Shipping Methods

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Shipping Methods

In general, the shipping process is very complex and involves much logistical planning.
There are several options for shipping your personal items.

By Road

This method is wildly used within North America for shipments originating from Canada with the US or Mexico as the final destination.

By Air Cargo

Air shipments are very fast and very expensive. You may want to consider air freight for a small portion of your goods. You should choose to use air shipping for items you will need immediately when you arrive at your destination.

By Ocean Freight

Ocean shipments take longer and therefore, pre-planning is extremely important.

We will review available options and provide tips on how to choose what is best for you. Normally we can estimate the arrival time. However, keep in mind that when dealing with logistics of this magnitude, delays happen at no one’s fault (for example port strikes).

1. LCL

Less than Full Container Loads – LCL shipments. LCL shipments are NOT an exclusive use of a container. Imagine a large container that contains your goods as well as the goods of other families and individuals. LCL shipments are normally shipped in crates or pallets.


  • You can ship any size shipment even if you only have a few items.
  • Relatively non expensive for small to medium size shipments.
  • Normally takes a little longer than a full-dedicated container. This might be an advantage or a disadvantage according to your needs.


  • Relatively expensive for large shipments.
  • You lose some space due to the fact that these shipments are normally crates or palletized and you are billed by the total size of the crate.
  • Your shipment is handled more times.
  • It takes more time since the moving company needs to consolidate your small shipment with other shipments.

2. Groupage

Similar to LCL shipments, however the consolidation is done by the moving company that you are dealing with.


  • Relatively non expensive for small to medium size shipments.


  • Relatively expensive for large shipments.
  • It takes more time since the moving company needs to consolidate your small shipment with other small shipments until a container is filled. The faster they can accumulate shipments, the faster they will ship.

3. FCL

Full Container Loads – This type of shipping arrangement is normally for larger shipments and shipments that need to arrive faster than LCL shipments. With FCL shipments, you are renting the exclusive use of a full container for the purpose of moving your personal items.

3 types of containers are available:

Type Internal Length Internal Width Internal Height Volume
20’ Container 19′ 4
5.9 Meter
7′ 8
2.35 Meter
7′ 10
2.39 Meter
1172 Cubic feet Gross
950-1050 Net33.2CBM Gross
28-30 CBM Net
40’ Container 39′ 5
12 Meter
7′ 82.35 Meter 7′ 102.39 Meter 2387 Cubic feet Gross
1900-2200 Net67.6 CBM Gross
58-62 CBM Net
40’HC Container (High Cube) 39′ 5
12 Meter
7′ 82.35 Meter 8′ 52.58 Meter 2690 Cubic feet Gross
2300-2500 Net76.4 CBM Gross
68-72 CBM Net


Gross volume: The actual volume of the container – if filled up with water.

Net volume: The actual usable space when fitting personal effects into the container. The difference between the net and the gross volume is the lost space due to the fact that not all items fit perfectly. It is the moving company’s job to try and utilize the space as best as possible. There is normally a 15-20% difference between gross and net volumes.


  • Normally we will load and seal the container at your house (if access permits). The next time the doors of the container are opened will be at your new residence. If access does not permit loading the container directly from the residence, we will use a “shuttle” and deliver your goods to our warehouse and then into a container.
  • It is easier to time the arrival of the container.
  • The container doors are sealed with a high security numbered lock. It is easier for customs to verify the seal is intact and to report any irregularity. The seal should not be broken until the container arrives at your residence unless there is a customs exam. In this event, we recommend that you insist on receiving a customs exam report.


    • Once the container arrives to the destination, you hardly have any free time at the port. If you need storage afterwards, additional storage at the port is very expensive. The port will charge a progressively higher storage rate. In addition to port storage, the steamship line will charge rental for the container after approximately 1 week.
    • If you need storage, it is best to know this in advance and to plan with the moving company in order to minimize the cost. There are other alternatives.

Delay factors:

    • High traffic of containers arriving to destination during the summer.
    • Port congestion or port strike.
    • War or other security issues that may affect the port.
    • Lack of labour, trucks or containers (especially in the summer).
    • Lack of space on the shipping vessel.
    • Overbooking of the vessel.
    • Once the shipment arrives at the destination, allow some time for delivering full containers and about 2 weeks for less than full containers. It is best to communicate your preferred delivery date with your moving consultant. However, during the summer, it may be difficult to get the exact desired delivery date.
    • It is better to be flexible. Work with the coordinator.