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Cost Of Shipping A Container To Japan

Published on 2021-08-22

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How Much Does It Cost Of Shipping A Container To Japan?

Japan Container Shipping Cost

Ever wondered why most tourists use tour guides? It is not because they cannot understand a map. Neither is it because they feel like throwing money around. The reason is simple. With a tour guide, you get to know the best and most exciting places without the stress of wasting time experiencing disappointments before finding out. Why not allow Three Movers, one of the best international moving companies, to be your guide on the shipping of your business or personal products to Japan? Mind you, like tour guides, our international shipping industry makes suggestions based on your budget and will help you decide when to supplement value for money. This guide will assist you in determining the best freight plan for your shipments.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Shipping

Japan has only two freight options: air and sea as it is an island. The following factors affect the cost of shipping containers to Japan.

The Volume/Weight Of The Goods

International shipping follows the idea that the more goods you have, the more you will pay. Hence, expect the size of your cargo to affect the cost of transportation.

Type Of Transportation

When compared to shipping via ship the cost of air freight in Japan is prohibitive. Thus the cost of shipping via air is higher than shipping via sea.  The air is preferable if you need to get somewhere quickly because it is five times faster than the water but if money is more of a concern than the time the sea is your best bet.

The Distance Of The Journey

Distance affects every form of transportation that you will choose. The higher the distance from the initial location of your cargo to your destination, the more you will pay.

The Destination Port

Only cargo donated to charities in Japan is exempted from customs duties, tariffs, and other charges. Its duty rates range from 3.2 to 20%, depending on the category of your cargo.

The Time Of The Year

It is important to note that there are periods of high demand for shipment services. These periods known as peak seasons tend to affect the price of shipping.

Average Container Shipping Rates Estimates

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping Rates

FCL shipping is best for transporting lots of boxes, pallets, and anything which will require a full container shipping to Japan of up to 45,000lbs.

  • 20 ft Container $735
  • 40 ft Container $855

Less Than Container (LCL) Shipping Rates

LCL shipping is a more affordable way to transport less than container load shipments to Japan.

  • LCL $55/CBM
  • Household Goods $430
  • Personal Effects $385

International House Moving Costs

International house moving to Japan services – quick, easy, and cheap.

  • Partial House (2000Lbs & Less) $430
  • 1 Bedroom (3850 Lbs) $1957
  • 2 Bedroom (4500 Lbs) $2303
  • 3+ Bedroom (8750 Lbs) $2807

Container Car Shipping

International auto transport services to Japan via RoRo and container ships. Ship cars, trucks, SUVs, ATVs, boats, RV’s, heavy equipment, and more.

  • Sedan (Container) $1950
  • SUV (Container) $2030
  • Sedan via RORO $1634
  • SUV via RORO $1752

Which Size Of Container Ship Works Best For Me?

There are various container shipping prices, and every shipping container cost differs. The general purpose containers of 20ft and 40ft are the commonly used options despite several types of them. Your choice of container is essential because it ensures the safety of your cargo, but it also affects your budget.

How Big Is A 20ft Container?

A 20ft is 5.8m in length, 2.35m in width, 2.39m in height, and carries an estimated payload capacity of 21850kg. It provides a cheap option when your cargo capacity is minor or contained in a standard single garage.

How Big Is A 40ft Container?

A 40ft container offers more space than a 20ft container. It has the same width and height as a 20ft container, but its length is 12.3m, and its estimated payload capacity is 26760kg. It also provides a more straightforward and quicker loading time for your cargo.

The Difference Between FCL And LCL

Full cargo load (FCL) allows personal usage of the container to transport your products. This also provides you with a more secure and convenient space for your cargo. However, if you doubt your financial capacity to pay for a full cargo load, you can choose the less-than-container load (LCL) option, which allows you to share the financial burden and container with other clients.

Additional Shipping Costs

These additional charges should affect your budget in shipping your cargo to Japan. They include:

  • Customs duties
  • General Rate Increase (GRI)
  • Container inspection fees
  • Inland delivery charges
  • Quarantine fees
  • Insurance cover

What is the cost of shipping from Japan?

To know the cost of shipping from Japan, it is necessary to look at the distance your shipment has to travel. The following table shows you estimated rates based on your destination port and the type of cargo (vehicle or not).

As you can see, for example, if you take a 20ft FCL from Japan to Busan, Korea, or Guangzhou, China, then it should cost you about 13000USD.

1. The other estimated rates are as follows:

2. If you have a reefer container, it should be charged at the following rate:

From these figures, you can see that if your cargo is not a car, you can afford to ship it by a 20ft FCL as mentioned above; the cost is in USD/TEU/20FT.

How much does it cost to ship a 20 ft container?

The cost of shipping a 20-foot container is about $1,300. Container transportation costs are based on the actual weight of the cargo instead of the volume of space it takes up. LCL cost includes both the actual container weight and the vessel’s carrying capacity.

What is the cost to ship a 40 ft container?

The price of shipping a 40-foot container will range between $4,000-$7,000 depending on the destination country and the amount of cargo transported. This type of transportation is usually used for heavy or bulky items. The international cost for transporting a standard40 foot shipping container overseas will vary depending on several factors; however, most shippers can expect to pay approximately $3,500-$5,500 to ship a 40 ft container to Asia.

What is less than container load?

Less than container load (LCL) means shipping goods from various suppliers to various customers using one container. LCL shipments are often combined into a full container load at a third-party consolidator’s warehouse, eliminating the need for the individual shipper to own or lease their container. In this case, the cost per kg would be much less than a full container load.

Cost per kg for shipping from China to Japan by Sea, Cargo ship:

USD/KGS Cost from China to Japan is around USD 130-150 per 20 FCL (1 x 20’FCL=20’GP) – The final delivered price depends on the quantity and weight of your goods, the last delivery port, and the ship you will book.

For example: For a 10’GP (or 40’HQ) from China to Japan with USD 150/KGS; Please see below for the total cost estimation:

USD150 X 40 = 5,000 X KG Rate: 1,500.00

What is a full container load?

Full container load (FCL) is a term used in international shipping to describe the number of containers that a cargo vessel can be loaded with. A more exact definition of FCL is: A full container load (FCL) is defined as a container with 90% or more of its cubic meters available for general cargo.

A full container is a 20ft or 40ft unit nearly filled with general cargo.

This definition of FCL has nothing to do with the number of units in the shipment, i.e., there may be more than one container when they together add up to 90% of cubic meters available for general cargo meter cargo 20-foot container is about 6.1 meters long, 2.3 meters wide and 2.6 meters high (or high of ceiling if shorter meters 40-foot container is about 12.2 meters long, 2.3-meter cargo width and 2.6 meters high.

What is air freight?

For international shipping, air freight is the most common choice for cargo, but it is also one of the most expensive shipment methods. It may involve less time than traditional ocean freight, but it has a higher price tag when compared to sea transport. The main reason for this additional expense is that a company requires an air waybill to use this method. An air waybill is a document that has to be signed between the sender and the company arranging transportation at both ends that identifies who will pay for the freight’s charges, regardless of whether they arrive on time or not.

The average container takes more than 35 days from China to the USA by sea but only five days by air.

This type of transportation costs around $10,000 per container, but this price may vary depending on the destination country.

What is land freight?

One of the most commonly used modes of transportation is land freight, which involves transporting goods using trucks and trains. Land freight can be an economical solution for large shipments that require a lot of cargo. You can choose to use multiple modes of transportation when you are shipping goods with land freight. This is commonly referred to as combination or multimodal transport.

The cost of shipping a container to Japan is heavily influenced by the method of transport chosen. With containers, several factors are considered to provide an accurate estimate price. The weight, volume, and distance covered by the cargo are three main factors that affect the container shipping price. It is essential to understand how containers work and what factors go into their cost in a large shipment.

What is ocean freight?

Freight shipping or transportation is transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo. Freight shipping is the physical process of transporting commodities, freight, cargo, goods, or items from one location to another.

The ocean freight shipping routes are often heavily traveled between countries on different continents. Shipping containers are used when transporting goods and can be hired in both private and commercial enterprises. Non-containerized freight includes bulk cargo, breakbulk cargo, heavy lift, and project cargoes.


The shipping cost for container shipping is determined by the weight and size of the products you ship, as well as the location that your items are being shipped to. The specific dimensions of one 40ft container can vary slightly, but they will typically range between 10m long, 2.5m wide, and 3.6m high (or 33 long, 8ft wide, and 11 ft high).

Some items may be too large to fit into a container and require freight forwarding. The weight of the container itself may also affect your shipping costs, as well as extra services that you decide to include, such as packing or cleaning.


Price quotes for shipping containers can be obtained relatively easily from major freight forwarders such as Expeditors and Maypole. Basic price calculators are provided on their websites to enter your details and get an estimated shipping cost based on the information entered.

If you’re using a freight forwarder, they will provide you with quotes for ocean freight and door-to-door delivery. Most companies will only deal with businesses, so using a freight forwarder is not recommended if you are an individual.

For those of you who prefer to do your research, several websites have price calculators that can give estimates depending on where your items are.

Average Container Shipping Rates Estimates

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping Rates

FCL shipping is best for transporting lots of boxes, pallets and anything which will require a full container shipping to Japan of up to 45,000lbs.

Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping Rates

20 ft Container $735
40 ft Container $855

Less Than Container (LCL) Shipping Rates

LCL shipping is more affordable way to transport less than container load shipments to Japan.

Less Than Container (LCL) Shipping Rates

Household Goods $430
Personal Effects $385
International House Moving Costs

International house moving to Japan services – quick, easy and cheap.

International House Moving Costs

Partial House (2000Lbs & Less) $430
1 Bedroom (3850 Lbs) $1957
2 Bedroom (4500 Lbs) $2303
3+ Bedroom (8750 Lbs) $2807

Container Car Shipping

International auto transport services to Japan via RoRo and container ships. Ship cars, trucks, suvs, atv’s, boats, RV’s, heavy equipment and more.

Container Car Shipping

Sedan (Container) $1950
SUV (Container) $2030
Sedan via RORO $1634
SUV via RORO $1752

Delivery & Loading Options

Another essential factor that can affect the cost of your planning to deliver and load shipping containers. If you plan to move by FCL, you might have three choices depending on the NVOCC mover forwarder.

1. Port to Port

It is one of the basics, and upon this, the rates on top are based. Essentially, port-to-port shipping enables you to get your goods to the origin port, then the company delivers them to the destined port, and after that, you are liable to get them to the house.

2. Drop & Fill

The shipping company drops the shipping container here at your home, and then you fill it by yourself. You can also use domestic packers and movers working separately from the company to help out.

Furthermore, this is a choice on your moves, another end where the company leaves a container to your house and then it is up to you to unload it

3. Door to Door Moves

The most well-understood option for overseas people is a comprehensive door-to-door moving service. Depending upon the choice you pick, your mover arranges to deliver the container to your house, move to port, pack, ship, move to the new location, and lastly, unpacked.


If you plan to move all the things of your house overseas, then it is necessary to insure everything. Therefore confirm if the company you chose has adequate maritime insurance. Thus, it gives you a stress-free mind that if anything gets broken or damaged while moving, you aren’t going to be out of pocket.

Packing Costs

Most of the companies in charge of moving to require that it is up to them to pack your all goods. On the other hand, it may sound like adding on extra costs, yet it has good benefits. Firstly, it helps prevent fraudulent insurance claims that drive up the price for all people. Secondly, it is a requirement for duty and taxes.

Which type of freight is best for me?

Freightos conducted a poll of over 500 shippers to determine their top preferences for international shipping. The survey found that most shippers preferred FCL (full container load) shipments. Furthermore, the study found that freight rates on full container loads were considerably more cost-effective than LCL (less than container load) shipments.

Let’s compare FCL with LCL rates.

Full Container Load (FCL) is generally more cost-effective than Less Than Container Load (LCL)

FCL shipments are always a priority, whereas LCL may not be available, or it may take longer for your shipment to arrive. Additionally, FCL shipments tend to weigh more, resulting in cheaper rates. The maximum weight for FCL shipments is generally 20 tons, but for LCL, the maximum is 6-7 tons. This means that your shipment will likely be turned away if it exceeds these limits preventing you from any further shipping expenses.

What is the best way to work out shipping expenses?

The first step for you is to determine if your shipment falls under FCL or LCL rates. If you’re not sure, Freightos can help you compare your options and find the cheapest route for your goods.

Once you’ve made this determination, it’s time to create a real-time, instant freight quote. This will help you determine your total costs and compare them to what your local forwarder offers.

If you’re looking to send a single 20ft FCL container from Tokyo (Japan) to Buenos Aires (Argentina), Freightos can find the cheapest route in just a few seconds.

The 20ft container is trendy, but you can also get instant freight quotes for 40ft and 40HQ containers.

How do I choose the best route to send my goods?

With Freightos, you can compare your rates in real-time and discover the cheapest available route for your shipment. Our algorithms can determine which way is best for you, considering factors like transit time, ease of paperwork, and shipping costs.

Buenos Aires is one of our top destinations in South America. This vibrant city’s central location on the southern tip of Argentina has made it a major shipping hub within the region. You can find rates from Tokyo to Buenos Aires here.

You can also use our destination search function to compare rates from more than 1,000 cities worldwide. Enter your origin and destination into the boxes on Three Movers’s homepage for a comprehensive list of quotes to choose from.

What are my payment options?

Freight allows you to pay in a variety of ways. At the shipping time, you may pay by credit card or bank transfer (wire transfer). We can also help you secure a letter of credit if this is your preferred payment option.

Working with Freightos will help you discover the best and cheapest routes for your FCL shipment and compare freight quotes in real-time. With our user-friendly interface, you can easily track your shipment and choose the best option for your needs.

What are some good questions to ask a freight forwarder?

Freightos can help you compare quotes from different forwarders and choose the best option for your shipment. However, we recommend asking your chosen forwarder:

– What are the costs for my shipment?

– How many days will it take my shipment to arrive at its destination?

– Do we need particular forms and documents for this shipment?

What’s Next?

Getting a quote is the final step in shipping your business or personal cargo to Japan. You can receive it for free by simply completing our web form or calling us at (888) 202-0036.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kinds of Import Tariffs are Required when Shipping to Japan?

The Customs and Tariff Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Finance administers tariffs. Japan has one of the lowest tariff rates in the world. Japan has a 15% tariff rate on agricultural products and a 2.5% tariff rate on non-agricultural products. Harmonized System (HS) codes are used to determine the tariff rate. Japan shares the same HS trade classification system as the United States. There are five categories under this classification system. They are:

1. General Rate
2. Temporary Rate
3. WTO Rate
4. GSP Rate – Preferential Rate for designated developing countries
5. LDC, which covers a series of country-specific “EPA” (Economic Partnership Agreement) Rates

What Is a Bill of Lading?

A bill of lading is a contract between the owner of the items to be shipped and the carrier that will transport the items. It contains the details of the items being shipped, their origin, and the destination. It also contains special instructions for handling special items. It also has the function of being a receipt issued by the carrier at the destination. Finally, it serves as a right of ownership as anyone possessing the bill of lading can claim the shipment.

What Types of Items are Prohibited or Restricted from Being Imported into Japan?

Japan is very strict about its restriction and prohibition laws. Japan strictly prohibits the entry of narcotics and related utensils, firearms, firearm parts and ammunition, explosives and gunpowder, precursor materials for chemical weapons, germs that are likely to be used for bioterrorism, counterfeit goods or imitation coins or currency, obscene materials, or goods that violate intellectual property rights. Restricted items include certain agricultural and meat products, endangered species, and products such as ivory, animal parts, and fur where trade is banned by international treaties. Medicinal products require specific permits to be imported into the country.

What’s the Difference between Shipping Taxes and Shipping Duties?

Shipping taxes are fees placed by a government on items entering the country or leaving the country. They are usually fixed and don’t vary from item to item. Shipping duties, on the other hand, are fees placed on goods entering a country from other countries and they vary from item to item. They are imposed to protect the economy of the country. They are also used as a means of generating revenue and financing the customs agency.

What Can I Do If I Lose the Bill of Lading?

Due to the function of the bill of lading, losing it is a serious issue. For a start, a new bill of lading cannot just be issued if the former one is lost or damaged. There are steps that have to be taken to maintain the legal integrity of the shipment and all arrangements agreed upon initially. A lost bill of lading will require a statement of loss in writing, packing list, commercial invoice, shipper’s approval for delivery of goods, letter of indemnity from the shipper, letter of indemnity from the receiver of the goods, bank guarantee, and a possible fee. 

Are Shipping Containers Waterproof and Properly Ventilated?

Generally speaking, yes, shipping containers are waterproof. They are given certain seals to prevent water from entering. This is important because they are transported on the haul of ships across seas and oceans. However, as the shipping container ages, it begins to lose its seals and might allow water in. This makes it important to inspect shipping containers before using them to transport cargo. Shipping containers are also ventilated to allow for the transportation of animals, plants, and items that require air.

What’s the Difference Between a Freight Forwarder, a Broker, and an NVOCC?

A freight forwarder is an agent or a company that acts as a go-between a shipper and a carrier. A freight forwarder handles the logistics of shipping ensuring that the shipper’s goods are properly documented, shipped, and delivered at the destination. A broker is an agent that smoothens out the business arrangements between a carrier and a client. A broker is used when the carrier doesn’t want to deal with clients directly. A Non-Vessel Owner Common Carrier (NVOCC) is a company that ships items on behalf of clients without owning or operating a carrier. This company can issue their own bill of lading as a normal carrier would but they don’t operate a carrier. Instead, they rent spaces on the hauls for their own shipping containers containing the items of their clients.  

What is the Maximum Weight That Can Be Loaded into a Container?

The maximum weight that can be loaded into a normal ISO 20ft container is 44,000 lbs. The weight however has to be evenly distributed. The maximum weight a 40ft container can carry depends on the container. For most containers in the United States, the maximum weight is 44,500 lbs. For other containers, the maximum is 67,000 lbs.

Shipping Containers Worldwide – Popular Routes

Three Movers can help you ship a container from anywhere in the world to Japan:

Afghanistan to Japan
Albania to Japan
Algeria to Japan
Andorra to Japan
Angola to Japan
Antigua to Japan
Argentina to Japan
Armenia to Japan
Australia to Japan
Austria to Japan
Azerbaijan to Japan
Bahamas to Japan
Bahrain to Japan
Bangladesh to Japan
Barbados to Japan
Belarus to Japan
Belgium to Japan
Belize to Japan
Benin to Japan
Bhutan to Japan
Bolivia to Japan
Bosnia Herzegovina to Japan
Botswana to Japan
Brazil to Japan
Brunei to Japan
Bulgaria to Japan
Burkina to Japan
Burundi to Japan
Cambodia to Japan
Cameroon to Japan
Canada to Japan
Cape Verde to Japan
Central African Rep to Japan
Chad to Japan
Chile to Japan
China to Japan
Colombia to Japan
Comoros to Japan
Congo to Japan
Congo {Democratic Rep} to Japan
Costa Rica to Japan
Croatia to Japan
Cuba to Japan
Cyprus to Japan
Czech Republic to Japan
Denmark to Japan
Djibouti to Japan
Dominica to Japan
Dominican Republic to Japan
East Timor to Japan
Ecuador to Japan
Egypt to Japan
El Salvador to Japan
Equatorial Guinea to Japan
Eritrea to Japan
Estonia to Japan
Ethiopia to Japan
Fiji to Japan
Finland to Japan
France to Japan
Gabon to Japan
Gambia to Japan
Georgia to Japan
Germany to Japan
Ghana to Japan
Greece to Japan

Grenada to Japan
Guatemala to Japan
Guinea to Japan
Guinea-Bissau to Japan
Guyana to Japan
Haiti to Japan
Honduras to Japan
Hungary to Japan
Iceland to Japan
India to Japan
Indonesia to Japan
Iran to Japan
Iraq to Japan
Ireland to Japan
Israel to Japan
Italy to Japan
Ivory Coast to Japan
Jamaica to Japan
Jordan to Japan
Kazakhstan to Japan
Kenya to Japan
Kiribati to Japan
Korea North to Japan
Korea South to Japan
Kosovo to Japan
Kuwait to Japan
Kyrgyzstan to Japan
Laos to Japan
Latvia to Japan
Lebanon to Japan
Lesotho to Japan
Liberia to Japan
Libya to Japan
Liechtenstein to Japan
Lithuania to Japan
Luxembourg to Japan
Macedonia to Japan
Madagascar to Japan
Malawi to Japan
Malaysia to Japan
Maldives to Japan
Mali to Japan
Malta to Japan
Marshall Islands to Japan
Mauritania to Japan
Mauritius to Japan
Mexico to Japan
Micronesia to Japan
Moldova to Japan
Monaco to Japan
Mongolia to Japan
Montenegro to Japan
Morocco to Japan
Mozambique to Japan
Myanmar, {Burma} to Japan
Namibia to Japan
Nauru to Japan
Nepal to Japan
Netherlands to Japan
New Zealand to Japan
Nicaragua to Japan
Niger to Japan
Nigeria to Japan
Norway to Japan
Oman to Japan
Pakistan to Japan

Palau to Japan
Palestine to Japan
Panama to Japan
Papua New Guinea to Japan
Paraguay to Japan
Peru to Japan
Philippines to Japan
Poland to Japan
Portugal to Japan
Qatar to Japan
Romania to Japan
Russian Federation to Japan
Rwanda to Japan
Saint Vincent & the Grenadines to Japan
Samoa to Japan
San Marino to Japan
Sao Tome & Principe to Japan
Saudi Arabia to Japan
Senegal to Japan
Serbia to Japan
Seychelles to Japan
Sierra Leone to Japan
Singapore to Japan
Slovakia to Japan
Slovenia to Japan
Solomon Islands to Japan
Somalia to Japan
South Africa to Japan
South Sudan to Japan
Spain to Japan
Sri Lanka to Japan
St Kitts & Nevis to Japan
St Lucia to Japan
Sudan to Japan
Suriname to Japan
Swaziland to Japan
Sweden to Japan
Switzerland, {Eswatini} to Japan
Syria to Japan
Taiwan to Japan
Tajikistan to Japan
Tanzania to Japan
Thailand to Japan
Timor-Leste to Japan
Togo to Japan
Tonga to Japan
Trinidad & Tobago to Japan
Tunisia to Japan
Turkey to Japan
Turkmenistan to Japan
Tuvalu to Japan
Uganda to Japan
Ukraine to Japan
United Arab Emirates to Japan
United Kingdom to Japan
United States to Japan
Uruguay to Japan
Uzbekistan to Japan
Vanuatu to Japan
Vatican City to Japan
Venezuela to Japan
Vietnam to Japan
Yemen to Japan
Zambia to Japan
Zimbabwe to Japan

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at [email protected]

Customer Reviews

I want to take a moment to say thank you to the extremely hard working crew that handled my move. I admit I was skeptical of hiring a company to move my household stuff but I was so pleased with the services. These guys packed everything up and had it loaded and delivered in no time at all. Everything was taken care of from start to finish and my wife and I were able to take some much needed time to check out the new town without having to worry about getting things unpacked. Three Movers took care of everything and we really appreciate it!

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