Quick Ship

Shipping goods across borders or long distances can be a complex and costly process. Traditionally, companies and individuals relied on freight forwarding services to handle the logistics of transporting their goods. However, an alternative approach has emerged in recent years – shipping your own container. 

This article explores the concept of shipping your own container, the benefits it offers, considerations to keep in mind, the costs involved, and a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process successfully.

What is Shipping Your Own Container?

Shipping your own container involves taking control of the entire shipping process, from packing and loading your goods into a container to arranging transportation and handling customs documentation. Instead of relying on a freight forwarder or shipping carrier, you become responsible for every aspect of the shipment. 

This option is particularly appealing to businesses or individuals who have specific requirements, valuable or delicate cargo, or the desire for more control and flexibility.

Benefits of Shipping Your Own Container

Cost Savings:

Flexibility and Control:

Security and Privacy:

Shipping your own container can potentially lead to cost savings compared to using a freight forwarding service, especially for large or frequent shipments. By eliminating the intermediary, you can negotiate better rates directly with shipping lines and optimize your transportation budget.

 Self-shipping allows you to have full control over the logistics process. You can choose the most suitable shipping routes, transit times, and carriers based on your specific needs. Additionally, you have the freedom to make last-minute changes or adjustments to accommodate unexpected circumstances.

When you ship your own container, you have complete control over the security of your goods. This can be particularly important for sensitive or valuable items that require special handling or additional security measures. Moreover, self-shipping provides privacy, as you are not sharing container space with other parties.

Considerations Before Shipping Your Own Container

Before embarking on the journey of self-shipping, there are several crucial considerations to keep in mind:

Expertise and Resources:

Time and Effort:

Destination and Local Regulations:

Self-shipping can be time-consuming, especially if you are new to the process. You need to allocate sufficient time and effort for tasks such as container selection, packing, loading, paperwork, and coordination with carriers.

 Self-shipping allows you to have full control over the logistics process. You can choose the most suitable shipping routes, transit times, and carriers based on your specific needs. Additionally, you have the freedom to make last-minute changes or adjustments to accommodate unexpected circumstances.

 Different countries and regions have varying customs regulations and import/export requirements. It’s vital to research and familiarize yourself with the destination country’s rules to avoid any potential issues or delays.

Costs Involved in Shipping Your Own Container

When considering self-shipping, it’s crucial to understand the various costs involved:

Container Purchase or Rental:


Customs Duties and Taxes:

Expertise and Resources:

You will need to either purchase or rent a shipping container. The cost will depend on factors such as the container’s size, condition, and whether you choose to buy new or used.

You need to arrange transportation for your container from your location to the port of departure. The cost will vary based on the distance and mode of transport (e.g., trucking or rail).

 Ports and terminals charge fees for handling containers, including loading and unloading operations. These charges can vary depending on the port and the services required.

 When shipping internationally, you may be subject to customs duties and taxes imposed by the destination country. It’s essential to research and factor in these potential costs.

How to Ship Your Own Container

Choosing the Right Container: Selecting the appropriate container is crucial to ensure the safety and integrity of your goods during transit. Consider factors such as size, material (steel or aluminum), condition, and specialized features like temperature control or ventilation.

Packing and Loading Your Container:

Documentation and Customs Regulations:

Shipping Routes and Logistics:

Tracking and Insurance:

Proper packing and loading techniques are essential to prevent damage during transportation. Use suitable packaging materials, secure items to prevent shifting, and distribute weight evenly to maintain stability.

 Research the required documentation for your specific shipment, such as a bill of lading, commercial invoice, and packing list. Ensure compliance with customs regulations and provide accurate information to avoid delays or penalties.

Determine the most suitable shipping routes based on your destination and transit time requirements. Research different carriers, compare rates, and consider factors such as vessel schedules and frequency of departures.

 Implement a tracking system to monitor the progress of your shipment. Additionally, consider obtaining cargo insurance to protect against potential loss or damage during transit.

Potential Challenges of Shipping Your Own Container

While self-shipping offers numerous advantages, it’s essential to be aware of potential challenges:

Complexity and Learning Curve:

Less than Container Load (LCL):

Self-shipping can be complex, especially for those without prior experience. It requires knowledge of logistics, customs procedures, and various regulations. Be prepared to invest time in learning and adapting to the process.

Taking full responsibility for your shipment means accepting liability for any mishaps or damages that may occur. This includes factors beyond your control, such as weather-related incidents or accidents during transit.

Alternatives to Shipping Your Own Container

If self-shipping seems overwhelming or unsuitable for your needs, there are alternatives worth considering:

Freight Forwarding Services:

Less than Container Load (LCL):

 Freight forwarders handle the entire shipping process on your behalf. They have expertise in logistics, customs clearance, and documentation, simplifying the process and reducing your involvement.

 LCL allows you to share container space with other shippers, reducing costs for smaller shipments. This option is beneficial if you don’t require a full container or lack sufficient cargo volume.


Shipping your own container can be a viable option for businesses and individuals seeking control, flexibility, and potential cost savings in the shipping process. However, it requires careful planning, expertise, and a thorough understanding of logistics and customs regulations. By weighing the benefits, considering the costs, and evaluating your specific requirements, you can make an informed decision on whether self-shipping is the right approach for you.


Is self-shipping suitable for small businesses with limited resources?

Self-shipping can be suitable for small businesses, but it’s essential to evaluate the available resources, expertise, and the volume of shipments. Considerations like container costs, documentation requirements, and time investment should be taken into account.

What types of goods can be shipped in a container?

Containers can accommodate a wide range of goods, including but not limited to manufactured products, household items, machinery, and vehicles. However, certain hazardous materials or perishable goods may require specialized containers or additional precautions.

Can I ship my own container internationally?

Yes, self-shipping can be done for international shipments. However, it’s crucial to research and comply with the customs regulations and import/export requirements of the destination country.

Are there any restrictions on container dimensions for shipping?

Container dimensions are standardized, with the most common sizes being 20 feet and 40 feet in length. However, specific countries or carriers may have restrictions on oversized containers. It’s advisable to check the regulations beforehand.

Is self-shipping more time-consuming compared to using freight forwarding services?

Self-shipping requires more time and effort as you handle the logistics tasks yourself. However, it provides greater control and flexibility in the shipping process, allowing you to make decisions based on your specific requirements and timelines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *