What is a Container Freight Station (CFS) and its role in shipping?

CFS refers to a warehouse where cargo is consolidated before being exported or imported. Learn more about its role, importance, and process in the blog.
container freight station
With the growing demand and use of e-commerce not just in India but across the globe, the need to store small and specific consignments and manage inventory has come up. Containerized shipping is vital to gain entry to a streamlined distribution and transport network. The loading and sorting of goods from smaller shipments used to occur only at the time of onboarding. However, with the assistance of Container Freight Stations, shipping has been revolutionized, for both small and large cargos.

What is a Container Freight Station?

A Container Freight Station (CFS) are locations like warehouses where cargo of multiple importers and exporters are stored or consolidated before being shipped into or outside the country. Usually, private companies or ports operate these container freight facilities.

Importance of CFS

CFS shipping has become a crucial aspect of the transportation industry. It has simplified the import-export process at both the originating and destination countries. There are two types of CFS – those that serve as the ‘origin’ and ‘destination’ for containers. As the need for LCL shipments continues to rise, CFS has become a sought-after import-export hub. It provides a single hub for all shipments, which simplifies and speeds up the process significantly.

Roles and responsibilities of Container Freight Stations

Here are some of the roles and responsibilities of a CFS:
· Provides LCL export services including cargo receipt and consolidation
· Disassembles shipping container at the final destination and sends out shipments
· Plans for loading containers
· Packs and unpacks shipping containers
· Identifies and labels containers for easy tracking
· Used for putting cargo, both empty and loaded containers, during transit
· Transportation of both empty and loaded containers between container yards (CY) and the port/terminal
· Preparing and counting containers for shipment involves stacking, sorting, tracking, and tallying
· Container upkeep and fixing
· Transportation services between a terminal and a port through road or rail
· Stores goods safely until they can be picked up or delivered
· Takes care of unorganized, non-containerized cargo (break bulk) and rail traffic to and from port or terminal surrounding area

How does a Container Freight Station work?

Shipping LCL and FCL cargoes is easier than ever, thanks to the Container Freight Station (CFS).

Import process at CFS

An Import General Manifest (IGM) is submitted at the port as soon as the container arrives. There’s information on the shipment, shipper, and recipient. The shipping container is subsequently delivered to the receiving CFS. Cargo is unloaded by CFS and sent for cargo clearance. A Bill of Entry may be submitted by the cargo owner or their clearing agent. Once the shipment has been cleared and appropriate duties have been paid, it is sent on to customs authorities. With an ‘out of charge’ instruction, customs issue a bill of entry. The CFS steward issues a gate pass to the importer and shipped its way. Because it is an extension of the port, the Container Freight Station helps to ease traffic and streamline operations.

Export process at CFS

The exporter delivers the shipment and shipping bill to CFS. Goods are unloaded, and CFS custodian records the receipt of goods. Products are subjected to customs clearance procedures initiated by the authorities. After all the paperwork is filed and customs office issues a Bill of Lading that reads ‘allow export order’, the process is complete. CFS now starts packing containers with goods. This package has been labelled and sealed.

Best practices to improve CFS use

The pace and efficiency of your freight transportation operation can be improved through better utilization of CFS and a well-organized back office. Some of the best practices to benefit from CFS are:
· Be aware of the local climate at each station. Rainy conditions at the container freight station compromise safety and disrupt operations.
· Think about the total amount of goods entering and leaving through each port, which can impact delivery and departure of goods.
· Gain complete insight into container ETAs. Being prepared for container arrivals and departures can ease congestion at ports.
· Keep in mind the value of human labor when stacking or separating containers. Know how much time and money it will take to consolidate or deconsolidate.
· Automated warnings ensure driver punctuality by tracking cargo arrivals and departures.
· Changes should be communicated immediately. Your clients can get instant updates to ensure everything functions smoothly.
· Pre-clearance saves time and money by eliminating border delays.

By availing the services offered by Container Freight Station, exporters can focus on their business goals, while ensuring smooth shipment and delivery without any hassles. With e-commerce, this entire procedure becomes easy and simple.

Easy e-commerce exports with Amazon
Global Selling

Amazon Global Selling is an e-commerce exports program that enables an exporter to start and build an exports business in India and sell across international marketplaces. Whether you are a manufacturer, reseller or you have an emerging brand, Amazon Global Selling helps businesses of all sizes and types to sell internationally across 200+ countries and territories.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between CFS and CFS shipping?
CFS shipments have products delivered there before being grouped and sent on to their final destination. The majority of the time, this happens with LCL shipments. At the CFS of the final destination, the items are unloaded from the container.
What is the difference between CFS and Container Yard?
While a container yard is reserved exclusively for FCL containers, a CFS handles both LCL and FCL cargo.
Can I use CFR shipping terms for domestic shipping?
No, it is used for sea transport.
Published on December 29, 2022.


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