Optimising Freight Spend 101 — Shipping Container Space Utilisation

Globalization is what shapes today’s world. The demand for far-flung goods continue to expand while the shipping industry struggles to maintain the required standards; to deliver more goods in a short period of time. Irrespective of whether it’s the producer, trader or consumer, each party could be in need of transferring the goods they produce, trade or use to locations thousands of kilometers away. A customer in need of freight services would expect to send the largest quantity possible at the lowest possible price.

Who’s responsible for making the decision?

It’s not the sole responsibility of the freight services provider. As a customer, it’s important to know the facts before the service is requested. What is the best and safest way for your goods to travel? How compact could you make your packages? How much weight would you recommend for a package? Does the temperature and humidity affect the quality of your products? These are some of the considerations freight customers may have to think about.

If you have the answers…

It’s time to choose the containers and optimize the shipment. The common options that are usually available are the 20 feet, 40 feet and 40 feet Hi-Cube containers. A 20' one could be compared to a standard garage capable of holding one car. A 40' container could possibly store amounts of goods that a standard two-car garage could and 40' HC could accomodate cargo with longer heights or allow for improved stuffing for fragile cargo.

Illustration of the 3 common container types

It’s important to know their interior dimensions so that you could minimize the empty space. The cubic capacity of the container could be used to decide the volume of cargo you could fit in. Specifications include the tare weight (the weight of the empty container) and maximum gross weight (the maximum weight of goods added to the weight of the container). These specifications vary for the 20’, 40’ and 40’ Hi-Cube dry freight containers.

Dimensions & Specifications of The Common Container Types

Check the size, check the weight and check the price!

The dimensions may look confusing to the layperson. Selecting your container may seem like a complicated task. However, the process is quite straightforward. A variety of software are available enabling you to simulate your packing options.

By properly adjusting your shipment to accommodate as much goods as possible, both time and money could be saved.

Full Container Load (FCL) and Less than Container Load (LCL)

Do you require a full container to load the items that you are planning to transport? Or would you rather prefer to share with another customer so that costs could be optimized? FCL and LCL are two terms used under import and export trade in international business.

If you order your shipments to be transported under FCL, irrespective of whether your container is full or half full, it would be referred to as an FCL shipment. If you do not intend to use a complete container and decide to choose LCL cargo, a consolidator would arrange your goods to be consolidated with other shipments and transported.

What do we offer?

Things keep changing… Today’s best methods may not be the same tomorrow. New inventions, new findings and new possibilities in the shipping industry keep altering traditional practices. At Freightkart, customers are always welcome to enquire and understand their best options. We always take effort to be up to date. If you have a concern, whether it’s 20’ or 40’ containers you should go for or whether it’s FCL or LCL you should go with, feel free to write to us at hello@freightkart.com for an obligation free discussion. Know all your options before you decide.

Article by: Manjari Jayathilake, Content developer at FreightKart