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Demystifying Pre-Carriage in International Shipping with IDP Cargo Bali

In the intricate world of global trade, the journey of your goods begins long before they reach their final destination. This initial leg of the voyage, known as “Pre-Carriage,” plays a pivotal role in shaping your shipping experience. Let’s delve into the Pre-Carriage process, specifically in the context of a full container (FCL) shipment using the Incoterm EX Works (EXW), with a focus on understanding the complexities that come with it.

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Pre-Carriage: Setting the Stage

In the realm of international logistics, the term “Pre-Carriage” refers to the series of events that kickstart the movement of goods from the shipper’s location to the receiver’s door. If you, as an importer, have chosen the Incoterm EXW, the responsibility for all charges and processes falls squarely on your shoulders. This includes the loading of goods at the shipper’s dock, in-transit transportation, and unloading at your own door.


The Charge Conundrum

Navigating the intricacies of Pre-Carriage involves understanding and managing a multitude of charges, which can vary significantly depending on your origin and destination points. Different countries have their own regulations, fees, and customs formalities, making it crucial to have a clear picture of what lies ahead. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of some of the charges you are likely to encounter on your Pre-Carriage journey.


Pickup Charge/Drayage/Inland Transport

The first link in the chain, the pickup charge, or drayage, represents the fees incurred for trucking services to move your goods to the terminal at the ocean port. Drayage typically pertains to short inland moves by truck, often within a distance of fewer than 100 miles. However, the definition of drayage is not set in stone, and for longer distances, other modes of transport may come into play, such as rail or non-drayage carriers.


Fuel Surcharge

The cost of diesel fluctuates, and this variability is reflected in the fuel surcharge. Trucking companies handling inland transport assess this surcharge as a percentage of the linehaul rate after discounts. Therefore, it’s essential to keep an eye on the price of diesel per gallon, as it can impact this charge.


Importer Security Filing (ISF)

In the context of importing goods into the United States, the ISF is a crucial requirement that initiates the customs entry process. It must be completed 24 hours before the goods are loaded onto the vessel, serving as a vital step in the regulatory journey.


Export Clearance

Each country you import from has its own set of requirements for exporting goods. This step, often accompanied by a modest fee, ensures that your goods meet the necessary criteria for international shipment.


Packing/Crating/Container Stuffing

Not all shippers have the means to crate, block, and brace goods within a container, an essential step to ensure stability during the turbulent ocean voyage. For those who lack the resources or prefer to outsource this task, specialized warehouses and companies step in to secure the cargo properly.


Terminal Handling Charge (THC)

The operational expenses of the terminal that services your container are covered by the Terminal Handling Charge. This fee encompasses labor costs, such as crane operators and stevedores, as well as the equipment and terminal maintenance.



Wharfage is associated with the use of man-made structures, known as wharves, which vessels use for loading and unloading goods. Often, this fee is combined with the Terminal Handling Charge, making it an integral part of the Pre-Carriage puzzle.


In the intricate dance of international shipping, understanding the intricacies of Pre-Carriage is crucial to ensuring a smooth and cost-effective journey for your goods. As you embark on your importation journey, knowledge of these charges and their implications is the key to successful navigation.


Ready to streamline your Pre-Carriage process with experts who understand the nuances of international logistics? Choose IDP Cargo Bali for a seamless shipping experience. Contact us today to embark on a journey of reliability and efficiency. Your goods deserve nothing but the best.

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