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Freight Shipping Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are already a customer or you are looking to start shipping with us, here are some quick shipping questions and answers.

Shipping With DHL Global Forwarding

What is DHL Global Forwarding?

We are the freight forwarding experts. We offer flexibility to ship goods above 70 lb. (31,5kg) across various transportation modes (air, ocean, road and rail). If you are unsure about the best mode for your next shipment, we can advise you based on your transit time requirements and budget. Check out our Quote + Book tool

Who can use your freight and cargo shipping services?

In order to ship with DHL Global Forwarding, you need to be a business.


Where do you ship freight to?

Everywhere! DHL Global Forwarding works with more companies and in more countries than any other logistics specialist. We have a truly global presence, and skilled employees local to you.


How much does it cost to ship freight?

The cost will depend on the origin country, destination country, how much the shipment weighs and how quickly you want it to arrive. The best way to estimate the cost is to get a quote for a one-off shipment through our Quote + Book tool.

If you ship frequently or at a high volume and want to explore partnership opportunities, we will be happy to discuss. Get in touch with your local DHL Representative.


How long does it take for freight shipments to be delivered?

There are many factors that go into the delivery times. Check out the estimated transit times for Air Freight and our LCL Sailing schedule to find the next available Ocean Freight departures between your preferred ports.


Do you ship dangerous goods?

Yes, we do ship certain types of dangerous goods. For more information about what we ship, review our dangerous goods/hazardous materials policy.


How do I get started shipping freight?

For one time quotations, you can use our Quote + Book tool. If you have other questions on Incoterms, the documentation required to move your freight or on packaging, please get in touch with your local DHL Representative.


Is DHL a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC)?

Yes! Danmar Lines, DHL Global Forwarding’s Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC), secures ocean freight capacity and space protection with the widest range of transport providers from and to all of the world’s major ports. This means that DHL Global Forwarding can transport shipments of all sizes at the best rate, from a single pallet to multiple containers.

Shipment Weight FAQs

How do you calculate the chargeable weight of a shipment?

The chargeable weight of your shipment is either its gross weight (the combined weight of your goods and their complete packaging, including pallets) or its volumetric weight – whichever is greater. For more details explore our chargeable weight explainer.


How do I calculate the volumetric weight of my shipment?

Measure your shipment in centimeters or inches. Multiply the length x width x height. This will give you the volume. Divide the volume by the density ratio of your shipping mode. For details on the density ratio for air, ocean, road and rail view our chargeable weight explainer.

International Regulations and Customs FAQs

Are there restrictions to what type of freight I can ship into a country?

Especially for import, some goods will be subject to government regulations and require licenses.

 It is best to research import regulations prior to contracting any shipping.

Goods can also be subject to control due to trade conventions, such as the Washington Convention (CITES), protecting endangered species such as rare essences of wood, or the Kimberley Process covering the trade of diamonds. For more details see the Customs Section of our Freight Glossary.


Does my international freight shipment need to go through customs?

Before it is loaded onto its containership and after unloading at its destination port, your shipment must go through customs. Whether you are the shipper or the consignee, you will most likely be responsible for the import or the export customs clearance and the payment of duties (also referred to as “tariffs”) for your shipment. Depending on the selected Incoterms®, you may even need to take care of both.

It is best to your responsibilities for customs clearance with your overseas partner prior to shipping.


How do I know the cost of duties for my freight shipment?

The amount you need to pat depends on the nature of your cargo.

The smooth handling of your customs activities starts with a precise description of the goods you are shipping. This is achieved through an internationally standardized commodity code, the Harmonized System (HS) Code, which will ensure that the correct duties and taxes are applied by Customs. It is defined by the World Customs Organization (WCO), and is available publicly.


Shipment Value Protection FAQ

What types of problems are covered in the cost of my shipment?

Freight forwarders and carriers have limited liability for loss or damage to your goods under international conventions. In the case of an incident covered under international conventions, your compensation will be calculated against a standard negligent liability clause and not the real value of your cargo.

While every shipment is handled with great care, accidents outside the carrier or freight forwarder’s control can happen. Natural disasters such as floods are not covered by freight liability.

DHL Global Forwarding offers Shipment Value Protection to close the gap between standard liability and the full value of your goods.

Why should I add DHL Shipment Value Protection?

We offer exceptional levels of service, no matter the size of your business. You get access to an insurance policy with no deductibles or excess at a competitive rate, from one of the world’s largest insurers – even for high-risk cargo and in destinations that most other insurance companies won’t cover. Other benefits include:

  • Freight and insurance billed on a single invoice
  • Easy claims process - as your forwarder, we already have of many of the necessary documents
  • Claims settled within 30 days on average
  • Claims handled locally by personnel who speak the local language
  • Reimbursement settled in local currency

Does DHL Shipment Value Protection cover high-risk destinations and special cargo?

Our scale means we can arrange for most countries and for special, high risk or very valuable cargo.

We can arrange insurance coverage in most countries thanks to our scale – including for special, high-risk, or very valuable cargo.

How long does it take to process a claim under DHL Shipment Value Protection?

In case of an incident, we aim to settle your claim within 30 days from the moment all the required documents are in our possession.

How do I file a claim for under my Shipment Value Protection?

To start the claims process, please contact your local representative.

Sustainability FAQs

Do you offer sustainable or carbon neutral freight shipping options?

As the world’s largest logistics service provider, all of us at DHL have a special obligation to minimize the negative impact of our business on the environment.

We offer solutions to help you identifying and monitoring your carbon footprint, minimizing and/or avoiding emissions and offset your greenhouse gas logistics emissions through investments in internationally recognized climate protection projects.

Learn more about our Go Green solutions

What standards does DHL using to calculate carbon emissions?

We use the standard EN 16258:2012 (Methodology for calculation and declaration of energy consumption GHG Protocol Product Lifecycle Accounting and Reporting Standard) the most acceptable standard globally.


What sources of emission factors are you using?

Road emission factors based on HBEFA (Handbook Emission Factors for Road Transport), Ocean emission factors based on CCWG (Clean Cargo Working Group), Air emission factors based on NTM (Network for Transport Measures). This is the basis for our used Vehicle Operation System (VOS).

What credits are you offering within the Climate Neutral service?

We offer Gold Standard VERs (Verified Emission Reductions) and Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) which get certified by the VCS (Voluntary Carbon Standard). Our carbon credits are part of the voluntary carbon market and are not part of a cap-and-trade system (where emission allowances can be traded).

Cross Trade

Cargo transportation is defined as Cross Trade when the goods are moved from their point of origin to their destination without entering the country where the shipper is registered.

Delivery FAQs

What Information do I need to pick up my shipment?

You will either need of the following:

  • Your shipment number
  • Your order code and order ID

My shipment is late/missing, what should I do?

If you cannot find the status of your shipment in our tracking tool or on myDHLi Track, please get in touch with your local DHL representative.

I only received part of my shipment, what should I do?

Start by checking the tracking status of your shipment on myDHLi Track or with our tracking tool for an update on its current location. If tracking indicates your entire shipment has been delivered, please get in touch with your local DHL Representative.

My shipment arrived damaged, what should I do?

If your goods are lost during transport, or if the shipment shows visible external damage, please make a note on the waybill or transfer documents upon reception and get in touch with your local DHL Representative.

Are you looking for help with a shipment in transit?

Let’s get you over to our Tracking and Customer Service areas. Once there, simply enter your tracking number and we’ll help you track down the information you need.