Full Container Load Price Calculation (FCL)

The full container load price is composed of several elements depending on whether we are talking about sending a shipping container or an international LCL.


FREIGHT: International transport price, i.e. the price of transporting a container from the port of origin to the port of destination (e.g. from Miami to Shanghai, China). On many occasions the international freight cost is “all-in”, i.e. including all fuel surcharges and exchange rate fluctuations discussed below.

BAF or BUC (Bunker Adjustment Factor) and fuel surcharge: This is a monthly fee that usually varies by region depending on the destination of the transported goods (depending on whether the shipment is going to the Middle East, Far East, West Africa, etc.). In some cases even a particular country has a specific charge. As discussed, some shipping companies include BAF within the shipping freight. The BAF is calculated based on the number of TEUs (Twenty Equivalent Units), not per container (One 40-foot container is equivalent to two TEUs).

CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor) or adjustment for exchange rate: These rates do not change daily so that shippers can apply one rate to some destinations so that any eventuality is covered. It is applied in all geographical area.


Piracy Risk: for example, with shipments that pass around the Horn of Africa (Somalia), where there is a risk of piracy.
Surcharge across a canal: in the case that the route crosses a canal (e.g. Panama Canal or the Suez Canal) a surcharge is often applied.
Congestion Surcharge: If shipping to a port where there is very intense traffic and congestion a charge is usually added at a cost per TEU. One case where this fee is usually charged would be on shipments to the ports of Venezuela.
EIS Surcharge (Equipment Imbalance Surcharge): If the shipping is to an unusual destination, in that it is difficult for the shipping container to be loaded on return, then there is usually a premium charged for returning the empty container. This is a common charge in African ports since although there are exports, import traffic is very limited.


THC (Terminal Handling Charge) or expense of loading/unloading the container onto the ship: each time a container is loaded or unloaded there is a cost that is passed on by shipping companies to the exporter/importer via the forwarder.
T3 or port charges: applicable fees for entry and exit of the goods from port.
Expenses related to documentation or B/L: all costs associated with the issue of the bill of lading or shipping note.

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