Head Office: 8th Floor, St Vincent House, 1 Cutler Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1UQ

+44 (0) 1394 674822


Ocean Freight

With over 180-years of experience in ocean freight,
Cory Brothers know how to expertly manage your shipments. 

Our global network of Cory offices and agents ensures that your cargo is looked after from the moment we pick it up, to the moment we deliver it to its destination.

Our cost-effective, efficient, worldwide service is here to provide you with the ocean freight solution that you need. No matter where your cargo is going to or coming from, Cory Brothers will give you the best range of options to suit your cargo, budget and timeframe.

As experts in documentation and customs clearance, we will have your ocean freight shipment pre-lodged ahead of arrival. We proactively check your paperwork to identify any issues which may cause delay. Our specialists understand that additional time is your money.

  • Flexible options for all INCOTERMS.
  • Experts in customs clearance.
  • Ocean freight network.
  • Full load and part load specialists (FCL/LCL).
  • Personal account management.

Contact us for more information on our ocean freight services.

We don't only provide ocean freight services







Ocean Freight - FAQs

How is ocean freight calculated?

Ocean Freight is calculated using the number of goods that are being shipped and where they are being shipped from/to. The fluctuating demand and equipment availability for an area can also affect the rate. Individual carriers will have different free time agreements so this should also be factored in when choosing.

If the goods are shipped in a container, the ocean freight rate will be calculated per container. These rates can be different for the size and type of container that is being shipped (EG 40’DV & 40’HC), so ask for a quote for the exact shipping equipment that you require.

If the goods are shipped as part of a loaded container (LCL), then the sea freight will be determined using the FCL container rate (that the co-loader will pay to the carrier), the loading/unloading, the administration and the volume/weight of your consignment.

At Cory Brothers, we provide you with cost-effective ocean freight. Get in touch for more info.

How does ocean freight work?

Ocean freight works by transporting goods in a container, or as bulk/break bulk, by sea vessel. The entire process for ocean freight is the same, whether you are importing or exporting your goods from the UK, but your part will be different depending on your role as either the buyer or seller.

The beginning of the process is making the booking with the carrier to move your goods on a specific vessel, using a particular piece of equipment. The haulier will then collect this equipment from an assigned depot, advise the equipment number to your ocean freight forwarder and load the goods.

The carrier will book the equipment onto the port by updating the export manifest with the equipment number. Whilst the carrier must allocate the equipment numbers to a manifest, the customs clearance agent needs to provide the carrier with a clearance before the vessel is loaded.

If the shipment is bulk or break bulk, the goods will be unpacked at the port and loaded to the vessel directly. If the shipment is an LCL, then the goods will be taken to a warehouse for loading with other consignments before the containers manifest is provided to the carrier for vessel loading.

Once the goods are received at the Port Of Arrival (POA), they will require carrier release, customs clearance and inland haulage to take the goods to their destination. If the goods are LCL, then they will go to an Electronic Remote Transit Shed (ERTS) for devanning and collection by the importer.

Cory Brothers are experts in Ocean Freight coordination. Please get in touch for more information

How long does ocean freight take?

Ocean freight takes varying lengths of time depending on where the goods are going, if there is a wait for the vessel to leave the port of loading and if the loading vessel is going to the port of arrival. Other delays can also come from customs, consolidators, documents and port congestion.

If your goods are coming from China to the UK, the ocean freight will take approximately 30 days to get to the Port of Felixstowe, or 36 days to get to the Port of Liverpool. This is because most vessels from China will go to Felixstowe but Liverpool containers will need transhipping in Europe first.

From arrival, your goods will be booked for delivery to you. This is usually within 5 days because of container free time but there may be longer free time available with certain carriers. To collect the container, it must be customs cleared and the Bill Of Lading presented to the carrier.

For LCL shipments, the container will usually be devanned and your goods available for collection within a week. However, even if your shipment is customs cleared, if there is a holdup of one consignment within the groupage container with Port Health, the container will remain in port.

Cory Brothers can give an accurate forecast for whatever movements you need. Contact us today.

Is ocean freight cheaper than air freight?

Ocean freight is far cheaper than air freight if the only metric is transport cost by weight or per piece. If there is value in having the goods faster, or there are infrequent orders for a certain item that attracts high storage costs to keep on hand, then air freight could be a cheaper option overall.

When looking at the cost between ocean freight and air freight, sea freight is always preferable when there is no urgent need for a larger volume of goods. Air freight is normally selected when the goods are required asap, or for important documents, and the additional costs are worth the speed.

Cory Brothers supplies cost-effective solutions for ocean and air freight. Contact us for more info.

How much is ocean freight from China?

How much ocean freight is from China depends on the competition and equipment you require. The cost for ocean freight can be as low as $600 for a 20’ if there are empties needed in the UK, to over $9000 when there was worldwide congestion before Christmas after the coronavirus lockdown.

During normal times, ocean freight fluctuates around $900 for a 20’ and $1800 for a 40’ from China to the Pot of Felixstowe in the UK. The transit time, terminal charges and the free time differ by carrier so these should also be factored in when deciding which carrier to use for your ocean freight.

LCL shipments will incur a fraction of the costs for container handling, as this is shared between all of the consignments inside a container. However, there will be other fees (again, as a fraction) incurred for the additional handling, administration and transporting of your shipment from the co-loader.

At Cory Brothers, we give you the best ocean freight options for your business. Get in touch today.