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The Shipping Container’s Journey

Have you ever wondered what exactly happens to a shipping container after the forwarding company picks it up? Probably not. It’s quite an exciting journey. Continue reading to find out more about the journey of the shipping container.

The Journey

A forwarding company first picks up the shipping container. It is then loaded onto the container vessel. Afterward, it is delivered to the destination point. Next, the shipping container is unloaded and picked up by the receiver’s forwarding company and finally delivered to the consignee, or the person who is financially responsible for the shipment. 


Let’s assume that you’re a company in Japan selling items to your partner in America. First and foremost, you have two options: you can ship either by air or by vessel. If you’re shipping a lot of items, you’re going to need to utilize a shipping container. This process begins with clearance through customs and with your forwarding company picking up the container. The container will be loaded and sealed with a seal number so that the container will not be opened until it reaches its final destination. After everything is prepared, the port crane operator will load the shipping container onto the container vessel. Once the vessel is fully loaded, the actual journey can begin. 

Carrier companies typically have their own routes and hubs for transporting the containers on their vessels. If your container reaches one of the transshipment ports, it will be unloaded from the vessel and stored in the port’s waiting area. It will be stored there until the next vessel arrives to ship the container to the destination point. During this procedure, your shipping container is on rest. This means there’s a waiting or transferring (transshipment) time until the next vessel arrives.

Unfortunately, these extra steps cost time, and time is money. For a higher cost, however, the shipping container can be booked on a direct route. This means that there will be no transshipment times, which means you won’t lose any time. It also means that your shipment will reach its destination much faster. 

Once the vessel arrives at the destination port, the container crane port operator will unload your container from the vessel. It will be brought to the secured area by the stuffing forklift. This is where the customs clearance procedure will begin. If there’s a hold by customs, then the seal number will be unsealed for the first time. The container will be opened, and the products will be examined according to the documentation. If there isn’t an exam or hold by customs, your shipping container will be delivered to its final destination point (also known as the Consignee). This is where the sealed container will be unsealed, and the container will be opened for the first time. 

Shipping Container Tips

Be sure to pack your cargo properly and securely inside the shipping container. Sea conditions can be severe. Be sure to include insurance on your products. You’d much rather be safe than sorry.

Contact the Professionals

At Storage on Wheels, we can help you find the perfect shipping or storage container for your specific needs. Contact us for more information.

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