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Shipping Charges

Learn about different charges and save money on international shipping

chipping charges of imports

Standard Import Charges

New importers can easily become overwhelmed with different charges associated with importing freight. It is vital to the financial success of importers that are reselling goods to account for additional charges and fees to calculate realistic profit expectations.

Importers that have continuous shipments will encounter additional fees from time to time that may be unexpected. These fees can be assessed for many reasons including a customs exam, demurrage (storage fees), chassis rental for container delivery and fuel surcharges.

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Import Charge Explanation

Customs Clearance - This is a fee paid to a customs broker for filing an entry for customs clearances.

Document Turnover Fee - Issued by steamship lines for ocean freight. This fee is incurred when a container arrives at the port before it is released from the carrier. Document turnover fees only apply to sea freight.

Terminal Fee - Usually issued by airlines when air freight arrives into the U.S. It is required to be paid before the airline releases the cargo for delivery. Terminal fees can also be assessed by steamship companies.

Port Security Fee - Assessed by Port Authorities to recover security related costs.

Duty - Taxes owed to the U.S. government on imported freight. Duty rates vary and are calculated using the Tariff Schedule.

Warehousing - Fees incur if freight needs to be stored before delivery. Additional warehousing fees can be assessed in the event of a customs inspection.

Customs Bond - Required for imported cargo valued at $2500 or more. A customs bond acts as an insurance policy to guarantee that imported freight will satisfy government regulations including duty and penalties owed.

Exam Fees - Various charges for the examination of imported freight.

Trucking Fees - Assessed when freight leaves the carrier for delivery to its final destination. Additional trucking fees can incur when a customs exam is required for delivery to the exam location.

Chassis Rental - A chassis rental is required by the trucking company for the transport of a container.

Demurrage -  Storage fees assessed when freight arrives at its destination and is not picked up in a timely manner. Freight that does not move quickly will incur daily demurrage fees.

Fuel Surcharge - Assessed by all transportation companies handling freight for the cost of fuel. These charges fluctuate depending on the price of fuel at the time of shipment.

Waiting Time - Assessed by trucking companies in the event that their driver has to wait over two hours for freight to be loaded or unloaded.

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Specialty Services


Cargo Insurance

Want to make sure that your imported freight is covered in the event of an accident while in transit to the US? Purchasing additional cargo insurance is an option that a customs broker can offer to protect importers from financial loss due to damaged freight.


Have an import shipment valued at $2,500 or more? A customs bond will be required. Both single entry and continuous bonds can be obtained at a discounted rate through one of our Chicago customs brokers.

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Customs Bonds


Get a customs clearance at any port in the U.S. before it even arrives. Our experienced customs brokers can file remotely at any port in the US.

Read more about Customs Clearance


Think you are getting overcharged by your customs broker? International shipping charges vary depending on the mode of transportation. Learn about the various fees that incur to keep importing costs down. Compare rates and stop getting overcharged.

Read more about Shipping Charges


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