How to calculate international shipping costs?

December 16, 2022

International shipping can be overwhelming, especially when calculating these costs with a logistics operator.

Do you know what questions to ask to ensure you receive an all-inclusive shipping proposal? How do you know if there are "additional" charges that may appear later on your invoice?

Carrier GRI/GRR/PSS:

Carriers have been implementing General Rate Increases (GRI), General Rate Restoration (GRR) and Peak Season Surcharges (PSS); however, some agents do not inform customers of these charges until the cargo is booked.


According to the VAT rules applicable until July 1, 2021 , no import VAT is due on trade goods with a value of up to EUR 22.

The new VAT e-commerce rules abolish this provision as of July 1, 2021 . Therefore, as of July 1, 2021 , all trade goods imported into the EU from a third country or a third territory are subject to VAT regardless of their value.

Expected date of shipment

If the expected cargo date the broker is quoting you is not accurate, the freight proposal could have variations of hundreds of dollars per container.

Cargo Insurance

Make sure cargo insurance is included as a separate line item. Most of the time if it is not included in the freight proposal, it is not calculated in the quote either.

Courier/documentation fees

When reviewing an international shipping proposal, it is important to see if any courier/documentation fees are included or if they are offered as a separate line item.

Maximum cargo weight

When shipping a fully loaded container (FLC) of a heavy product, it is necessary to verify with the carrier of your choice the maximum cargo weight. Overweight cargo is subject to additional charges.

Free time at destination port

If you are shipping to a country where the port has higher than average waiting times, it is very important to ask the broker how much free time the dealer has at the port. In some cases, extra free time at the port can save the customer hundreds of dollars per day per container.

What is the role of Crossborderit (CBIT)?

Crossborderit (CBIT) is a four-part modular platform that can be integrated with partners, carriers, 3PLs and traders. CBIT's approach is designed to work with other companies, even if they have solved one or more pieces of the international trade supply chain.

CBIT a SaaS platform software where our solution allows you to upload your classifications, allows you to calculate the total import costs for the buyer, collect all fees and forward them to the import broker, all this together with all relevant master data, thus making a fully complete B2C customs declaration for a smooth cross-border entry in the destination country.

Book a demo here!

Damon Baca


Crossborderit (CBIT)