You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

Why can’t I log into my account to track my shipment?

For your convenience, Eastern has compiled a convenient User Guide for accessing your RealStatus on-demand tracking portal.  Our “How to” guide will walk you through the simple steps to accessing all of the features you need for tracking cargo and managing bookings. Contact your Account Manager to request a copy of the current guide.

How can I access the status information about a specific shipment?

When you need accurate status information fast, you can access up-to-the-minute updates on-demand via Eastern’s RealStatus tracking system.  In particular, several easy Search Methods will provide the quickest access to the status information you need.  Whether you want to search by PO number, or search for a specific container, you can follow Eastern’s easy step-by-step User Guide.  Contact your Account Manager to request a copy of the current guide.

Should I purchase cargo insurance to mitigate risk in the event my shipment is damaged in transit?

Many shippers overlook the fact that they are not inherently compensated by the carrier in the event of loss or damage. To reduce your exposure if goods are lost or damaged in transit, Eastern expressly offers insurance protection / All-Risk Shipper’s Interest Coverage. Why should you purchase Cargo Insurance? Cargo insurance provides protection against all risk of physical loss or damage to freight from external cause during land, sea or air shipping.

To learn more about the advantages of insuring your cargo through Eastern, download our Cargo Insurance FAQs document.

What items can be insured?

A list of items should be submitted for review and approval.  Most General Commodity items are insurable.  Common items that are not considered General Commodities are automobiles and personal effects.

How are shipping costs calculated?

We know it’s important to receive a final invoice that isn’t loaded with unexpected post-shipment charges and added fees. While shipping costs are routinely based on gross weight or dimensional weight of the cargo being shipped, Eastern doesn’t stop there.  Eastern’s TrueQuote process is your assurance of an accurate quote and an accurate final invoice. Learn more about TrueQuote assurance.

What is the difference between Spot Rates vs. Fixed Rates?

Spot rates are updated as market conditions change; increases can be applied to ocean freight as well as accessorial charges.
Fixed rates are not subject to ocean freight increases, but are subject to small increases in BAF, LSS.

Is there a good resource of common shipping terminology that I can use as a reference?

For a glossary of common international shipping terms, abbreviations and acronyms, you can refer to this online industry resource published by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration.

Access the downloadable pdf document here: Glossary of Shipping Terms

What countries require legalization?

Not all commodities require document legalization.  A list of countries currently requiring legalization is:
Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, U.A.E. Yemen

What’s the maximum legal weight of containers?

Maximum legal road limit is 44,000 lbs

What is dimensional weight?

Dimensional weight is a pricing technique for commercial freight transport, using an estimated weight that is calculated from the length, width, and height of a package.

How are weight/measure rates calculated?

For international ocean freight charges, 1 cubic meter = 1000 kgs.  Domestic delivery may be based on other criteria for inland delivery.

What documents are needed for an export shipment?

The basic document requirements include a Commercial Invoice and Packing List.

What documents or other information do I need to clear goods through customs?

The basic document requirements include a Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, and Packing List.

Does Eastern ship oversized cargo - RO RO (Roll on/Roll off), Flat Rack, Mafi?

Yes, we ship oversized/project cargo.  Our team is experienced at guiding the transportation process based on the unique needs of your shipment regardless of the size and space requirements. Learn more about our Project Cargo/Break Bulk services.

How can I minimize getting exams on my shipments?

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) created a voluntary partnership program with the principal stakeholders of the international supply chain, called CTPAT: Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.  This program's main goal is to identify compliant and trusted import traders who have good supply chain security procedures and controls to reduce screening of their imported cargo.  Participation in the CTPAT Partner Program is voluntary and there are no associated costs with joining the program.   A company is not required to have an intermediary to apply to the program and work with CBP.   More information about becoming a CTPAT Validated Partner can be found on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s CTPAT Portal.

What are Harmonized System (HS) Codes and Schedule B Codes?

A Harmonized System (HS) Code is a six-digit international classification system that is utilized by customs authorities around the world to identify the products when assessing duties, taxes and fees.  The Harmonized System (HS) Code is administrated by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and is updated every five years.   A specific HS six-digit code is assigned to varying classifications and commodities and countries are allowed to add longer codes in addition to the first six digits for further classification.   The United States uses a 10-digit code to classify products for export, also known as a Schedule B number.   The first six digits of this 10-digit code still utilize the Harmonized System (HS) Code.  The Schedule B is administrated by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division.  You can utilize the HTS Search or the Schedule B Search Engine to ensure you are using the correct codes.

What are detention and demurrage charges?

Demurrage is the charge the merchant pays for using the container within the terminal, beyond the free time-period. Detention is the charge that the merchant pays for the use of the container outside of the terminal or depot, beyond the free time-period. To learn more about detention & demurrage, visit Detention & Demurrage

How does Eastern minimize detention and demurrage charges?

The best way to save money on detention and demurrage is to pick-up and return the container within the allotted free time. Eastern does this through a healthy line of communication with our drayage providers as well as an effective internal process which aids in cost mitigation with the carriers. Simply put, Eastern proactively advocates for its clients to ensure the best value for the shipment. Eastern’s willingness and ability to communicate with all stakeholders, to efficiently pick up and return containers, is consistently recognized by Eastern customers as a major cost savings advantage over Eastern’s competitors.  Learn more

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

A container ship travels the equivalent of three-quarters of the way to the moon and back in one year during its regular travel across the oceans.