Looking for freight options to import and export goods easily? We will be introducing the services that shipping agents in Singapore provide and the types of shipping containers used.
M&P is a local freight forwarder that provides a one-stop service to all required shipping needs. Alongside sea shipping services, we also provide supply chain services, other freight services and even Taobao shipping.
Sea Services Provided By Shipping Agents
Sea freight is the shipment of large quantities of goods internationally by cargo ships. The goods are packed into LCL or FCL containers before sailing to their destination. It is the most popular shipping option, with 90% of goods transported internationally by sea.
Here are some of the different types of cargo that are usually transported by sea:
- Liquid bulk cargo made up of liquids e.g., Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), Liquified
- Natural Gas (LNG), vegetable oils, milk, wine and glycerin
- Dry bulk cargo includes goods e.g., sand, sugar, coal, grain and iron core
- Break bulk e.g., art, furniture and vehicle parts
- Rolling stocks e.g., heavy machinery and vehicles
- Dangerous goods e.g., bleach, car batteries, paints
- More economical, especially with larger volumes
- Able to transport heavy and bulky items
- More eco-friendly
- Better security as containers are locked
- Slower speed
- Higher risks associated with weather causing loss or damage to goods
- Less flexible routes and timing
Less than Container Load (LCL)
LCL stands for Less than Container Load, where you will have to share a container with other importers and exporters. You will only pay for the space that your cargo will be using.
A general guideline is that if your shipments are not big and under 13 – 15 cubic metres (CBM), LCL can be a better option.
Full Container Load (FCL)
FCL refers to a Full Container Load, a container that is for the use of only one shipment. FCL is faster than LCL and is suitable for shippers who have quantities of goods larger than 13 – 15 CBM.
In this case, you will not have to share the container with another shipper’s cargo and risk damages. If your shipment is urgent and you would like enhanced security , then FCL will be the better shipping option.
Common Types of Shipping Containers
There are 5 different types of shipping containers that are used for shipping different types of cargo.
General Purpose Container
General purpose containers (also known as dry freight containers) are the most common type of cargo container. They transport most items, except liquids, gas, temperature-sensitive, perishable or hazardous cargo.
These containers do not have temperature controls, are fully enclosed and protected with strong steel against weather and sea water.
Here are the different variants that we have at M&P:
High Cube Container
High cube containers are taller than general purpose containers and are used to transport larger oversized cargo items. Like general purpose containers, they ship dry goods but have additional height clearance.
Our high cube containers come in 2 different sizes:
Refrigerated (or reefer) containers have controlled temperatures. They are used for shipping cargo that are sensitive to temperatures such as flowers and food.
We have 4 different sizes of refrigerated containers:
Open Top Container
Open top containers are used for items that require the help of a lifting crane such as:
- Over-height items such as tall machineries that require more vertical space
- Heavy goods that are difficult to load on sideways
Our open top containers come in 2 sizes:
Flat Rack Container
There are 2 main types of flat rack containers — collapsible rack and fixed end. These containers are used for transporting cargo that is oversized or has non-standard dimensions. They usually have collapsible side doors that can be folded to form a flat rack.
We have 20-feet and 40-feet flat racks for sea shipping:
M&P International Freights sells and rents shipping containers if you require this service.
Why choose M&P International Freights?
Other Freight Services Provided by M&P
Air freight is the shipment of goods through air carriers. This shipment mode is typically used for time-sensitive items such as perishable goods and smaller volume of cargo as it is more cost-effective.
Some example of goods that are usually shipped by air are:
- Urgent mails and goods
- Spare parts for aerospace industry and land vehicles
- Drugs, vaccines and pharmaceutical products
- Faster speed
- Flexibility of shipment dates to allow efficient transportation
- Better accessibility to places in the world
- Limited cargo load
- Hazardous materials cannot be transported
Trucking is the transportation of goods with trucks. This mode of transportation is used for deliveries locally, over the border, port to port, long or short haul.
It can transport almost any kind of goods such as clothes, vegetables, cardboard boxes, wood pellets and construction materials. You can request for trucking services to transport your goods all over Singapore.
M&P provides warehousing for companies who would like to rent a storage space to store their cargo goods. We provide both short and long term storage and warehousing distribution services.
Customs clearance is necessary before your goods can enter the importing country. M&P will assist you with the liaison with agencies, filling of clearance documents and your custom bonds.
Cargo insurance covers the risks and losses that can occur during a cargo transportation. It is important as there can be unexpected events such as cargo theft, natural disasters, damage and loss of goods.
FAQs About Shipping Agents
What does a shipping agent do?
A shipping agent organises shipping of cargo goods for domestic and international trade. The agent acts as an intermediary between you, your cargo and the final destination.
As a freight forwarding company, M&P also coordinates transportation, logistics details with sea freight companies and will notify you of cargo shipments’ delivery statuses. Additionally, we ensure custom clearance and prepare the required documents for import and export.
What are the details required when booking a shipping agent?
If you are thinking of booking a shipping agent, provide these details to us via email and we will get back to you within the next 3 hours:
- Your contact details (name, contact number and email address)
- Pick up and drop off point
- List of items
- Cargo weight
- Cargo dimensions
How much does sea shipping cost?
Sea shipping costs will vary depending on factors such as the distance travelled, fuel costs, exchange rates, cargo shipment sizes and the transit time required.
A 20-feet FCL will cost roughly $300 and $10,000 per container to ship to Malaysia and Scotland respectively. Whereas LCL shipments are priced per volume of goods. For a gauge, a China to US shipment will cost about $2 to $4 per kg.
Other charges may include insurance fees, custom security surcharge, routing charges and fuel surcharge.
What items can and cannot be shipped?
Every country has different shipping guidelines, and certain items cannot be imported or exported due to regulatory reasons.
The list of globally prohibited items include but is not limited to:
- Live animals
- Animal parts such as ivory and shark fin
- Human remains
- Precious stones
- Firearms and ammunition
Before exporting or importing, do check the regulations or check with your preferred freight forwarder.