Monitoring shipments – How to monitor shipments from China?

The analysis of history confirms that container ships have revolutionized international trade. They contributed to the emergence of a consumer society. The increase of interest in this mode of transport of goods is growing in tandem with the popularity of groupage transport. Storing a container on the square involves paying an additional fee. Therefore, information about where exactly the goods are located and when it goes to the port turns out to be very useful for entrepreneurs. Such knowledge enables more efficient collection of cargo from the terminal and reduces costs related to logistics. Monitoring shipments from China is a simple, uncomplicated matter.

Size of the shipping container

Most companies that import products from China use three standard container sizes:

20′ ContainerInternal volume: 33.1 m3
Internal size: 5.71 m (L) x 2.352 m (W) x 2.365 m (H)
Maximum load: 28 200 kg
40′ ContainerInternal volume: 67.5 m3
Internal size: 12.192 m (L) x 2.362 m (W) x 2.365 m (H)
Maximum load: 26 600 kg
Container HC (high-cube) 40′Internal volume: 75.3 m3
Internal size: 12.0 m (L) x 2.311 m (W) x 2.650 m (H)
Maximum load: 26 580 kg

Ordering by container volume

Sea transport is not only conventional shipping connections but also container transport. In the case of the second type of transportation, we can distinguish two types of cargo – FCL and LCL. The cost of shipping is much easier to reduce than the price of the product itself. Such a change does not affect the quality of the goods. To select the appropriate option, it is best to ask the supplier for a price based on the full load of the container. The supplier should also indicate how many product units are in the container.


FCL – Full
Full-container sea freight – the container entirely uses one recipient
– Shipments are unloaded and delivered directly to the buyer’s location
– FCL is popular for larger loads
LCL – Less than Container LoadTransportation of groupage shipments – the container’s cargo space is shared, in one container, goods that are owned by several recipients are transported.
– shipments are unloaded at the destination port, later re-loaded before final delivery
– it’s a higher burden on forwarding companies
– allows flexible adjustment of deliveries

Ordering by container volume

It is worth noting that LCL shipments with a capacity exceeding 15 m3 cost more than FCL 20 ‘shipments (even if half of the container is empty). The 40-inch container is almost twice as long as 20-inch. It is worth taking this into account when ordering products such as vehicles, machines, or furniture. It may happen that the use of a larger container will ultimately be more beneficial. In the case of goods with a large size, it happens that three smaller containers can be replaced with one larger, paying less.

Container tracking – monitoring shipments from China

Currently, most international shipping lines (eg, China Shipping, Maersk, and MSC) offer container tracking online. This means that we can check the current location and estimated date of arrival of the container shipment from China to the destination port. Companies provide customers their shipment supervision systems. When sending containers belonging to several separate companies, tracking websites are beneficial (eg,

The situation is complicated for Chinese companies. It turns out that smaller companies do not deal directly with shipping lines. The shipment is ordered to the forwarder who orders the parcel from the shipping line. A large part of Chinese forwarding companies does not offer the option of shipping tracking. How to deal with it?


Because of this information should be obtained regarding:

  • which transport line deals with the transport of the cargo we are interested in (name of the shipping line, the owner transporting the container)
  • container number (usually four letters and seven digits)
  • number of reservation or number of bill of lading

The name of the dispatching line is recognized using a shortcut consisting of three to four letters. Using it, you can check the container’s affiliation to the company at

More information

Containers can be leased or sold to another company. The prefix does not always correspond to the shipowner. The most popular prefixes are: Mediterranean Shipping

  • Company S.A. – MSCU containers
  • P. Moller-Maersk Group – APMU/MAEU containers
  • CMA-CGM – CMBU containers
  • Hapag-Lloyd – HPLU containers
  • NYK Line – NYKU containers

Tracking site – monitoring shipments from China

Most international shipping lines support container tracking sites. Below is a list of sites used to monitor shipments for the world’s largest shipping companies:

Monitoring shipments from China is a simple matter that can facilitate transport. When we are not sure when exactly our parcels will arrive or where it is located, it is enough to enter the adequate page.

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