frequently asked questions
Shipping and Logistics company with offices in London and Nigeria

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to ship by ocean but I am not sure if I will need a full container. Can you let me know what is the capacity/size for FCL vs. LCL and associated cost differences?
Determining what and how much you want to ship can sometimes be a difficult process. Cost is the primary determinant for a majority of shippers. LCL shipments are meant for smaller size cargo. Your LCL shipment will share container space with other LCL shipments and therefore, the cost to you is less than what you would pay for a full container. Let’s say you want to ship only a few boxes, maybe a large LCD TV and perhaps just your couches. It would make economical sense to ship as LCL in that case.

On the other hand, if you know that you want to ship all or most of the furniture in your home and clothes, kitchen items, books, toys, tapes, etc then you want to think about FCL.

If you are not sure, do let us know and we will give you our LCL rates and FCL rates. The LCL rates are usually based on charges for minimum volume and then charges per cubic feet for every cubic foot in excess of the minimum volume. FCL rates are based on container size and either a flat rate for pack and load or hourly charges based on actual item spent. We provide a break-up in terms of packing and loading charges (including materials), door-to-door transportation and destination charges.

We also recommend that you go over the subsequent questions pertaining to container sizes and volume estimation to arrive at a decision.

Remember that whether you ship via FCL or LCL, estimating the volume you want to ship is the key to avoiding ‘cube shock’. ‘Cube shock’ is referred to as surprises/shock received on seeing the final gross volume. This could mean charges due to additional volume in addition to what was planned/budgeted in case of LCL or it could mean inability to fit your items in the container during loading and having to throw/give them away. Either way it is not a situation you want to be in and can be avoided with proper planning and having realistic expectations.

How is volume calculated for ocean shipments? What is the unit of measure?
When shipping by ocean, the most common units of measure are Cubic Feet (Cu Ft or CFT) and Cubic Meter (CBM). Calculating volume is relatively simple. 1 cubic foot is 1728 cubic inches. Volume in CFT is calculated using the formula L x W x H / 1728.

How is chargeable weight calculated for air shipments?
The chargeable weight of cargo intended for air shipment is the actual gross weight (gw) or the volume weight (vw), whichever is greater. Of course, the gw is the figure that is indicated outright on a cargo weighing scale as a carton or a box of cargo is weighed thereon. The vw is calculated based on a cargo’s size, measurement or dimensions, and with the use of the following formula:

Using the English System: L x W x H in inches (in.) / 165 = vw (in lbs.)
Using the Metric System: L x W x H in centimeters (cm.) / 6,000 = vw (in kgs.)
Remember that 166 and 6,000 are the constant factors when calculating the vw in lbs. and kgs., respectively.

I would like to do an international shipment. What are my options?
You have two options. You may either ship by air or by ocean.

What are the key differences in shipping by air vs. sea?
You have two options. You may either ship by air or by ocean. The key differences between the two options are transit time and how freight charges are calculated.

Transit Time
Ocean shipments can take between 30 – 45 days for FCL shipments and 45 – 60 days door-to-door depending on your origin/destination, ocean transit times, amount of inland transportation required, consolidation, de-consolidation etc. Air shipments on the other hand typically take under a week door-2-door after accounting for flight schedules, road transportation and customs clearance.

Freight Charges
Ocean freight charges are primarily based on origin/destination ports and the container size if shipping a Full Container Load (FCL) and based on cargo volume if shipping Less than a Container Load (LCL). Items sent by airfreight are charged a specific price per pound (lb.) or per kilogram (kg.) depending on which airport these are destined to. It is therefore important that you are cognizant of chargeable weight (explained below) of the cargo if you intend to ship by air.

For how long will the container be parked outside my home if my shipping company is loading the container? What does ‘live load’ mean?
You can request a ‘live load’ wherein the container can be scheduled to arrive at your address approximately the time when packing will be complete thus minimizing the container waiting time.

20’ foot containers usually take anywhere between 2 – 4 hours to load depending on the volume being shipped.

40’ foot containers usually take anywhere between 4 – 8 hours to load depending on the volume being shipped.

Note: Containers are hauled to your address by licensed trucking companies that have special permits to enter the port/terminal. The trucking companies offer 2 hours free loading (waiting) time for live loads. A £70 per hour waiting charge usually applies beyond 2 hours.

I may want to have the container loaded on my own. Is it possible to have the container parked outside my home overnight? Do I need to worry about parking or obtain parking permits?
Yes it is possible to have the container dropped-off overnight or even for a few days at your residence. This is called ‘drop and pick’ and usually costs extra but can sometimes be a convenient option if you live near a major port or if loading is expected to take several hours or more than a day. The charges for additional loading time in a ‘live load’ can be offset by having the container dropped-off and picked up on a later date thus eliminating any time pressure. The container arrives in a flat bed truck mounted on a chassis. The trucker detaches the chassis with the container from the truck, drives the truck away and returns to pick up the loaded container a day or two later.

You should check with your City if a parking permit is required to have the container parked overnight. Most cities do require a parking permit. After the container is loaded, we will need for you to send the completed and signed household goods descriptive inventory, serial # in the bolt seal and the container

I am shipping via LCL. Why can’t my LCL shipment be loaded on a ‘ or 0’ container right at my residence? What happens to my shipment after it is loaded on the shipping company’s truck?
LCL shipments are by definition Less than Container Load cargo and is a term used to refer to smaller size shipments that are not large enough to use a Full Container Load (FCL). Your LCL shipment is trucked to one of our purpose built warehouses or to a warehouse or our agent’s warehouse (if we don’t have a warehouse close to your city) where it is palletized / stacked in lift vans and loaded along with other LCL shipments on to a container using forklifts

I am shipping via LCL. Why can’t my LCL shipment be loaded on a ‘ or 0’ container right at my residence? What happens to my shipment after it is loaded on the shipping company’s truck?
There are as many answers as there are destinations, but generally surface shipments from end of the globe to the other can arrive in 4-6 weeks. Air shipments can be cleared and delivered to your door in ten days or less. There are various levels of service, allowing for faster or slower transit times. Even though “Mother Nature” often has a dramatic affect on schedules, we are flexible and work very closely with our customers to provide the schedules that fit their requirements.

When do I pay you?
All international shipments of household goods/personal effects must be prepaid (prior to shipping) by cash, check, money order or by credit card. Cost estimates can be made prior to shipping and the flexibility applies for corporate who issue purchase orders, but the actual cost can not be determined until the weights and dimensions are confirmed. Upon confirmation of the weights and dimensions, you will be notified of the final price and asked to submit your payment before the shipment is released for shipping overseas or delivery.

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UK Address

11 Westmoreland Road, London.
SE17 2AX
Tel: 020 7358 6705

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday/Sunday: Closed

Lagos Address

5 Shopeju St, off Oluwanii St,
Ladipo bus stop, along Ikeja Oshodi Express way
Phone: 0809 444 4136, 0809 444 4137

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday: 09am – 6pm
Saturday/Sunday: Closed

Ibadan Address

No 79, Henry-Tee Bus Stop,
M.K.O Abiola Way,
Opposite UPS Office,
Ring Road Ibadan
Phone: 0809 444 4135, 0818 685 0178

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday: 09am – 6pm
Saturday/Sunday: Closed

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