Rail Freight Rates Calculator


International Freight rates are simply the price at which a certain cargo is delivered from one point address of a country to another. Traditionally thats where the simplicity ends, as the calculations involved in producing these prices can depend on the mode of transport (rail freight, road freight, air freight or sea freight), the nature and form of the cargo (Loose cargo, containerised cargo etc) the weight or volume of the cargo, and the distance to the delivery destination.

However to give you an idea of how shipping freight rates are comprised up and calculated, we have put together a guide explaining shipping freight rates across the different modes. We will cover Air freight rates, sea freight rates, road freight rates and courier rates in future articles, but will begin with rail freight services.

Rail freight rates

The two main elements to the cost of transporting goods by rail are:

The rail freight charges set by the train route;
Costs associated with handling and clearing the goods at the ports of loading, transfer in cross border and discharge.

Another factor that affects the cost of containerised rail freight, is whether the goods can be consolidated with other cargo (LCL) or require a dedicated full container (FCL) . Lets break down both below.


FCL (Full Container Load)

FCL is the abbreviation for a “Full Container Load“. And the term is pretty self explanatory. The shipping line charges a flat fee per 40′ container or 40′ High cube ccontainer, 20′ container, and the amount is dependent on many factors including origin, destination, volume, time of year, plus many other variables. Unless you have a contract with the shipping line or are moving significant volume, you will usually get a more favorable deal from a freight forwarder, who will likely have access (directly or indirectly) to a discounted rate based on certain volume agreements.
For the rail freight, the two 20′ container is much higher than one 40′ container. And recently, many train route is not accept a single 20′ container, or it will take a long time to wait an other 20′ container to combine, the weight should be almost same. It’s hard to make such pair in short time.


LCL (Less than Container Load)

When you do not have enough cargo to fill a shipping container (also known as groupage shipping), LCL is usually a very viable option. Specialist LCL sea freight consolidators run services to all of the major ports and gateways around the world. They do this by paying for a full container from the shipping line, consolidating multiple smaller shipments at their warehouse, loading and shipping the full container in the usual manner and then earning their profit by charging a pro rata rate per 1000 kgs or 1 Cubic Meter (whichever is greater), known as weight or measure (w/m)


Destination charges

The above guide has been written from the point of view of exporting from the China and under CFR FCA or FOB incoterms. You can read Open to Export’s explanation of what Incoterms are for more information.

This means that consignments are usually shipped from ‘Door to port’ and charges not included in the prepaid freight amounts will be for the account of the buyer/consignee i.e. Destination documentation, Destination THC, Destination customs, TAX and any delivery to the consignees door.

Hope this has cleared up some questions surrounding rail freight pricing and will get to work on doing a similar guide for the other modes of transport, starting next with an Air Freight Rates Guide.

See original rail freight rates guide at: www.vipufreight.com

Also see Wikipedia article on freight rates.