A Complete Guide to International Shipping Costs

E-commerce is an industry that grows as technology grows. With that, the global trading market grows as well.

90% of the goods we have today come from international shipping. Whether you are a business owner or a consumer, getting your item is vital. However, you might wonder about the costs that come along with it.

How much do you know about international shipping costs? If you want to know more, read our complete guide to learn about the international shipping process.

Freight Charges

Freight charges are fees paid to cover the expense of transporting your goods. Rates depend on the distance and the mode of transportation.

There may be extra charges such as maritime freight charges and consolidation fees. Maritime freight charges depend on the international trade flow. Also, the chosen route can change the price depending on the carrier.

Goods that are under low-volume shipments have consolidation fees. Low-volume shipments share containers from other shipping companies. To avoid paying for consolidation, you can also invest in Conex boxes.

Carrier Charges

Carriers add extra charges to your shipping costs to compensate for other expenses. These are surcharges, which includes:

  • Bunker Adjustment Factor
  • Emergency Bunker Surcharge
  • Currency Adjustment Factor
  • Peak Season Surcharge

Aside from these fees, some charges can apply to special circumstances. These charges may include container management and cleaning fees.

Zone-Related Charges

Some routes charge extra fees when you pass through them. Also, some origin and destination ports have charges.

Delivery Delays

Some warehouses offer limited free time to use their containers and equipment. Delays in shipment are not unusual. The cause of delays is congestion in terminals, ports, and custom check-ups.


Taxes can affect international shipping costs depending on the goods. The customs office decides the amount according to the country’s HS codes.

Customs Fees

Customs fees such as clearance fees can add to your shipping costs. The customs office will charge you this to cover necessary procedures. The fees cover verifying the documents and determining if the goods can enter or leave the country.

Extra charges may apply if the customs office decides to examine your goods. It may include inspection, transportation, and equipment charges. Plus, there is a fine if you don’t have proper documentation of your goods.

Other Fees

You can pay for other fees such as port and inland fees. Inland charges may include:

  • Port-to-door charges
  • Pre-pull
  • Redelivery
  • Electronic Logging Device overnight fee
  • Weighing fee
  • Documentation Fees
  • Cargo Insurance

In general, carriers include these factors in estimating your shipment cost. Charges may depend on your chosen carrier, so it’s best to know your possible options.

Guide to International Shipping Costs

To lessen your international shipping costs, learn to ship the cheapest way possible. Find out rates from different carriers and different locations. Also, plan on what countries you will be shipping out to.

Remember to have proper documentation of your goods. State your goods’ value and item category.

Make sure that your chosen carrier offers a cost-effective rate. It should also be appealing to your consumers.

You can offer a variety of delivery options depending on the situation. Note these international shipping tips and follow them. If you find this article helpful, check out our other articles that cover business, health, and more!