How Much Does It Cost to Ship Freight Internationally?

When it comes to world trade and supplying people with goods internationally, we have to be aware of the importance of ocean freight, since almost all the goods are being carried to consumers around the world, this way.

It’s a huge logistics chain, including tons of people for everything to go as smooth as possible.

How does international freight work?

It may appear complicated, but this is something already perfected in terms of logistics, so it works immaculately. After picking up the goods at the address, they are delivered to the collection warehouse where the goods are consolidated with other shipments, exported to customs, and loaded into a container. Delivery of shipments and the procedure of export customs clearance can be done by you, or you can choose for it to be done by the delivery company. If the second option is what you choose, then additional costs may be charged according to the type of goods.

After customs clearance and loading, the container is loaded on the ship and brought to the unloading port where it is unloaded. After unloading the container from the ship, all the goods are unloaded from the warehouse, usually in the port or somewhere near the port, from where the goods are further transported to the final destination. Upon the arrival of the goods in the country of destination, the shipments are placed under customs supervision in the customs warehouses, from where, after customs clearance and payment of import duties, they are delivered to the final address.

As for how much all of this would cost, it depends on a couple of factors. According to these factors include:

  • Volume and weight of the goods you are sending
  • Purchase terms and conditions
  • Port of loading in the country of dispatch
  • Final destination

This type of transport is by far the most popular when it comes to international shipping. Mostly because, even in these times where all prices are on the rise, compared to air transport, it still comes much more affordable and practical when in need of a large amount of any goods. For example, in cases of moving to another continent, it comes handy for transporting house appliances and furniture. But, best of all is the service companies offer. If you are in need of help in planning, they are there to assist you, since the process may require quite a lot of documentation.

International freight costs also depend on two more factors we failed to mention previously. Depending on whether you are sending a full container or not, you can expect to spend between two or three thousand USD. The costs reduce significantly, of course, when the container is shared with other shipments.

International freight cost also depends on the time of the year…


The price of transporting goods from China, for example, varies throughout the year, especially when it comes to container transport. When you ask for the price of sending a container from a shipping company, you always get it with a validity period of every month, and sometimes they correct it every 1/2 month. The difference in the price of shipping containers, depending on demand and from month to month, can vary by $ 1,000 or more.

It is important to mention that hiring a transport company is a smart move, here’s why…

If you decide to transport the goods yourself with the service of sellers, pay special attention to the shipping items, as it may happen that the moment the goods arrive at one of the seaports, you get a bill to pay local port costs at the port of disembarkation which suppliers often consciously and intentionally do not state in their offers. Then there is no going back. These costs are not small and can ruin your idea of cheap shopping.

You are obliged to pay these costs in order to deliver the goods to your destination. In general, never accept offers from suppliers that include groupage container transport, it is better to leave it to someone who deals with it. Hence, hiring a company is the smartest move.

What is the current situation in international freight shipping?

The vast network of ports, container ships and transport companies transporting goods around the world is very tangled, and delivery costs have started to rise due to a number of reasons. This is something both retailers and consumers found worrying.

It’s been more or less two years since the pandemic shook the world, and disruptions in global supply chains are getting worse. They have caused shortages of consumer products and made it more expensive for companies to deliver goods where people need them.

Unresolved delays and the emergence of new problems, including a variant of the Delta virus, mean customers this year are likely to face higher prices and less choice.

How covid-19 influenced, or rather made things even more complicated was recently shown on the third busiest port in the world. It had to be partially shut down because one of the workers was covid-19 positive.


The partial closure of this container port is disrupting China’s second port, widening supply chains already suffering from recent problems at Yantian Port, ongoing container shortages, the closure of Vietnam’s coronavirus factories, and the long-term consequences of the Suez Canal blockade.

Delays in ports will have an impact on congested warehouses and increased capacity of roads and railways. Logistics networks have been operating at maximum capacity for months, worldwide. The shortage of truck drivers especially in the United States and the United Kingdom has only exacerbated supply disruptions.

Having all of this in mind, there’s only one conclusion to make, and it’s that the prices will continue to rise. The pandemic took its toll when it comes on the global economy, and there’s not much hope the prices will ever be the same again. Some predictions do say that 2024 may be the year prices stabilize, but there’s no guarantee. The time will tell.