Beginner’s guide to the shipping industry

You very likely have seen large steel boxes behind tractor-trailers, at ports, and on ships. These giant metal boxes are called shipping containers, and they are mainly used to hold a variety of different cargo. They are essential for the flow of commerce and industrial operations.

With container shipping, people can transport their cargo from one point to another. This process seems simple, but the flow of land marine transportation is very complex. It encompasses the flow of logistics which births many different industries and businesses. Let's take a look at a brief beginner's guide to the shipping industry:

Trailers featuring the red Bay & Bay logo


It is very rare for individuals to order goods via containers. Only factories and industries that need material to produce large amounts of goods work with shipping containers.  Companies make goods every day and transport them to overseas companies each week.

There are three primary stakeholders involved in the transfer of shipping containers. The first is the importer, the entity at the receiving end of cargo. Then there is the exporter, who sends the cargo to the importer, and the shipping company that acts as a transporting entity.

Apart from them, there are other services that help make this transaction seamless, streamlined, and lawful. These services involve the trucking company, port, shipping agent, and more.

When it comes to the specific types of land shipping, Bay & Bay operates using refrigerated trucking, dry tank/tank specialized, flat bed/open deck, LTL, and intermodal.

Logistics Flow

Once a factory manufactures a product and performs complete quality checks, then a shipping representative sends a booking to a forwarder. At this time, a forwarder notes the type and number of a container, along with its loading, unloading place, and other information. By using the information, a forwarder prepares vessels, custom clearance and other confirmations.  

It is essential to make sure that all documentation is legitimate in this process. Otherwise, a cargo will not be able to pass through custom clearance. Not paying special attention to paperwork will lead to unrealized duty costs and other unfortunate circumstances. Overall, a freight forwarder assists both importers and exporters in cargo transportation.

They receive the containers from the shipping company and bring them to the exporter to load the cargo. After loading the containers, they are sealed and transported, and the exporter has the code information of their container to track it throughout the journey.  After arriving on the port, they are unloaded onto the trucks that further carry them to warehouses after clearing a custom check. 

Final Words

This was just a brief overview of the logistical process. Now that you have read a beginner's guide to the shipping industry, there are many more complications and technicalities which come into play. To clear the shipping container of the port, importers have to play their role in approving paperwork. Additionally, importers also have to check documents to receive the shipment.