How Freightos Works

Freightos helps you instantly search, compare and book international freight quotes, drawing on a global network of great freight logistics providers.

You’ll be able to sort freight quotes from different providers by cost, transit time, mode (air/ocean) and more. Once you find the right quote and click book, the freight provider you selected will reach out to confirm pickup and finalize any remaining details. Freightos will also help facilitate payments to the forwarder.

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Throughout the process, our in-house freight experts will be there to help you find the right quote and answer any questions throughout the shipment.

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Who’s Moving Your Cargo:

The Freightos Logistic Providers

Your cargo is important to us. We vet every logistics provider offering service on Freightos, through in-person visits to their office, phone calls with their senior management, and keeping a careful eye on how they do business.

Don’t just take our word for it. After shipping on Freightos, you can review your logistics provider’s performance. All reviews are posted on our website for everyone to see, giving all Freightos users more insight into any provider’s performance.

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SEE THE FULL LIST OF FREIGHTOS VENDORS

Using the Marketplace

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Finding the Right Quote


Ready to ship? Just enter your load type, origin, destination and select any relevant options, like insurance or hazardous material. Don’t worry about whether you’re shipping by air or ocean yet – you’ll be able to filter search results later.

Once you search, you’ll see all-in transparent freight pricing from our verified forwarders. If your shipment has multiple components, like trucking and air, you’ll see a breakdown of the entire shipment.

Skip to the fastest or cheapest quote with the sort button on the top…or remove certain carriers or modes from the results with the filter options on the left.

Clicking anywhere on the quote tile will expand the view, providing you with a full breakdown of the price.

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Booking a Quote

Now that you have a great quote from an awesome forwarder (and the Freightos team there to help), it’s time to book your quote.

Click “Select” to see the full quote breakdown and then “Continue Booking”. Once you confirm that the shipment details are accurate, enter your contact information and click “Place Order”.

Pro Tip: Not ready to book at this point? You can always save the quote for later.

Can’t find the perfect quote?
If you don’t see a quote that works for you, we have a team of freight experts are on standby to get a custom quote from our forwarders.


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What Happens After I Book

Freightos and your forwarder will get your quote details. You’ll get a personal confirmation within 24 hours to arrange pickup, payment, and collect relevant documents, such as your commercial invoice and certificate of origin. At any point after you book, you can speak to a Freightos expert with questions.

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Payments


In order to protect you and the forwarder throughout the transaction, Freightos collects your payment on behalf of the forwarder. Once you book the quote, a Freightos representative will reach out to you to discuss payment details and options.

The price on the quote is binding until the expiration date. However, it assumes that the details you provided are accurate. If the weight or dimensions of the load are different than reported, or if the shipment isn’t ready on time, you could face extra charges.

Once you book, you still have one business day to cancel the order for no charge. The one exception to this is if the forwarder already started working on your order. Of course, this won’t happen until a Freightos representative has confirmed your order.

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Insurance and Customs

Many users ask about when to include insurance and/or customs in their quote, and roughly how much it would cost.

Here’s a quick breakdown of these additions, though note that they vary depending on your shipment details. Feel free to reach out with any specific questions.

Insurance

Insurance is based on the value of your goods, so once you tick the box opting in to insurance, you’ll be prompted to enter the value of your shipment; your quotes will then include that cost.

The standard calculation is between 3-5% of the value of your goods, starting at a minimum cost of about $50. Each freight forwarder will be working with a different insurance broker, so this will vary slightly depending on your choice of partner.

Insurance is only valid for certain goods – for example, it wouldn’t cover hazardous cargo. If you have specific questions about whether your shipment would be covered, feel free to speak with our Freight Team – they can be reached anytime through email (ship@freightos.com) or the chat icon on the site.

Customs Brokerage + Charges

We can include the cost of customs brokerage into your quote, which pays for a licensed customs agent to handle and submit your documentation. That usually costs around $125 (USD), and can be included by checking the box for customs brokerage.

In addition, for most shipments you may also be required to purchase a customs bond (if you don’t already have one). This can either be a single-entry bond (SEB) or a continuous bond. The better, more cost-effective option for you will depend on how many times you expect to ship in the next 12 months

The cost of an SEB is dependent on the value of your goods, typically 0.5% of their total worth, with a minimum charge of $50. For shipments arriving by ocean, a customer with a single-entry bond will also need to purchase an ISF (Import Security Filing) bond separately for a flat fee of approximately $50.

A continuous bond typically costs $500 and is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, encompassing any and all shipments into the US registered to the company holding the bond.  No further charges are required. Therefore,  if you are shipping more than five times a year, it may be cheaper long term to purchase a continuous bond, especially as it covers additional bond requirements.

Finally, the cost of customs taxes/duties themselves depends on what goods are being shipped, and are paid to the government via your customs broker only once the goods arrive to port. This duties calculator can give you an idea of what costs you can expect.

Port Charges

If you are shipping “from port” or “to port” rather than door-to-door, you will need to determine whether you are paying the fees or surcharges that apply for the port handling .

What port charges you are required to pay will depend on what point ownership of the goods is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

The following is a more in-depth breakdown of when and how you’d be required to add port charges to your quote.

Origin Port Charges (when origin is a port)

Origin port charges typically include port handling and also export customs.

If you are importing (buying) FOB for a full container load (FCL), your supplier (seller) will normally deliver the goods to the port and pay for charges at the origin port, and you may leave the “Are you an exporter?” box unchecked in nearly all cases. This is part of the standard agreed meaning of the “FOB” Incoterm (see below.)

However, if for some reason your supplier (seller) has NOT promised to cover all port charges – for example, if they are arranging for loading the container and delivery to the port but no further port fees – then check the box to obtain an accurate quote including origin port charges.

Conversely, if you are the exporter (seller), and you are arranging your own transportation to the origin port, then you will need to cover these origin port charges, so you should check the “Port Charges” box.

FOB stands for Free on Board, and indicates that the seller (exporter) bears the responsibility of the goods, and the cost of transportation, up until the point that they are loaded onto the vessel in the port of origin. The seller arranges for transport of the goods to the origin port, export clearance, and other details. The buyer (importer) would pay for the cost of the overseas transportation, the bill of lading fees, unloading the cargo at the arrival port, and transporting the cargo to its final destination.

Destination Port Charges (when destination is a port)

If you are exporting (selling) CFR or CIF, your buyer will normally pay for charges at the destination port when they arrange the port pickup, and you may leave the box for port charges unchecked. However the Incoterms CFR and CIF are sometimes understood differently and we recommend that you tell your customer explicitly that you are not paying for destination port fees.

However, if you are importing (buying) and arranging your own port pickup, check the box to obtain an accurate quote including destination port charges.
CFR (Cost and Freight) and CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) both indicate that the responsibility for the goods, and payment for transportation, shifts to the buyer once goods arrive in the destination port. The seller is responsible for origin port costs and freight costs for carriage to the named port. Once the goods are delivered to the destination port, the buyer is responsible for getting them to the final destination. The term CIF is used when the buyer requires the seller to obtain insurance for the goods while in transit to the named port of destination.

Please note that these destination port charges alone cannot be accurately assessed on Freightos as they are dependent on the origin freight forwarder’s destination agent.

 

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Shipping from US Port to US Door

We strongly advise against booking the port-door leg of your shipment separate from the rest of your order. It may seem tempting to have your Chinese factory arrange shipment to the USA port, and then for you to choose a different forwarder to handle the rest, but there are several reasons why this is not a great choice.

1) Unexpected charges: If your factory is arranging a “to USA port only” shipment (also known as CFR/CIF), the quote does NOT include destination charges, which can cost anywhere between $300-$700, depending on the port and the size of the shipment. This charge must be paid to the US representative of the freight company your factory is working with, and we cannot begin to process the next leg of your shipment until it is paid. This charge can not be added to any quote on Freightos, and will be solely your responsibility.

2) Customs filing: The US Customs and Border Protection Agency requires an ISF (Import Security Filing) to be filed before your goods leave China. This is the responsibility of your chosen customs broker, and failure to have the paperwork completed in time can result in heavy fines. However, it can be very difficult to coordinate that timing, as the ISF filing is handled by the second forwarder, while your factory is more concerned with sending the goods on their way. You therefore need to coordinate with both to ensure that the paperwork is filed correctly and promptly.

If you would still like Freightos to handle the USA leg of your shipment, note that we are unable to quote this online and will require you to submit a custom quote. Freightos quotes can include customs brokerage, but it is critical to book the shipment on Freightos 5 business days before the goods are scheduled to depart China so that the correct paperwork can be filed on time.

Because of all these intricacies and the subsequent potential for error, it’s much better to book an FOB quote with us that starts in China and ends at your desired destination, so that Freightos and our partners can take care of everything.

Charges in Freightos Quotes

With nearly 30 different charges associated with the average freight quote, freight can seem complicated. It doesn’t help that many charges are hidden until the last possible minute .

Since Freightos is all about making shipping simple, quotes on our Marketplace include all charges stemming from freight services.

Which means that handling fees, loading charges, documentation processing and any other costs related to the movement of your goods are covered in our quotes.

You can also opt-in to other relevant charges if needed. For example, if you don’t have a customs bond or broker, or want your shipment insured, you can select those options in your search and the respective charges will be added.

However, there are some costs that simply cannot be included upfront – though we’ll help you account for them as best we can.

Charges Not Included

Customs Duties

The first is the actual duties you pay on customs when your goods reach their destination. These are paid to the government via your forwarder or customs broker, and are calculated based on your goods’ value. However, that calculation is only determined upon the goods’ arrival at the destination, so exact costs cannot be included upfront.

You can still estimate customs costs with this helpful customs calculator

Unanticipated Circumstances

The second type of cost that can’t be included concerns anything that simply can’t be anticipated. For example, some shipments get randomly chosen for customs inspections at the port, which incurs a charge from the Customs Border and Protection Agency. This fee is generally valued per cubic meter or per container, though different ports can have different charges. There’s also the possibility that an ‘Act of God’ like a major storm, or a port strike, can delay shipments, causing extra fees that can’t be accounted for earlier.

Mistakes Made While Booking

Anything more than that? Well, that’s up to you. If information you provided for your quote is missing or inaccurate, if your factory keeps the truck waiting too long, or if you’re missing crucial paperwork, charges may be applied that are simply out of our control.

To avoid such charges, we recommend talking to a member of our Freight Team to ensure that all necessary details are accurate and accounted for. There’s always someone available and willing to help at ship@freightos.com or by chat.

To see a full list of possible charges and which are always included, click here.