Experts at Santa Fe Relocation weigh in on the positives and negatives of shipping with a shared container
2 October 2019| Last updated on 19 January 2020
Moving soon? Considering your relocation options when it comes to shipping? You may not have considered shared containers...
Shipping your belongings from one country to another can be timely and a little costly, but there is one option you may not have come across yet - and that's shared containers.
If you are only shipping part of a shipment that is not enough to fill an entire container, you may want to consider sending them via a shared container a.k.a. groupage.
This would involve grouping your goods with others that are shipping to the same destination to make up a full container.
This method of shipping has various advantages and disadvantages which will be listed below to help you decide...
Pros of Groupage Shipping
The first major advantage is the price, you will pay much less than you would normally if you were sending the goods via LCL (less than container load). The main reason for the price savings is the shared freight charges and you would only be paying for your exact volume rather than LCL.
Typically for a shared container, the moving company will store your items in their storage free of charge. So, if you are not in a rush for the items and are looking to save some money on storage charges then a shared container maybe the best option for you.
However, do note that this is not a solution for long term storage as the moving company will have the right to dispatch on the first available shipment.
Cons of Groupage Shipping
As you will be sharing the container with other consignees you will have to wait until the container is full. This means that there is no guaranteed transit time as it will all be dependent on the container being full. So, if you are in a rush for your items or you need the items available at a certain timeframe, this may not be the option for you.
- Customs Issues
In some countries, a shared container can cause issues at customs and this may lead to further inspections or delays in comparison to having your own container.
- Chance of Mix-Ups
There is a risk that your shipment may get mixed-up with the other shipments in the container. Depending on the size of the shipment and moving company your items and their items would be together free in the container without any partition.
- Pricing Varies Due to Location
In some locations, you may not actually be saving that much of your hard earn cash if you opt for a shared containersince there are some charges related to consolidation which may occur.
Also, the freight charges which you would be sharing with others may not be the biggest charge so you would not be saving that much.
If you’re considering a move via a shared container or your own container, why not get in touch with our international relocation experts who have our over 120 years’ experience and find out how we can help with your move?
Authored by Gemma Barakat
Team Lead - Consumer Sales
Santa Fe Relocation