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Big part of our job is providing you with know-how necassary to ship your goods.

Below you will find some of the Q&A we get most often from our Clients.






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  • 1. What are the dimensions of the containers?
  • What are LCL and FCL shipments?
  • What does THC mean?
  • Why the freight costs are not correspondent with physical distances between two destinations?
  • What is VGM?
  • What is “cut off“ in container shipping?
  • What is intermodal and multimodal transport and what’s the difference?
1. What are the dimensions of the containers?

In container transport there are many different types of containers, but the most puplar ones are standard (DV) and taller high cube containers (HC) with lenghts of 20 or 40 feet. The most important dimensions for loaders will be the inner dimensions as found below:

20′ DV Container:

inner lenght:  5900 mm

inner width: 2352 mm

inne height: 2395 mm

width of the door: 2340 mm

height of the door: 2292 mm

Capacity: 33 CBM

40’DV Container:

inner lenght:  12032 mm

inner width: 2352 mm

inner height: 2395 mm

width of the door: 2340 mm

height of the door: 2292 mm

capacity: 67 CBM

40’HC Container:

inner lenght:  12032 mm

inner width: 2340 mm

inner height: 2700 mm

width of the door: 2280 mm

height of the door: 2597 mm

capacity: 76,3 CBM

Above dimensions are as sated by the norm for the producers, but in reality there might be slight differences, so please plan accordinly leaving at least a little space in case the dimensions differ.

Another very popular types of container are refrigerated containers: 20’RF and 40’HCRF. their lenght is a little smaller than regular ones due to space taken by cooling equipment:

40’HCRF Container:

inner lenght:  11600 mm

inner width: 2290 mm

inner heght: 2700 mm

the width of the door: 2280 mm

the height of the door: 2557 mm

capacity: 67,7 CBM

What are LCL and FCL shipments?

FCL – Full Conatiner Load – we are talking about such shipment when one Shipper books full container capacity.

LCL – Less (than) Container Load – means that there are multiple Shippers and many different cargos are collected together and loaded into one container. This is good option when you only have a small amount of cargo to ship.

What does THC mean?

THC – Terminal Handling Charge is a surcharge paid to either Shipping Line or Terminal itself that covers the usual costs of handlings and operations on the terminal that the conatiner is going through. It is usually included in the rate that we give you and if not you will be informed about the amount that will be re-invoiced to you.

Why the freight costs are not correspondent with physical distances between two destinations?

This is the one question we get a lot, because often times it is much cheaper to ship conatiner to China than to ship it, say, to Canry Islands. Well, the costs of freights are very dynamic and depend on many things, from the market dynamics, seasonal surcharges, the need to gather certain container types someplace far away up to inner politics of the Shipping Lines.

What is VGM?

VGM – Verfied Gross Mass is a total mass of the container. It cosists of the weight of cargo, weight of the packages and other materials used to secure the cargo and the weight of the container itself. It is compulsory for all shipments around the world since it was introduced by International Marine Organisation under the SOLAS convention. The Shipper is obliged to give the weight information to the forwarder. Our role is to pass it down to the Shipping Line timely.

To obtain VGM weight the cargo has to be weighted. It can be done in two ways. 1. – the cargo, materials, packages etc are all weighted seperately and tare weight of the container is added. 2. – the car with container is weighted full and empty and the weight are than substracted.  To stay in accordance with polish law, a certified weighting device has to be used.

Not sending the VGM to the Shipping Line on time will usually end by the conatiner not being taken on board. Please keep that in mind and pay attention to the VGM cut off that we will inform you about during the shipment.

What is “cut off“ in container shipping?

“Cut off” defines the moment by which we, as forwarders, are obliged by the Shipping Line to fulfill tasks necessary to ship the containers. Each Shipping Line sets their own cut off times and we always plan accordingly and let you know when do we nned certain informatons regarding the shipment.

We have different cut offs:

  • Cargo cut off – day and time by which the conatiner has to reach the terminal and be ready for shipment.
  • Documentation cut off – date and time by which we have to provide Shipping Line with Bill of Lading instructions.
  • VGM cut off – date and time by which we have to declare gross mass of each conatiner.
  • Customs cut off – date and time by which the conatiner has to be customs cleared and ready to be loaded. It is sometimes the same as Cargo cut-off

Being late for cut-off might end in the conatienr not being loaded on board, that is why it is important for us that we get all the informations and documents on time.

What is intermodal and multimodal transport and what’s the difference?

Both multi- and inter-modal transport uses few different means of transportation, i.e: car, train and vessel. This lets us lower the costs  and lower the environmental impact as well!

The difference is in the transportation documents. When we use multimodal transport we only get one transportation document, i.e bill of Lading, while with intermodal transport there will be seperate documents for each mode of transportation.


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