Factors Affecting Shipping Rate

Learn all the factors that affect the shipping rate

The shipping rate is the cost of transporting a specific cargo from origin to destination. Several factors influence this concept, all of which might aid with budgeting. This content will introduce you to pricing, factors affecting the increase or decrease in costs, and the parts involved in the transportation process, costing you money.

Shipping Rate Pricing Formula

There is no set formula for calculating the price; each company will declare the final price based on its costs, profit margin, and intermediaries. Warehousespackaginginsurance, preparing freight forwarding documents, labor wages, fuel price, equipment depreciation, taxes, customs duties, product inspection charges, container costs, licensing, and the company’s monthly and profit margins are typical expenses effective in the final price. Other items are not permanent and are sometimes added to the above list, such as temporary rate increases on special days and occasions such as Christmas, Halloween, Golden Week, etc.

Key Factors

Several factors affect shipping rates. The most crucial factor is the distance the goods have to travel. Shipping rates also depend on the type of goods being shipped, the weight, and the shipment size. Other factors affecting shipping rates include the time of year and the availability of shipping services. Some of these factors are explained below.

Cargo’s Type

The type of cargo, such as food, animals, chemicals, auto parts, homeware, cars, and other goods, might affect the shipping rate. Each has its sensitivities and requirements, and you should refer to its rules.

Freight Methods

There are four different types of shipments that are commonly utilized:

  • Rail freight

You can choose any of the aforementioned methods based on your expectations and priorities. Sea and air freight are two popular ways to transport loads. Air transportation is a quick option but has the highest shipping rate. On the other hand, sea transport is a green option suitable for bulky and heavy cargo. If the sea is not in the path of transportation, rail and road freight are the other two available options. Rail transportation is the most economical and greenest type of transportation. However, transporting the freight from the station to the destination necessitates using trucks, which is inconvenient. The road transport method, on the other hand, can be done in a door to door way.

Container Size

The size of the containers is another factor that determines the price. You can select the container size and vessel type based on your cargo volume to ensure that the least space is wasted. This is also a cost-effective option in terms of the shipping rate.

Quantity of Shipments

The more items you have, the less you need to split the container with another circuit, and your shipping rate will be lower. The approaches are grouped into two groups in this case: FCL and LCL. The FCL method is used where the product covers the entire container volume, and when your goods are not as large as the maximum capacity of the container, you have to share the container in an LCL way.

Weight and Volume

The dimensions and weight of the cargo are priced at the same price as long as they do not exceed the allowable limits (check oversized cargo article) of each region, but as the volume and weight of the cargo increase, the price increases accordingly.


Customs duties, inspection fees, quarantine fees, insurance, and the General Rate Increase (GRI) are some items that vary per country. Each country imposes varying additional transit costs depending on its infrastructure and rules. These additional fees might be applied to any industry sector.


One apparent element that emphasizes the cost is the distance between the origin and destination. The longer the distance traveled, the higher the transportation expenses.


Insurance companies charge varying shipping rates for various items. This rate is appropriate for the sensitivity of the product, the difficulty of controlling the product, and the product’s riskiness.

Price-control Strategies

According to the above points and their importance, choose the best method that suits your load. For example, to avoid sending non-priority cargo in the peak season, check the cargo for contamination and pests beforehand, so it does not have problems at the destination. If possible, transport items to the destination rather than the port. Also, select the one that best meets your needs from the four transportation methods.

Services DFreight Offer

DFreight enables the efficient use of transportation services by sharing experiences and detailed information. You will be amazed at how simple and cost-effective the transfer process can be with us!

Over to You Now

Now it’s your time; let us know if you have any further concerns.

Is it cheaper to ship fewer items?

Technically, businesses are trying to increase their cargo volume to reduce costs. Of course, this is especially true for cargo-scale loads.

How many types of containers do we have?

There are approximately 16 types of containers, 11 of which are functional, and two types are often used in sea transportation.

When is the peak season?

Normally, the peak season is from August through October unless something unusual happens, such as a significant surge in fuel prices or a coronavirus pandemic.

What factors determine air cargo rates?

Air cargo rates are typically determined by the weight and size of the cargo, the distance it needs to travel, the urgency of the shipment, and the type of aircraft used for the shipment.

Are there any discounts available on air cargo charges from Dubai to India?

Yes, discounts are available on air cargo charges from Dubai to India for bulk shipments and for those who book their cargo in advance.

Source Sciencedirect Sciencedirect
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