This article is a well documented description which revolves around Sea freight in Dubai. There are several factors to take into consideration regarding maritime transport activity such as: (LCL or FCL), the delays, the advantages and inconveniences, the benefits and the essential information to keep in mind.

Sea freight provides an opportunity to participate in economies of scale thanks to «the shipping line » which allows (maritime companies) to transport thousands of containers per trip, therefore making it the most exploited method of transport in today’s world.

1.1) LCL services from Dubai

LCL means « Less Container Load ». If an expeditor does not dispose enough merchandise to reserve a full container, he has to work on an agreement with a consolidator to reserve a spot on the cargo. This type of shipment is called LCL which technically means that you are sharing a container with others. The consolidator organizes a complete container (FCL) with a principal transporter and consolidates the parcels of other expeditors.  This process implies that the shipping company which reserves a complete container accepts the merchandise of different clients and regroups them all in one container that he has booked as a FCL (Full Container Load). The shipping company sorts the merchandise in the order of destination or by points of trans-shipments, intended to different recipients in different ports. Once the merchandise arrives to their destination, the freight forwarder sends them to each recipient separately while collecting the necessary costs, where appropriate.

1.2) FCL services from Dubai

FCL means « Full Container Load ». If a client has to transport merchandise in one container, they reserve a FCL (Full Container Load) filling it with its cargo. Note that the expeditor is not obliged to fill the container totally; the decision to occupy or leave empty any space is solely made at the convenience of the client.

container sizes


Shipping line OOCL


shipping line evergreeen


shipping line msc


Shipping line cma cgm


shipping line maersk

2.1) How much time is needed to send a container to Dubai?


City Transit time





Le havre


Los Angeles



23 - 32 days

23 - 32 days

23 - 32 days

25 - 30 days

10 - 24 days

20 - 25 days

28 - 34 days

23 - 32 days

21 - 30 days


2.2)which ports are exploited for international sea freight from / to Dubai?

  • Port Rashid (AEDBX)


The port of Rashid (AEDBX) referred to as Mina Rashid, named after sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the port opened in 1972. It is a commercial port in Dubai, UAE. Located on the southern coast of the Arabian Gulf, Mina Rashid is a multi-purpose port to handle both cargo and passenger operations. It is the only port in the Middle East to receive the ISO-9002 accreditation and the Security Certificate of Excellence by International Maritime Security (IMS).

  • Port Jebel Ali (AEJEA)


Port Jebel Ali, is the located in Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE. It is the world’s ninth busiest container port by traffic and the largest marine terminal and harbor in the Middle East. Jebel Ali‘s general cargo facility covers a total storage area of 1.4 million sq-m consisting of 26 berths.

 3.1) What does DocShipper Dubai need to know to provide you with a detailed quotation?


  • Incoterm


Incoterm is a notion that is no secret to all the experts of import / export. This term is used to define the responsibilities of transport of merchandise between the buyer and the service provider. A further detailed elaboration on the essential information related to incoterm will be provided in this article.


  • The volume in m3 and the weight en Kg


The volume and the weight are probably the 2 factors that impact mostly your shipping quotation. It’s definitely not a detail to neglect.

  • The nature of products


Certain products are more complicated than others to transport : some are fragile, others are dangerous… It is therefore necessary to establish measures that comply with international standards and regulations in order to anticipate minor issues on departure or upon the arrival.


  • Address of departure and arrival


Indispensable aspect of a shipping quotation: the point of departure and arrival. This process allows a calculation of the costs of removal and delivery between the terminals.

Packaging requirements

Some products will need a specific packaging in order to ensure secure shipping. Occasionally, it might be an obligation to respect a certain type of packaging in order for the merchandise to be chartered in a totally legal manner.

3.2) How to find the cheapest sea freight prices?


We have made a listing of the 7 points that we consider as the most important if you wish to make expedition by sea freight.

  1. Have a good understanding of your business
  2. Know the market and the prices
  3. Use a good expedition method (LCL vs. FCL)
  4. Audit your quotations
  5. Effective planning
  6. Optimize the packaging of your cargo
  7. Do not consider as urgent

3.3) Our department of maritime freight – Our action plan

  • Products sensible to variations of temperature
  • Products that are dangerous
  • Large parcels (in volume)
  • The perishable goods
  • Personal items

4.1) Why subscribe to a cargo insurance?

International logistics are not a simple procedure. There are certain risks associated with the manipulations of the merchandise during the whole process of the expedition. This risks related to shipping are innate such as: Technical errors, human errors or simply « mother nature ».Whatever the case may be, there is an undeniable risk, it is therefore preferable in case of theft, breaking or loss.

4.2) How much does sea freight insurance cost?

The insurance costs vary in function of the estimated risks. Several factors will be taken into consideration such as: The path, the handling, the packaging and the nature of the product.

4.3) Declared value – Just in the middle

As mentioned above, Insurance will be based on the declared value of the goods. The coverage in case of litigation will depend on the value declared. It is important to consider this value, neglecting can result in a misunderstanding or dispute. (The rights of customs will also apply based on the declared value)


  • Do not under-declare your goods: At the time it passes through customs, if the authorities have a doubt regarding the value of the shipment, heavy costs and penalties will be added by the custom officers. The insurance will only cover as high as the value (priced), in case of litigation.


  • Do not over-declare your goods: On the other hand, if you increase the value of the shipment, the custom costs might be very expensive.

The most practical solution for a client is to work directly with a local shipping company. DocShipper Dubai understood that the proximity for the client is an essential component which provides a trustworthy, credible and long-lasting relationship.

1. Competitive

Because of the well established and certified network of logistics, the experience, knowledge and expertise in this market, DocShipper Dubai can provide prices  that are more competitive than all the other well established companies in the region.

 2. Agile

Other than attractive prices, we also insist on the flexibility of our teams. We treat every operation in an optimal manner in order to provide a flexible service, adaptable to all requirements and needs.

 3. Dedicated service

DocShipper Dubai is before anything a companion assisting your every need all along your logistics journey. An expert will be dedicated to ensure safe shipping from departure to arrivals. The expert will therefore be available at your service providing you with all the details and updates in order to optimize the operations and avoid misunderstanding of going through traditional «client services ».


 6.1) Advantages of sea freight

  1. Le less expensive for large volumes
  2. No volume limit
  3. The most ecologic Method

6.2) Inconveniences of sea freight

  1. Delay
  2. Influenced by weather
  3. Multiplication of handling


Step 1: Take the merchandise from the suppliers towards the depot of your shipping company. 

We will contact the supplier in order to organize the shipping of the cargo but also to anticipate the slightest needs especially in terms of packaging and loading of the merchandise. 

Step 2: transporting the merchandise to the depot

After the approval of the documents by the team of export services, the merchandise is then transferred to the port of departure.

Step 3: Presentation of the documents to clear the «export Customs»

In order to export the goods legally, it is an obligation to pass by through the export customs and to declare the nature of the products (especially with the « packing list»).

Step 4: The cargo is chartered from the port of departure to the port of arrival

Once the merchandise is loaded on board of the vessel, they leave for the port of arrivals. A few weeks later, the ship moors to the port of destination. The merchandise is soon to be

Step 5: Customs clearance of the products with the local authorities

When the merchandise arrives, it will be subject to the local tariffs. Our customs team will contact the local authorities to organize the release of the merchandise. (After tax payments) Once the cargo arrives, the documents will be provided to the customs authorities in order to establish the tax costs. We will therefore make a link with the «customs broker» assigned between the local authorities and the client. After the tariffs payment, the goods are released and ready to be delivered.

Step 6: Cartage of port of arrivals to your final destination

To finish the shipping procedure, we will make use of our trucking network to directly deliver the shipment to the desired address. If there is a necessity to handle the unloading upon delivery, we will take care of it. (This last point should be clarified with the customs broker).

8.1) EXW

If the buyer chooses EXW, this implicates that all the logistics chain will be under his responsibility: starting with the supplier until the final destination. It will be your role to handle all of the steps or contact a shipping company such as AAAA Dubai that provides «door to door» services.

8.2) FOB (Free on Board Shipping)

When purchasing merchandise in FOB, the supplier has the responsibility to deliver the shipment to the port of departure with a technical logistics term (FOB setting) which means that the cargo has already been approved for export by the local customs and already loaded aboard the ship.

8.3) Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) or Cost and Freight (C&F)

An shipment done in CIF or in CFR represents a similar concept to the FOB incoterm, the only difference is that the freight (Sea or Air) is included in the costs.. Note that the difference between CIF and CFR is insurance wich is included in the CIF.

8.4) DAT (Delivery At Terminal)

This incoterm is used to buy the goods and to deliver them directly to the destination terminal (Al Rashid port for example). It is then possible for you to recuperate directly the merchandise in the public zone of the port. Note that the incoterm DAT includes all the local freights to know the unloading of the container, the costs of unbundling (if applicable) and the custom clearance.

8.5) DAP (Delivery At Place)

Finally, the last incoterm is the DAP, it corresponds to a «door to door» solution which technically means that the merchandise is delivered directly to the final desired address, your depot, your office or your home.

8.6)DocShipper Dubai door to door services in sea freight

DocShipper has built a solid experience in regards to international shipping and proposes today to provide a door to door service. It’s a premium option that offers a complete handling of all the operations from departure to arrival, the client with minimal efforts will receive the shipment with being bothered at any step of the way.

9.1) Bill of lading (BL)

This Document is delivered by the freight forwarder or their agent to the client as a contract of merchandise transport. It is also a receipt for the merchandise accepted for the shipping and needs to be presented for reception at the destination.

The contract contains, 1) the names of the shippers and of receiving party, 2) the names of the ports of departure and arrival, 3) the name of the ship, 4) the dates of departure and arrival, 5) detailed list of the merchandise transported with the number of packages with the types of packaging, (6) mark and number of package, (7) weight and / or volume of cargo, (8) tariffs and price of the freight.



9.2) Commercial quotation

Documents requested by the local authorities to define the exact value of the cargo and to determine as well the future tax costs. A commercial quotation must indicate many details some of which:
• The details of the buyer and the seller
• the date and the conditions of sale
• The packaging of the cargo
• Complete description of the products
• Total unit value
• Insurance, shipping and other costs

9.3) Packing list

The packing list is an indispensible document in all kinds of international shipping (air freight, sea freight, rail freight, truckloads…). Similar to the commercial quotation the packing list should list all the information which concerns the cargo.

9.4) Certificate of origin (C/O)


A certificate of origin (better known as C/O) is a document used in international logistics. Whether it’s in form of paper or electronic, its the shipper who fills the C/O with the support of a government organism that attests the conformity of the information. The Chinese suppliers have a tendency sometimes to refer to this document as « Form A ».


9.5) Insurance certificate


An insurance certificate is a proof of contract between the client and the organism that insures the coverage of the cargo. This document justifies the price of the insurance and the conditions of the contract.

 10.1) Air freight vs. Sea freight

 1. Cost

The sea freight is – from far– the cheapest method of expedition starting from a certain volume. In general, it is preferable to go use sea freight when the volume exceeds 2m3 (In some cases 1.5m3). For volumes inferior, it would be recommended to use air freight. Naturally, it is very easy to send fully loaded containers by sea. It is actually the favorite method of transport by all large industrial companies, despite long transit times; the economies made are not negligible.

2. Delay

In terms of delay, sea freight is by far the slowest method of transport. An exemple would be, a delay between China and Dubai would take:

  • 5 to 7 days by air Shipping
  • 40 to 45 days by sea shipping

3. Flexibility

Contrary to Air freight and rail freight, sea freight is extremely flexible in regards to two aspects: The volume of the cargo and the nature of the products. Indeed, there are no restrictions on the volume of the shipment, whether you are expediting a 20 meters yacht or a small 2 m3 parcel, maritime freight is the solution. Besides the volume, the nature of the products is also important. For example it is impossible to send lithium or fluids by air freight.


Recommendations of DocShipper Dubai

Without a doubt, when we cross-examine the question of the « price » of your future expedition, sea freight is a very just choice. As we have mentioned in the above, this method of transport is better priced for most cargos and shipments. On the other hand for small parcels (generally inferior to 1.5m3 and 2 m3) it would be recommended to choose a faster method such as air freight.

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