Freight Calculator: Calculate Air and Sea Shipping Costs

How to calculate your freight costs and determine your freight rates, instantly.

Our free international freight quote calculator delivers accurate freight rate estimates. Just tell us about your shipment to get an estimate from the world’s largest freight rate database. Then join Freightos to compare, book, and manage your upcoming shipments using our freight rate calculator.

 

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What are freight rates and costs?

Freight rates and costs refer to the total amount paid to deliver a shipment from origin to destination. This amount is also called freight charges

International freight quotes typically consist of over 20 freight fees and surcharges on average, including carrier transportation costs and other costs of moving freight before and during transit, and after arrival at the destination port.

How are freight rates calculated?

Freight costs depend on the following factors:

  • Type of goods shipped, such as dry, liquid, or fragile cargo
  • Mode of transportation: ocean, rail, road, air, or any combination thereof
  • Cargo weight and dimensions
  • Distance between origin and delivery location

However even if you ship the same 20ft dry cargo container from Shanghai port to New York port by sea every time, your freight rates will still fluctuate. That’s because freight rates and costs are subject to various other factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Fuel costs
  • Government regulations
  • Customer demand patterns
  • Port congestion
  • Equipment availability, such as a chassis or other port equipment
  • Additional surcharges, such  as peak season surcharge
  • Other shipping costs, such as drayage
  • Value-added services

How to calculate air and sea freight costs

To estimate your ocean shipping rates, first determine whether you’ll be shipping FCL (full containler load) or LCL (less than a container load).  

FCL rates are based on container type, size, and the other factors listed above.

LCL costs and air freight shipping rates are calculated based on the shipment’s volumetric or actual weight, whichever is greater. The weight used to calculate shipping rates is called the chargeable weight.

Chargeable weight is used is because both sea and air vessels have limitations on both space and weight. They can’t charge the same amount for shipments of equal weight if they take up different amounts of space.

Usually, lighter loads are charged by dimensional weight, since they occupy more volume, while heavier loads are charged by actual weight.

Get instant freight rates with Freightos

You can skip the calculations and get instant freight quotations with the Freightos.com free international freight rate calculator.

Get accurate freight cost estimates by filling in these details:

  • Origin (port/factory/warehouse)
  • Destination (port/factory/warehouse)
  • Load details
    • For LCL: package type, number of units, dimensions, weight
    • For FCL: container details: number of units and container type

How to reduce freight shipping costs

It’s important to always consider which shipment mode is right for you. Sometimes consolidating your goods into FCL can save you money; sometimes splitting them into different types of shipments including LCL and air can be more cost-efficient. Speak to your forwarder to maximize your shipping times at the lowest cost.

Another tip is to ship before peak season whenever possible to reduce surcharges and congestion fees. Choose your route carefully to avoid congestion, which can allow you to avoid extra storage and last-mile charges.

Lastly, optimize available space and package your freight efficiently to reduce dim weight and partner with experienced logistics partners who can identify cost-saving factors and implement changes to reduce your freight costs.

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