Freight shipping rates and container costs

The total price for a shipment consists of various components: a basic rate, mandatory surcharges and extra services. 

Below you’ll find a short description of each of the main components. Enabling you – if needed – to better understand the price structure and even the breakdown on your invoice.






The Basic Ocean Freight - BAS 

The Basic Ocean Freight (BAS) is a transportation rate for moving your cargo. The rate is price determined by varying factors such as the different origin-destination combinations and the cargo type (Dry Cargo or Reefer Cargo). 

The mandatory surcharges 

A mandatory "surcharge" constitutes a part of the rate which is not covered by the basic ocean freight. Mandatory surcharges are established to cover cost items or services that are either pass-through charges (e.g. from terminals) or beyond the basic ocean transport services. These surcharges are applicable to every shipment.

Below you’ll find more information about the most frequent surcharges.

  • Bunker Adjustment Factor – SBF. The Bunker Adjustment Factor (SBF) is a charge to account for the fluctuations in bunker costs (oil used by the vessels) that changes on quarterly basis.
  • Low Sulphur Surcharge – LSS. The Low Sulphur Surcharge (LSS) covers the expenses related to the usage of low-sulphur fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1% used in shipments transported completely or partially across the Sulphur Emission Control Areas.
  • Emergency Risk Surcharge – ERS. The Emergency Risk Surcharge (ERS) covers additional costs faced by the carrier when moving cargo in dangerous regions including those that are threatened by hazards, violence or piracy. The fee will be applied to bookings that are from, to or transited through the affected areas.
  • Terminal Handling Charges – THC. Our Terminal Handling Charges (THC) are based on the cost of handling the container in the terminals, including loading and discharging containers to/from the vessel.
  • Peak Season Surcharge – PSS. The Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) is a seasonal fee applied during high volume shipping periods in certain trades. The fee is applicable to all shipments that move in these trades during the high volume periods.

Click here to see the mandatory charge values for reference corridors effective 1st December 2016 to 1st January 2017

Click here to see the mandatory charge values for reference corridors effective 1st January 2017 to 14th January 2017

Click here to see the mandatory charge values for reference corridors effective 15th January 2017 until further notice

Value Added Services - VAS 

Value Added Services are extra services that we offer to accommodate your additional requirements. 

Examples of our Value Added Services are: Container Cleaning, Garments on Hangers, Out of Gauge, Controlled Atmosphere, Cold Treatment, Genset.

Looking to request a quote or have general business opportunities to explore with Maersk Line? Click here to contact your local Maersk Line office.


How we communicate rates

Before 1 September 2016, Maersk Line announced container shipping rates by indicating the increase. From 1 September 2016, we indicate the new rate in full. 

For more information see here