From Port to Warehouse: Everything you need to know about the cargo shipping process

Everything you need to know about the cargo shipping process

Australia’s ports are busy. In fact, according to recent data, our ports are responsible for 98% of all of Australia’s trade. 

While it’d be great to think that the process from port to door is as easy as your shipment arriving and us delivering it to you, there are many factors involved to get your cargo arriving safely to its desired destination. 

Let us break it down for you:

The Port to Warehouse Process

Arrival and Unloading

After your ETA for port arrival is announced,  your cargo will arrive in the port, then unloaded from the vessel.

The unloading process will depend on whether your cargo is in a FCL and LCL container.

Custom Clearance Process

Custom clearance usually takes 24 hours to process, unless holds are placed by relevant governing bodies; such as the Australian Border Force, Department of Agriculture, or the Imported Foods Department. 

Exactly what occurs throughout the process depends on what cargo you’re importing,  how your cargo is packed (LCL vs FCL), and the current incoterms in place for that shipment. 

The key to simplified custom clearance is to have all of your declarations and documents in tip-top shape. Otherwise, you could be facing hefty fines – and day-long delays.

Transported To The Warehouse

Either picked up by truck or train, your cargo is then delivered to the warehouse of your choosing.

How long does the process take?

The time period of the port to warehouse process is pretty consistent across the industry, and is largely dependent on whether your cargo is FCL or LCL. 

Except, of course, for McHugh & Eastwood’s lighting-fast LCL services – that’s our speciality.

FCL: Typically 3-5 days

Cargo that’s shipped FCL will arrive at your warehouse far faster than LCL shipments, as the container is not shared with anyone else. Which means FCL containers avoid the unpacking process completed at bonded facilities. 

2-3 days prior to the vessel arrival, the terminal will post and share their availability window, allowing transport carriers to slot their allocated containers.

Once this time slot has been made available by the terminal operator, the cargo will be ready for collection, and then delivery to the warehouse.

LCL: Typically 5-9 days (or 2-3 with McHugh & Eastwood)

The LCL container will follow the same process as FCL containers, however once slotted and collected from the terminal, the container will be scheduled for unpacking, known as deconsolidation.

This is done at a bonded facility, and typically takes 2-3 days, which averages the turnaround time from arrival into port to the end of delivery between 5-9 days. 

Luckily, McHugh & Eastwood have the fastest LCL times on the market!

As we have our own customs bonded facility,  we unpack our LCL Consolidated containers on the first available day. This means that we are able to execute the final delivery the next business day, which averages our turnaround between 3-5 days.

Why is it better to have your own customs bonded facility? 

A customs bonded facility not only means faster unpack times – there’s also less handling , reducing the risk of damage, as well as lower costs. 

The Benefits of ME’s LCL Consolidation Services: 

  • Containers unpacked right away 
  • Fastest LCL transit times in the market 
  • Reduced risk of damage
  • Lower costs 
  • Timely and flexible service

Ready to simplify the Port to Warehouse process? Contact McHugh & Eastwood today, Australia’s freighting experts. 

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