 cubic meters. 

Container capacity 
A 40ft High Cube container can hold the typical contents of a 5-bedroom apartment or a 3-bedroom apartment plus a vehicle.  

How much does sea freight cost?

The cost of sea freight, also known as sea shipping rates, is determined by the size and weight of the shipment, the distance between origin and destination ports, and any required special handling charges. Cargo in sea freight is measured in cubic meters (CBM) or cubic feet (CUFT).

What items are prohibited in shipping containers

To ensure a successful and smooth sea shipping process, it is extremely important to be well-informed on items that are banned in shipping containers.

Flammable and hazardous items are on the top of the list. Explosives, flammable gases etc. are easy to identify. Some flammable and toxic items you are to avoid are polish and nail polish remover, household cleaners and solvents, batteries, some types of chemicals, oils, and fertilizers. 

You cannot ship perishable goods such as fresh produce, frozen and refrigerated food and plants on sea freight due to the extended transit time and spoilage potential. Living creatures cannot survive days in a container without fresh air and light. 

Other items that are prohibited include firearms, ammunition, as well as illegal goods such as drugs and counterfeit products.

It is important to adhere to these restrictions ensuring a safe and secure shipment, and comply with the international shipping regulations at the same time. You are advised to obtain information from your relocations company, carefully review and follow the guidelines of sea freight shipment to avoid any potential issues or delays. 

Getting started with your international move

Contact Crown Relocations for a free moving quote. Our dedicated move managers can guide you through the process and suggest the most suitable option for your needs. With professional packing teams and a global network of offices, we ensure a hassle-free overseas move from door to door.
Please call our expert consultants on +852 2636 8399 or WhatsApp  +852 6971 2376 to learn more about the advantages of Crown Shared Container Shipping Solutions.
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