Hart Logistics is a one-stop shipping service in China. We provide safe and secured FCL shipments from China to any port in the world. We have rich experience in sea freight service.

Book an FCL shipment from the leading freight forwarder in China. Shipment FCL is the cheapest way of transporting products from China to anywhere in the world. We deliver not only the most affordable FCL freight but also deliver your product with proper care. Our Sea freight FCL service provides your shipment in real quick time.

You can pick a 40-ft or 20-ft container based on your need. Our container has all the facilities to deliver sophisticated products. We also have a skilled workforce to load your goods on the container. Hart Logistics also loads your shipment on the vessel carefully.

We also provide customs clearance service with our FCL shipping. We have our connections in many large ports all over the world. With our connections and dedicated team, we ensure smooth and quick delivery of your shipment from China.

Our Other Services Besides FCL Shipment


Air Freight

We have special contracts with many airlines in the world to provide the best price for air freight service. We assure fast and secured air freight service at an affordable price.


Rail Freight

Rail freight is a very popular shipment process from China for countries with common borders with China. We provide rale freight service from China to Europe and other countries.


LCL Shipping

Those who don’t need a full container can use our LCL shipping service. We maintain robust protocols to save your products from contamination or damage.


Door to Door Shipping

Our door to door shipping method is very popular for our excellence. We pick up your products from the supplier in China and deliver them to your location. We manage all the customs procedures for you.


Express Services

Our express delivery service can deliver your product in 2/3 working days. We have special contracts with FedEx, UPS, TNT, DHL, and other prominent courier services in the world.


Customs Clearance

We have our dedicated team to help you with all the customs clearance processes. You can rely on us fully to process all the documentation and pay the minimum duty and taxes for your shipment.



Warehousing is a very important step for international shipping. For a larger shipment, you must need a warehouse. We offer warehouses in China and many other countries in the world.


Pickup & Delivery

We provide an excellent pickup and delivery service all over the world. With Hart Logistics, you don’t have to think about trucking your shipment to your warehouse.



We have many clients that ship products from China for e-commerce business. We collect your product from the manufacturer in China and deliver it to an Amazon Warehouse or any other large e-commerce business.

Why Choose Hart for Your FCL Shipment?


We have a deep understanding of the FCL shipping market. We maintain our focus on systemization and standardization to reduce the risk factor of our sea freight FCL shipping process. Our focus helps us to deliver the uncompromised FCL shipping service.

Cheap Shipping Rate

We know price is a very crucial factor for international trading. That’s why we always thrive to provide the best price for our customers. We have agreements with the major sea freight services so that we can provide the cheapest rate for our FCL freight service.


We have build standardized logistics solutions for your FCL shipping service. Our standardized process of handling the cargo process ensures that we will respond to your sharply respond to your query and get a smooth delivery.


The international freight forwarding industry is all about systematization. We have developed a unique system to maintain all the operations super fast. Our dedicated in-house development team is working continuously to update the system and make the whole process straightforward.

Full Self-control

We never lose control of your FCL shipment. We have a dedicated person in every node to monitor every activity from the software. If anything happens on the road the node notifies us and we respond to resolve that issue as fast as possible.

Custom Clearance Service

Customs clearance process needs special skill and we have a special team to do that work for you. We have a dedicated customs clearance team to help you finish the process quickly. We also have our connections with the local customs brokers to make the process even faster.

Wide Coverage

We have our warehouse and local offices in more than 20 Chinese cities. We also have our regional offices in many countries. To provide a good FCL shipping service, we also keep a team in every major ports all over the world.

Highly Trained Team

FCL shipment and other shipping methods demand an efficient workforce. No agency can deliver the best support without quality manpower. We maintain a strong procedure in our recruitment policy so that we can ensure the best shipping service.


International trading is an ever-changing medium of business. Here everyday we have to face unique problems and rules. Our employees are trained for that. They tackle any kind of problem with the highest level of professionalism.


Qualifications and Honor for FCL Shipping


Business Form for International Freight Forwarders

According to the Foreign Trade Laws and Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Administration of International Cargo Transport Agency, all international freight forwarders in China must have this certificate for FCL shipment.


NVOCC Business Operation Qualification Registration Certificate

Ministry of Transportation of China provides the NVOCC certificate. A freight forwarder company has to meet certain requirements to receive this certificate. NVOCC certificate holder company has some additional privileges such as issuing own bill of lading, and many companies in China don’t have it.


ISO9001 2015 Quality Management System Certificate

Having an ISO certificate is vital to ensure optimum experience and customer satisfaction or avoid mistakes or misunderstandings. Many countries demand this certificate from a freight forwarder offering FCL shipment.


Certificate of Membership for WCA

WCA is the largest organization of freight forwarders. Hart Logistics is a proud member of this organization. While we provide you the best service this organization backs us by providing economical assurance.


Certificate of Membership for CIFA

CIFA is a national organization of Chinese freight forwarders. The organization was created under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce of China. The ultimate goal of this organization is to create a level playing field for all agencies in China.


Member Unit for SIFFA

SIFFA is a social organization with a legal personality approved by Shenzhen Civil Affairs Bureau. The mission of SIFFA is to guide, protect and coordinate the members to exchange information, coordinate relations, enhance cooperation to promote the international freight forwarding industry.

FCL Shipment | The Ultimate FAQ Guide

FCL (Full Container Load) is the cheapest way of shipping your product from China.

But before choosing the FCL shipping, you should understand everything related to this shipping method.

We, as a leading FCL shipping service provider in China, hear many questions on FCL shipment.

Therefore, we have prepared—a complete FAQ guide on this topic.

Table of Content

1. What Is FCL Shipping?

2. What Are The Benefits Of FCL Shipping?

3. How Does FCL Shipping Work?

4. What Is The Difference Between FCL And LCL Shipments?

5. When is FCL better than LCL?

6. What Are The Drawbacks Of FCL Shipping?

7. How Much Does FCL Shipping Cost From China?

8. Which Factors Influence The FCL Rates?

9. What Are The Surcharges And Additional Costs For The FCL Shipment?

10. What Is Demurrage And Detention Charge In FCL Shipping?

11. How Can I Get The Best Price For FCL Shipping?

12. What Does 1×20 FCL Mean?

13. How much weight can a 40-container load in FCL shipping?

14. What paperwork will I need for FCL shipping?

15. How Long Does FCL Shipping Take?

16. Which types of containers are used in FCL shipping?

1. What Is FCL Shipping?

FCL means Full Container Load.

This is a shipping method of transporting your goods using sea freight. In this process of shipping, you can hire the entire container.

That does not mean you have to fill up the entire container.

FCL shipping
FCL shipping

You will use the entire container for your shipment without sharing it with any other exporter.

This is the safest way of transporting your goods by sea freight.

But remember, the sea freight FCL shipping can be a little bit expensive as you have to pay for the entire container.

If you are exporting a large number of goods, FCL shipment is ideal, but you should go for LCL shipment for fewer products.

In LCL shipment, you will have to share the container with other exporters.

2. What Are The Benefits Of FCL Shipping?

For a large number of goods, FCL shipping is very much beneficial. Here are the benefits you can get from an FCL freight.

FCL is the cheapest shipping method
FCL is the cheapest shipping method
  • This is the cheapest shipping method for a large number of products.
  • After air freight, this is the fastest shipping method.
  • FCL shipment costs less than an LCL shipment if the volume of your product is 13CBM (cubic meter) or higher.
  • LCL shipment charges you per cubic meter, but FCL rates usually are flat rates. The port charge also includes the shipping cost. In LCL shipment, you have to pay more Port charges than the FCL shipment.
  • Lesser transit time than the LCL shipment as your cargo will be loaded and unloaded once. There is some exception, though. If your shipment needs multiple cargoes throughout, the shipment processor fails to arrive on the desired cargo.
  • FCL shipment is safer than LCL shipment as the container remains sealed in transit. It reduces the risk of damaging your products.
  • Other products can not contaminate your container. For example, if you are bringing cotton clothes and there is another shipment of chemicals or spices, your clothes can smell on arrival, and all of your products will be useless.
  • If you are shipping a large number of fragile items such as chemicals, ceramics, a sea freight, FCL shipment is your best bet. For expansive goods, we also recommend using an FCL shipping method.
  • A standard FCL shipment offers refrigerated containers. The reefers control the humidity, temperature, and ventilation. In LCL shipment, you won’t get the refers.

3. How Does FCL Shipping Work?

Here are the steps of the Sea freight FCL shipping method:

Booking an FCL freight

For your shipment FCL, you have to book an FCL shipment.

At first, you have to contact your freight forwarder, and they should be able to arrange an FCL freight for you.

Book a FCL freight first
Book a FCL freight first

However, you have to submit all the necessary documents needed for the international FCL shipping transport system.

You also should provide other shipment specifications to your freight forwarder so that they can arrange the best possible cargo for your products.

The specification you should provide includes dimensions,  the cargo items, the number of packages, and the weight of your shipment.

Your freight forwarder will book the shipment for you after submitting all the necessary information about your shipment.

Expert Tips: Book your shipment before the peak season. August to October is the peak season for shipping. You should avoid that time zone to avoid extra shipping costs.

Prepare Your Goods

After hiring the cargo now, it’s time to prepare the goods for shipping.

 The expected time to prepare your goods largely depends on the type of your products.

If your goods require special packaging, you should ask for expert help and start packaging early. Remember, inadequate packaging can destroy the whole shipment.

For example, if you are shipping lithium batteries with an FCL freight, you must follow some strict regulations.

Prepare your goods for FCL shipping
Prepare your goods for FCL shipping

You have to prepare in advance before the shipment of FCL.

Another critical point is the type of container. You must pick a container that suits your product.

Reefer Container

You should hire a reefer (A container with a built-in refrigerator) if your goods required refrigeration.


After finishing the packaging and loading your container, your FCL will be delayed out towards the port.

This is a unique service to carry your cargo to the port of export.


After reaching the port, your FCL will transit to your vessel.

They can either use a direct route transshipment port to ship your FCL.

Direct route means your cargo will reach the destination without any break.

And transshipment port method means your shipment will take a break in one or multiple ports on its journey.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but we will not discuss that in detail in this short scope.

But make sure you know which shipping process they will use to ship your FCL.

Pickup Or Delivery

Depending on the incoterms, your goods will be unloaded from the sea freight and delivered to the final destination.

You will take care of the rest from there.

You will have to sign an acknowledgment as proof that you have received the shipment safe and sound.

4. What Is The Difference Between FCL And LCL Shipments?

LCL means Less than a container. In LCL shipment, you will share a container with other exporters in the shipment FCL method.

You will share space with goods of other exporters that do not belong to you.

FCL shipment, on the other hand, will give you the opportunity to use the whole container.

 In FCL shipping, you will not share a container with any other exporter. Moreover, FCL shipment provides extra security and takes less transit time as your container will be loaded once.

LCL shipment is better for a lower amount of products. If you are shipping many products or products that are vulnerable to contamination, we suggest you taking the FCL shipping.


Finally, there is no good or bad in LCL and FCL shipping methods.

It depends on the type and amount of product you are shipping.

Know more on LCL and FCL shipping

5. When is FCL better than LCL?

Sea freight FCL has many advantages over the LCL shipping method. Such as:

●    When Goods Fill A Container

You should use the FCL shipping method for a large number of products that can fill up the whole container.

On the other hand, LCL shipping is better for receiving a small number of goods.

●    Goods Are Large

FCL shipping applies to flat rates.

You will be charged for a full container if you choose the FCL shipment method.

There are two types of containers for FCL shipment: 20 feet and 40 feet containers.

If your shipment is more than 15 cubic meters, it is always better to use shipment FCL.

FCL rates are charged per container or twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), so you’ll probably want to ship cargo using an FCL method if your shipment is over 15 cubic meters.

Even for a lesser amount of goods, you can use FCL shipment.

It depends on your commercial circumstances.

If you have various small shipments, you can use a shipment FCL to ship all your shipment using a full container.

Thus you can save lots of money. For 7 to 20 pallets of shipment, FCL is cost-effective than LCL.

●    Regular Shipments

If you are in an import/export business or regular import/export products, the FCL shipping method will save you lots of money.

But you have to fill the container to take advantage of the FCL shipment.

For last-minute shipping or shipping a small number of products, LCL shipping will be your best bet.

6. What Are The Drawbacks Of FCL Shipping?

Like advantages, the FCL shipment method also has its disadvantages. Here are some disadvantages of the FCL shipping method:

  • Large quantities of goods demand a large amount of money for inventory. Let us clear this with an example. In Mumbai, you will have to pay 60,000 to 70,000 rupees a month for a 1,000 sq ft warehouse for the FCL cargo. Wheres for LCL shipment, you can rent a 300 sq ft space for the entire month with just 20,000 to 30,000 rupees. (Both the rent is approximate rent, so don’t take it for the actual rent. A warehouse provider can tell you the real rate at the time you will hire. )
  • Packaging, loading, and unloading FCL shipment is a huge task to perform, and you will need an additional workforce to accomplish that.
  • For small shipments, FCL freight is an expansive choice. If you are shipping fragile or ‘vulnerable to contamination’ goods from China, you should pick the FCL shipping method as beneficial in the long run.
  • LCL shipping rates are less volatile than FCL shipping.
  • In Peaks season, sea freight FCL shipping is tough to avail. You should avoid exporting from August to October.
  • Because of tight deadlines, some exporters find it challenging to use the FCL shipping method. Importers have to consider factors like detention and demurrage while using the FCL shipping. Those factors can add a significant amount of extra charge to your shipping cost.
  • For last-minute shipping, you can not use an FCL shipment method. In that case, LCL is a more convenient way of shipping.

7. How Much Does FCL Shipping Cost From China? 

FCL shipping charges a flat rate for the container you are going to hire.

You can rent between 20-square feet to 40-square feet containers.

The rate of the container is called, ‘commodity box rate.’ Let’s see what an FCL quote typically includes:

FCL shipping costs depends on various factors
FCL shipping costs depends on various factors
  • Pickup charges to transport your products from your warehouse
  • Equipment use, storage, and other terminal handling charges at the port of origin.
  • Sea freight FCL cost for the journey of your shipment.
  • Pickup and transport cost at the destination port
  • Customs clearance charge.
  • Loading, unloading, and trucking service charge for your shipment to deliver it to your warehouse.

8. Which Factors Influence The FCL Rates?

There are some vital factors that will influence the FCL shipment rates.

Peak Season

Every country has a peak time when the rate of imports increases.

For example, in India, February-March is the peak time as at this time annual agriculture harvests.

Like India, every country has its peak time when much import-export shipping increases significantly.

Moreover, August to November is the international peak time.

At this time, international shipping increases because of thanksgiving and Christmas.


Like any other business, the shipping industry also depends on a dependent supply model.

The sea freight FCL rates increase and decrease according to the availability of containers and spaces.

 Avoid the international and local peak times of your country.

Prepare yourself earlier and ship before pick time. This may increase the warehouse costing, but that will reduce the shipping cost significantly.

Holiday delays

Holidays also play a vital role in your sea freight FCL shipping, such as the Chinese New Year.

During the Chinese New Year, mostly all major ports of China stay closed.

There are some other holidays that can impact the time and cost of your FCL shipping.

Here is the list of Chinese holidays that can affect your FCL shipping.

  • Chinese New Year- Middle of January and February 6-days (Sometimes the day increases)
  • January 1st – 1-day
  • Labor Day (First or second week of May)– 3-days
  • Qingming Festival (Happens in early April)– 1-day
  • Mid-Autumn Festival (In the first week of October)– 1-day
  • Golden Week ( Happens in early October) – 7-days
  • Dragon Boat Festival (Happens end of June)– 3-days
  • China’s National Day (At the end of October October)– 3-days.
Chinese new year is big holiday
Chinese new year is big holiday

If you are shipping anywhere near these days, you should add extra time and extra money to get a container.

GRI (General Rate Increase)

The shipping industry is demand-supply-based, and most carriers change the price of the container periodically.

This process of changing the container rate in response to demand-supply is called ‘General Rate Increase’ or GRI.

Typically the carriers announce the rate at the beginning or middle of the month.

In a stable market, the GRI happens once a year. But don’t be surprised if multiple GRI occurs in a year.

Carriers periodically take up container prices in response to demand and supply.

This is called GRI. It can be announced at the beginning of the month or mid-month.

A GRI usually happens once a year in a stable market, but there have been instances of multiple GRIs in a year or none at all.

9. What Are The Surcharges And Additional Costs For The FCL Shipment?

You have to watch for surcharges and additional costs so that the FCL shipping rate doesn’t inflate.

Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)

BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor): This is a fee imposed by the carriers to nullify the impact of fuel price fluctuation.

This fee is called the Bunker Adjustment Factor, and it can change quarterly, monthly, and differs regionally.

Carriers impose the charge based on the TEU, which means Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit.

For a 40-ft container, the charge becomes double.

Here is the equation to get the bunker price:

Fuel Price x Trade Route** = BAF

**The trade route depends on some variables such as fuel efficiency, transit time, trade imbalance, etc.

Calculate FCL surcharge carefully
Calculate FCL surcharge carefully

CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor)

This surcharge rate is imposed by the carriers so that they can compensate for the exchange fluctuation rate.

It is also charged based on TEUs.

Port Congestion Rate

Port congestion surcharge is applied at ports with high traffic

Canal Surcharge

This surcharge is applied if your sea freight FCL crosses a canal such as Panama Canal.

War Risk Surcharge

This a risk surcharge applied in exceptional cases.

Carriers will apply this charge if your ship travels through a potentially dangerous area, including war threat, risk of pirates, or any other insecurity.

Equipment Imbalance Surcharge (EIS)

This is another surcharge that is applied in some exceptional cases.

There are some ports that have good export traffic but less import traffic. In those ports, carriers have the risk of returning empty.

You will be charged for an EIS surcharge in those exceptional cases.

Port Charges For The Entry And Exit Of Goods

Different ports have different charges for entry and exit.

Contact your freight forwarder, and they will be able to provide you more specific information.

Documentation Expenses

Carriers will charge for issuing a bill of lading and other documentation you will need.

Customs Duties And Taxes

Most probably, this is the most expensive surcharge among all.

You have to pay all the customs duties, VAT, and Taxes before you can clear your FCL shipment.

Sometimes the process is challenging for many shippers.

It is better to hire a customs broker or tell your freight forwarder to care for the customs.

10. What Is Demurrage And Detention Charge In FCL Shipping?


After your FCL freight arrives at the port, you will get a fixed time to collect your shipment free of charge.

For example, if you are exporting to the USA from China, you will have four days to collect your shipment from the port.

If you don’t collect your shipment by this time, then the port will charge you additional days for accommodating your shipment.

The demurrage price varies from country to country.

Contact your freight forwarder for the demurrage charge of your country.

You should understand Damarage and detention
You should understand Damarage and detention


This is similar to the demurrage charge. Once you have picked up your goods from the container, there is a specific time period to return the container to the ship.

If you fail to return the container on time detention charge will kick in.

There is one more charge we want to tell you in this scope.

Some trucking agencies don’t want their truck to wait for a long time.

If you fail to load your goods on the truck in due time, the trucking company can charge you for delays.

Detail of demurrage and detention

11. How Can I Get The Best Price For FCL Shipping?

Book In Advance

Carriers fill up really quickly, and finding the best price can be challenging.

So, book two or three weeks prior to your pickup date. Advance booking confirms that you are not overpaying for your FCL shipment.

This is more true if you are shipping in peak time.

Specify The Port For FOB Shipping

Some FOB shippers only provide the information of the origin country and don’t provide the port name.

But sea freight FCL cost also depends on the port. FCL shipping rate for different ports from the same country changes.

Determine The Exact Weight

This is a crucial point for getting the best price for a Sea freight FCL shipment.

Accurate weight is not only vital to sea vessels but also important for road/rail transportation.

The weight limit for sea and weight limit for road/rail is not the same.

Some countries have a weight restriction for road and rail transport.

This way, you can determine your approximate cost for the shipment more accurately.

Warehouse Information

You should obtain the following information from your warehouse to reduce the cost of your FCL shipment:

Whether warehouse dock height or not.

The container will unload your goods in the warehouse; if the height is not the same, that will require extra labor, which means an additional charge.

Is the warehouse capable of delivering the product quickly?

Extra time will need extra money.

Don’t ship in peak season.

12. What Does 1×20 FCL Mean?

When you use a 20-ft container for FCL shipment, that is called a 1X20 FCL.

13. How much weight can a 40-container load in FCL shipping?

The maximum weight of a 40-ft container of sea freight is 3,750kg, and after full load, the weight is 26,300 kg, which is equal to 29 tons.

14. What paperwork will I need for FCL shipping?

You will have to submit all the necessary documents for your FCL shipment. The documents include the followings:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Packing Declaration
  • Certificate of Origin
  • General Declarations – Asbestos and Fumigation

15. How Long Does FCL Shipping Take?

Typically shipping by FCL takes 3 to 6 weeks.

Sometimes a shipment can be rolled if your shipment can not load onto the vessel on time.

In that case, the FCL shipment can take a longer time to reach.

16. Which types of containers are used in FCL shipping?

Two types of containers are used in FCL shipping. 20-ft container and 40-ft container.


FCL or LCL? It depends on your requirements.

Though the FCL shipping costs less, that can be expensive if you don’t have a large number of products to ship from China.

So, before choosing the method, you should know the amount and the type of your product.

In Hart Logistics, we provide both LCL and FCL shipments at the lowest possible rate.

We also help our customers by providing the best suggestions.

Do you have anything to ship from China?

Ask for a quote and get the best price.

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