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Maritime Partners Challenge Community to Fill Shipping Container with Toys


Maritime Partners Challenge Community to Fill Shipping Container with Toys

SC Ports, ILA and Coalition 18 partnering on Holiday Toy Drive

South Carolina Ports, the International Longshoremen’s Association and Coalition 18 are teaming up to fill an entire 40-foot container with toys to make this holiday brighter for children in need.

Charleston’s maritime community is encouraging their workforces, local businesses and organizations, and area residents to donate toys for the Holiday Toy Drive.

They are challenging the Lowcountry to fill a shipping container at Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant by Dec. 9. The donated toys will be distributed to foster children through the S.C. Department of Social Services.

How to contribute:

  • Purchase toys online through the Amazon Holiday Toy Drive Wish/Gift List. After selecting a toy and clicking “proceed to checkout,” select the following shipping address: “Toy Drive Mount Pleasant, SC – Deliver to this address.”
  • Bring unwrapped toys to SC Ports headquarters, which is located at 200 Ports Authority Drive in Mount Pleasant.

Donations are accepted until Dec. 9. Please help us fill a shipping container for South Carolina children!

About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. As an economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 225,000 statewide jobs and generate nearly $63.4 billion in annual economic activity. SC Ports is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is an industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility.
freight containers

Shippers Still Find Ocean Freight Booking for Shipper Owned Containers (SOCs) Challenging

Digital adoption challenges leading to a lack of transparency, visibility and trust emerge as three key struggles for container logistic companies to book shipper-owned containers according to a survey by Container xChange, an online platform for container logistics and operations.  

To examine the pain points of the current state of ocean freight booking, Container xChange joined hands with the Copenhagen Business School and surveyed with 137 freight forwarders and NVOCCs spread across the globe.

While the majority of freight forwarders shippers and NVOCCs use online quotation solutions, 83% find the need for better digital infrastructure in the future, pointing to digital vessel schedules and intuitive booking interfaces as the most impactful digital transformations in times to come.

Christian Roeloffs, co-founder and CEO, of Container xChange, shared that, “Lack of transparency and standardized digital processes has fueled inefficiency and mistrust for a very long time in the logistics industry. These struggles are further worse for shipper-owned containers where no carrier takes care of processes. This hinders the adoption of SOCs in the market. The survey corroborates with the state of the industry at present, but it is encouraging to understand how so many players are looking forward to Digital vessel schedules and intuitive booking interface for instance.”

“With the adoption of digital tools, all of this could be streamlined in a manner that there is a standardized procedure for all users. With digitization being at the crux of the whole booking cycle, the industry could become more efficient with streamlined vessel schedules, intuitive booking process, avoid scammers and gain trust in counterparties with vetted partners.” Roeloffs added.

Compared to Carrier-owned Containers, Shipper-owned Containers in principle provide more flexibility and can help users avoid hefty fees like demurrage and detention. However, the market has yet to fully adapt to SOCs in the same way as COCs when it comes to digital solutions. SOCs, being a fairly new concept, don’t have digitized slot booking processes and have a huge opportunity to connect to the fragmented ocean freight marketplace.

When it comes to ocean freight slot booking, Shipper-owned container users struggle more with getting accurate quotations, and confirmations of available capacity and end up booking with 5-10 shipping or feeder lines since there is no schedule reliability. Whereas Carrier-owned container users do have the liberty of getting administrative tasks like trucking, offloading, unstuffing, and so on taken care of and have digitized slot booking solutions in place, plenty of players still conduct the process manually with loads of emails and phone calls.

The main findings of the survey were:  

  • More than 70% of the respondents find a lack of trust in their counterparts
  • Out of all the companies surveyed, 83% of them ranked digital vessel schedules on an importance level of 4 or 5, while 77% ranked intuitive booking interface in the same way. But industry players also want to have their document checklist and uploads visible and easy to use, as well as operational contact information ready at hand.
  • We observed that 84% of our participants still source quotations via email and phone, while 78% of them use the same outdated processes to place a booking.
  • At the same time, the fact that 60% also use online quotation solutions such as shipping companies’ online booking interface (e.g., Maersk’s platform) shows that a market for digital SOC ocean freight booking exists.

The ocean freight market is still walking the old roads with slow manual processes. To get quotations and bookings, the industry still struggles with swift and easy processes. Outdated and manual processes also remain prevalent with companies still carrying out bookings via e-mail and phone.

For the slot booking process, instant booking and capacity confirmations were deemed the most important. And yet, many players are below satisfied with said service they receive.

Working on digital solutions to streamline the industry pain points, Adrian Degode, Senior Product Engineer, at Container xChange said, “The shipping industry is becoming increasingly digital but the biggest thing missing is trust. The caveat remains to be bringing all the solutions under one platform that simplifies the lifecycle of ocean freight spot booking while ensuring trust and transparency.”

To enable the industry with an end-to-end solution, Container xChange is building a dynamic Ocean Freight Marketplace with transparent rates and trustworthy partners for Shipper-Owned Containers, where users get guaranteed slots on the vessel and supplier-guaranteed payments. From getting up-to-date vessel schedules and freight rates for your shipping routes to choosing and booking the best offer from trustworthy partners within minutes, the platform will bring a wide array of capabilities.”, he added.

Key findings of the survey 

  • From quotation to booking, 40.9% of companies regularly place bookings with 5-10 shipping or feeder lines
  • When choosing a carrier, schedule reliability (77%), capacity availability (80%) and fast quotation (69%) were found to be the most important
  • In the quotation process, trust in counterparts (70%) also ranks as important, while satisfaction in this category is low-medium
  • To get both quotations and bookings, email and phone are still used as the main medium (75-85% of the time)
  • In the booking process, instant booking (76%) and capacity confirmation were deemed most important (79%), but currently, up to 32% of respondents are not satisfied with those two capabilities in existing solutions.
  • When booking online, digital vessel schedules (83%) and an intuitive booking interface (77%) were evaluated as the two most important factors overall

 About Container xChange 

The container is one of the most impactful innovations in history—using standardization to power globalization and lift billions of people out of poverty. But contrary to the standardized container itself, most processes in container logistics have not been standardized nor innovated — and are still frustratingly complex, manual and error-prone. Combined with thin margins, this makes it difficult for logistics businesses to survive and thrive.

Container xChange is the leading online platform for container logistics that brings together all relevant companies to book and manage shipping containers as well as to settle all related invoices and payments.

The neutral online platform…

  1. connects supply and demand of shipping containers and transportation services with full transparency on availability, pricing and reputation,
  1. simplifies operations from pickup to drop-off of containers,
  1. and auto-settles payments in real-time for all your transactions to reduce invoice reconciliation efforts and payment costs.

Currently, more than 1500+ vetted container logistics companies trust xChange with their business—and enjoy transparency through performance ratings and partner reviews. Unlike limited personal networks, excel sheets and emails you rely on, Container xChange gives its users countless options to book and manage containers, move faster with confidence and increase profit margins.

containers container freight station

In-Depth Look: What is a Container Freight Station?

Shipping and trading have been evolving for as long as the industry existed. Companies from all over the world use them to deliver their products from one place of the world to a completely different one, and indeed, they are absolutely essential to business.

But if you are only getting started with trading and shipping, the terminology can be quite confusing. Hence, here’s everything you need to know about what a CFS or a container freight station is and how it is used.

What Is A Container Freight Station?

Contain freight station is one of the key shipping and transportation terms anyone working with delivery should know. To put it simply, a CFS or a container freight station is a facility for distribution, consolidation, and de-consolidation or import and export shipments. Such stations are an essential component of any supply chain with most of them being located in or around ports and inland distribution cities.

Freight forwarders are usually the ones using CFS companies. However, shippers and third-party logistics service providers do work with them too to handle customer freight. CFS are usually either owned privately or by terminals or shipping lines. Because CFS deals with import and export, such stations are usually categorized as either origin CFS or destination CFS which corresponds to the origin and destination points they work with.

So, why exactly are container freight stations important? Well, here are just some reasons to consider:

-CFS helps decongest ports and terminals.

-CFS helps clear them of multiple customs clearance procedures.

-CFS allows for easier tracking by assigning unique identification numbers to vessels.

-CFS helps maintain records of shipments, including such information as exporter names, importer and customs agents, origin and destination points, cargo details, etc.

-CFS helps provide better cargo security, efficient loading and unloading, stuffing and de-stuffing, etc.

It’s important to understand that CFS shipping is becoming increasingly popular as it is in demand nowadays thanks to so many companies opting for LCL shipments (also known as less-than-a-containerload. E-commerce business owners are also using CFS shipping more as it provides better security above all else.

What Is CFS Shipping?

As mentioned above, there is the so-called CFS shipping that container freight stations are involved in. Basically, CFS shipping is the kind of shipping that involves such stations, but it’s important to understand the differences between it and other types of shipping or trading to fully grasp what sets CFS shipping apart.

Container freight stations act as centralized locations for suppliers playing a crucial role both for importing and exporting. Consolidation and de-consolidation of cargo are involved and there are processes executed such as issuing shipping orders, stuffing, sealing, marking, storage, sorting, stacking, and further preparation.

What Is the Difference Between CFS, CY, ICD, and Bonded Warehouse?

As experts from the service where you can pay someone to write my paper say, “Knowing what container freight stations are is only part of the job. You need to know the differences between CFS and other elements of trading and shipping such as CY, ICD, and bonded warehouses that could be used instead of CFS.”

A container yard or CY is a special area in a port where full-container-load or FCL containers are stored prior to or after they are loaded from or onto a ship. For export CY/CY shipments, shippers usually deliver the container to a particular container yard at the port where control over it is handed to the shipping line. Then, the container is delivered to another CY at the port of discharge and the shipper picks it up from the shipping line.

Inland container depot or ICD is, much like other terms discussed here, a facility used for handling imported and exported containers. ICDs are found further inland rather than at the ports. Such depots are used by companies to handle shipments closer to the factories and warehouses. ICDs are automated and independent customs stations making it easier for companies to get through all the necessary processes.

Bonded warehouses are spaces authorized by customs to store imported and exported goods – either local or foreign – on which duty payment was already deferred. Bonded warehouses help traders avoid any cash flow issues by giving importers time to get the money for duty payment or, alternatively, find buyers for the goods in question.

What Are the Key Benefits & Functions of A CFS?

As mentioned earlier, container freight stations have a variety of reasons to be important, but it’s worth going over every key benefit and function they possess to fully understand their worth:

-They are used to receive and consolidate LCL shipments for export. LCL shipments are consolidated into larger containers with freight shipped to the same destination point, whether it is of one or multiple customers. Containers can also be de-consolidated and dispatched for final delivery.

-They are used to transload IPI containers (of the 20’s, 40’s, and 45’s variety) into 53’ intermodal containers. This allows for more control over the inventory as well as possible cost savings.

-They are used for a variety of other processes including container load plan preparation, stuffing and de-stuffing, container identification sealing, temporary storage, container movement from CY and laden containers to ports and terminals, stacking, sorting, tracking, tallying, container maintenance and repairment, transit operations customs clearance, etc.

What Are the CFS Export and Import Processes Are Like?

Last but not least, even though you need to remember to advance your delivery technology to get more efficient shipping and delivery processes when working with CFS, you also need to understand the basics such as export and import processes at CFS.

The export process involves exporters loading goods on trucks and delivering them to CFS (with a shipping bill). There, goods are unloaded, received by CFS custodians, and then undergo customs clearance. The customs authorities endorse the shipping bill and the CFS stuffs the goods into containers. The containers are then sealed and handed to the port or terminal for export.

The import process involves importer agents filing the import general manifest or IGM with details about the cargo, importer, etc. This is done at the port or terminal itself in order to move the cargo to CFS. The containers are then forwarded to CFS and the cargo is offloaded, stacked, and de-stuffed. The cargo owner (or clearing agent) files the bill of entry, aids in cargo clearances, and pays duties. Customs endorses the bill of entry and the CFS custodians issue a gate pass for releasing cargo to the importer.

Final Thoughts

To sum it all up, using container freight stations will definitely be instrumental in your trading and shipping strategy, so you should know everything you can about them before you start working with them.


Melissa Mauro is a self-improvement author who is always interested in new projects. She wants to create her own writer brand, that’s why Melissa is looking for fresh platforms for the implementation of her ideas. Creativity and unique style make it possible to deliver valuable and engaging content to her ideal reader.