How to Get the Best Rates When Booking Containers Online

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How to Get the Best Rates When Booking Containers Online

Container booking is an important process for anyone looking to ship goods overseas. Several factors go into pricing for container bookings, including the size and type of container, the shipping route, and the time of year. 

Here are 15 tips to get the best rates when booking containers online: 

1. Start your search early: 

It’s best to start searching for a container at least 4-6 weeks before you need it. This will give you the best options and chances of getting a good deal. 

2. Compare prices:

Once you know what you need, it’s time to start shopping around. First, use a shipping container booking platform like iContainers to compare prices from different carriers. 

3. Be flexible with your dates: 

If your shipment is not time-sensitive, consider being flexible with your pickup and delivery dates. For example, you may be able to get a better rate if you’re willing to ship on a carrier’s existing route. 

4. Know your container options: 

There are various types of containers available, from standard 20-foot and 40-foot containers to refrigerated units and flat racks. Make sure you understand the difference between each type before you book to choose the right one for your needs. 

5. Consider using a less popular route: 

If you’re willing to ship on a less popular route, you may be able to get a lower rate. It’s important to compare transit times when considering this option, as your goods may spend longer in transit if you choose a less direct route. 

6. Book during the off-season: 

Rates are typically higher during peak shipping seasons like summer and winter. Therefore, consider booking during the shoulder season if your shipment is not time-sensitive. 

7. Pay attention to surcharges: 

Surcharges can add a significant amount to your best online container booking cost, so it’s important to know them before you book. Common surcharges include fuel, security, and congestion fees. 

8. Get a quote for insurance: 

Most carriers require that you purchase insurance for your shipment. Make sure you get a quote for insurance before you book to factor it into your overall cost. 

9. Ask about discounts: 

Some carriers offer discounts for certain shipments, so it’s always worth asking if there are any available. For example, discounts for volume shipments, dangerous goods, or perishable items may be offered. 

10. Compare all-inclusive and exclusive rates: 

When getting quotes from carriers, compare both all-inclusive and exclusive rates. All-inclusive rates will include the cost of the container, fuel, and other surcharges, while exclusive rates will not. 

11. Consider using a freight forwarder: 

If you’re new to shipping, working with a freight forwarder can be a helpful way to get started. A freight forwarder can help you compare rates, book your shipment, and track your goods as they travel to their destination. 

12. Use an online booking platform: 

Booking your shipment online is the simplest and most efficient way to get the best rates. iContainers offers an easy-to-use online booking platform that gives instant quotes from different carriers. 

13. Book directly with the carrier: 

If you have a specific carrier in mind, you can book your shipment directly with them. This may give you access to exclusive rates or discounts unavailable through other booking channels. 

14. Compare transit times: 

When comparing rates from different carriers, make sure to compare transit times. Some carriers may offer lower rates but take longer to deliver your goods. 

15. Read the fine print: 

Before you book your shipment, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your booking. Also, pay attention to cancellation policies and penalties, so you’re not surprised later. 


By following these tips, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible rate for your container booking. With a little planning and research, it’s easy to save money on your shipment. 

iContainers is an online booking platform that offers instant quotes from different carriers. We make it easy to compare rates and find the best option for your shipment. 

How to Get the Best Rates When Booking Containers Online