April 25, 2024
The latest news, company announcements, DGX events and industry-position posts.

What is Considered Project or Oversize Cargo?

March 4, 2024

Project or Oversized Cargo is a specialized field of transportation that requires extensive, comprehensive experience handling cargo/freight that does not fit in standard-sized containers.

A few questions to help you determine if your shipment qualifies as Project Cargo:

  1. Is your shipment too large to fit inside a traditional shipping container?
  2. Are the dimensions wider, longer, or taller than usual shipments?
  3. Is the cargo overweight, unusually shaped, or does it require specialized equipment for handling and/or transport?

If you answered yes to any of these details, our Project Cargo team can provide a solution tailored to your specific requirements.

DGX Project Cargo - oversize ocean example

What information does our Project Cargo specialist require to quote?

In addition to information such as the origin, destination, dimensions, weight, and commodity; our Project Cargo team will need to know:

  • How the cargo is packed,
  • How the freight must be handled,
  • If specialty equipment required—this can range from a customary forklift to a heavy-duty forklift or crane; as well as strapping or tarping,
  • What the cargo value is,
  • If the shipment require additional insurance.

DGX-Dependable Global Express provides an array of solutions for oversize and heavy cargo: from origin to destination, shipping to and from Hawaii or worldwide. We will provide a detailed quote to include all required details of the handling from door-to-door and estimated transit time.

DGX Project Cargo - oversize trucking example

Our Project and Oversize Cargo Service features include, but are not limited to:

  • Domestic and International door-to-door execution
  • Export and Import Customs Clearance
  • Flat Rack
  • Open Top
  • Low Boy
  • Flatbed
  • Roll-on/Roll-off (RORO or RO/RO)
  • Warehousing and Distribution
  • Crating, Shrink Wrap, or Strapping
  • Vacuum Packing
  • Varying forklift capabilities
  • Crane service
  • Route planning
  • Permit execution
  • Port Stevedoring

For bookings or inquiries, please contact our Project Cargo team by email, or phone: 1-888-488-4888 (U.S. Only) or 310-669-8888, ext. 1208.


Why is my Drayage invoice higher than expected?

July 25, 2023

Without a good understanding of the steps involved in the complex international shipping process, you might be scratching your head as to why your ocean container drayage costs are higher than anticipated. The good news is, if you set your expectations appropriately, you can more fully understand how drayage fees are assessed.

Important: Drayage should never be quoted as an “all-in” fixed cost because of the many unforeseen changes that can occur with a round trip container move.

To begin, let’s look at the primary steps involved with round-trip container shipping. As you’ll see, it’s an involved process with many opportunities along the way that might change your originally estimated drayage costs. If you’re new to it, here’s a high-level overview of how drayage works:
  • Exporting
    • Empty the pick-up container that will carry your shipment
    • Take the container to the loading location
    • Return your Full Container Load (FCL) to port
  • Importing
    • Pick up your Full Container
    • Take the container to the receiving location
    • Empty your container
    • Return the empty container to port
Key Drayage Terms
Now that you’re more privy to (or refreshed on) the standard drayage process, we’ll cover several important drayage industry terms and how rates are derived for each key component:
  • Base Rate: Pickup and delivery charge of the ocean container associated with the carrier booking.
  • Free Time: The free period during which no demurrage and detention charges apply. This free period allows the merchant a realistic time for:
    • The loading and delivery of an export container
    • The pick-up, unloading, and return of the empty container for an import
  • Detention: The charge the shipper pays for use of the container outside of the terminal or depot, beyond the free time period allowed.
  • Demurrage: The charge the shipper pays for the use of the container within the terminal, beyond the free time period allowed.

Current Status of Detention and Demurrage Fees
Outside of the freight forwarder’s control, Detention and Demurrage costs have been dramatically rising over the last few years, causing the Federal Maritime Commission to open an investigation in 2018. Click here for detail regarding this issue.

Further, the U.S. West Coast has also experienced a dramatic increase in the last year due to ongoing longshoremen contract talks. After extended negotiations, longshoremen and employers at U.S. West Coast ports have reached a tentative six-year deal.

The agreement, subject to ratification by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), should help ease recent port congestion and smooth supply chain issues for retailers heading into the 2023 peak season.

Additional Drayage Terms (not an all-inclusive list)
In addition to the base rate, there are ancillary line items that will affect your final drayage invoice:
  • Fuel Surcharge: Variable percentage of base rate added to cover monthly fuel cost fluctuations on account of shipper.
  • Clean Truck Fee (CTF): Port area pollution mitigation surcharge, charged per 20’ Equivalent Unit TEU on account of shipper.
  • TMF: Traffic Mitigation Fee is a port congestion surcharge per TEU, on account of the shipper.
  • Live Load/Live Unload: When the driver waits as the container is loaded/offloaded. Usually, fixed free time is allowed, with wait time accrued after free time expires, on account of the shipper.
  • Wait Time: Driver hourly fee or partial thereof after free time allowance assessed on account of shipper.
  • Drop and Pull: Driver leaves the ocean container and chassis at the loading / offloading location returning at a later time for pickup.
  • Dry Run: Missed pickup charge due to export container not being loaded and ready for release or import container not released by the port terminal/depot even when freight, bill of lading, and customs clearance are cleared, on account of shipper.
  • Dock High Loading: Matching height of warehouse dock with ocean container and chassis. In most cases, the assumption is held for standard drayage appointments.
  • Terminal Appointment: Required date & time slot reservations to in-gate or out-gate containers, scheduled online in advance of trucker dispatch.

Consultation with DGX-Dependable Global Express

Choosing the right logistics partner is crucial for success. While many factors are out of control of any freight forwarder at given times, a competent provider will take the time to ensure you understand all the line items related to your drayage quote, including ancillary fees. Full transparency for all stakeholders in advance of a booking is key.

At DGX with our decades of shipping industry experience, you can be assured we will competently and thoroughly guide you through all aspects of your shipping arrangements, importantly including Drayage. Count on our expert consultants to patiently walk you through the entire shipping process, helping you make wise choices that will minimize unnecessary delays and expenses, and avoid unneeded headaches for all stakeholders.

As part of the personalized attention provided to every customer, DGX assigns you a dedicated sales agent at the front end of your shipment planning. For more information, call us at (888) 488-4888 Ext. 2011, or email us.

For more information, please visit our website.


How will the dip in consumer demand affect the volume of my shipments and overall business?

March 20, 2023

Recent data suggest USA consumer confidence is improving as fears of continued inflation are leveling off. However, the recent drop in demand for import goods has significantly impacted ocean vessel operations throughout most ports around the world. Current USA-Chinese manufacturing orders are down 40% for the year, with an overall 20% decrease in container imports between August and November 2022.1

Ocean carriers are reacting to the current vessel over-capacity in several ways including:
  • Blank sailings - a sailing that has been partially canceled wherein some ports are bypassed, or fully canceled with no sailing at all
  • Rollovers - overbooked sailings that leave a percentage of scheduled containers off the sailing
  • Suspended service for specific lanes
  • Reduction of vessel capacity for the short term1
The decrease in import container traffic is having knock-on effects on export container capacity as well. That is, as fewer containers are being brought into the USA, competition is increasing to secure empty containers for loading back out which is causing export delays, dependent of course on specific trade lanes. As a result, importers and exporters are adding more lead time when preparing new shipments, and are being extra cautious when port pair planning.

Major ports affecting traffic across the transpacific lanes with the United States include:1

Hong Kong


Ho Chi Minh

Port Klang

Port of Singapore


New Zealand

United States
West Coast: Seattle / Tacoma / Portland / Oakland / Los Angeles
East Coast: New York / New Jersey / Charleston / Miami
Gulf Coast: Houston

Choosing the right logistics partner is crucial for success. It’s important that when you’re selecting a logistics provider, that they understand all factors related to the current transpacific shipping challenges. If you choose wisely, your shipment will be properly booked well in advance of vessel cutoffs for your specific trade lane(s).

Consultation with DGX
We invite you—free of charge—to consult with DGX-Dependable Global Express for shipments in your trade lanes for your specific commodities, including Harmonized Schedule (HS) Codes, BEFORE finalizing your shipping arrangements. We will guide you through each step on all possible port pairings and options, minimizing unnecessary delays and avoiding headaches. DGX believes in long-term relationships with a consultative and transparent approach to international shipping.

As part of the personalized attention that we provide to every customer, DGX assigns you a dedicated sales agent at the front end of your shipment planning. For more information, call us at 888.488.4888 Ext. 2011 or email us.

Please visit our website for more information.

1 "U.S. manufacturing orders from China down 40% in unrelenting demand collapse," CNBC, December 4, 2022


Should I Buy Insurance for Cargo Shipments?

June 30, 2022

Shipping insurance is a cost-effective investment that shouldn’t be overlooked for international ocean and air freight to make sure your valuable cargo is sufficiently protected. While most shipments go smoothly, unforeseen events do happen. The small investment in cargo insurance decreases your financial exposure in the unlikely event of a claim. 

What is Cargo Insurance?
Throughout the entire international shipping process, cargo insurance will protect the value of your goods against theft, damage, or what is known as “General Average.” General Average is specific to ocean transport and means if goods are lost or damaged as a result of the vessel’s captain trying to save the ship, all shippers share in the loss equally. In the event of this happening, expect many delays including cargo being held while the case is being investigated.

All-Risk Marine Insurance is recommended to cover most losses or damage. Over the years, our customers have found invaluable peace of mind by knowing their goods are insured for most losses or damage.

There are several exclusions you should know about with cargo insurance including:
  • Acts of war
  • Piracy
  • Natural disasters (acts of God)
  • Negligence
  • Improper packing, blocking and bracing
  • Improperly-classed hazardous goods
There are also factors that will affect the cost of your cargo insurance including:
  • Destination country/region
  • Perishable cargo
  • Dangerous goods
  • High-value cargo
  • High risk of theft items (e.g.: jewelry, iPads, electronics).
Is Cargo Insurance Required?
There is not currently a requirement for insurance, but without it, the basic coverage provided by carriers usually does not adequately cover the value of your goods. Basic carrier liability is limited to $500.00 per shipping unit for ocean, and $24.00 per kilogram for air freight. You can be the judge, but in our experience, customers without shipping insurance have always regretted the decision.

It’s also very important to know your Incoterms. Incoterms rules spell out the rights and responsibilities of both buyer and seller in each stage of an international shipment. They dictate liability for any loss incurred and can help determine if you are responsible for insurance coverage. Incoterm rules can be found here.

Consult with DGX
Choosing the right logistics partner is crucial for ensuring your shipment is properly handled, including understanding all the factors relating to ocean and air cargo insurance to help minimize risk at each touch point, from origin to destination. 

DGX-Dependable Global Express has a long history of helping its customers properly insure their freight for the correct value and at competitive rates. Contact us today for a free consultation for your next international shipment. We’ll guide you through each step of the process and help minimize unnecessary delays and avoid unneeded headaches.

As part of the personalized attention that we provide to every customer, DGX assigns you a dedicated sales agent at the front end of your shipment planning. For more information, call us at (888) 488-4888 Ext. 2011 or email us.

Please visit our website for more information about our services and our company.


Comprehensive glossary of international shipping terms

March 11, 2022

For your convenience, DGX-Dependable Global Express has compiled an extensive, easy-to-use Glossary of International Shipping Terms. With 300+ commercial transportation terms, our is one of the largest, most comprehensive glossaries available online.

Glossary of International Shipping Terms

Why learn Shipping Industry terminology? Every industry has a special language with terms, acronyms, abbreviations, jargon, etc. that are uniquely theirs. The shipping industry is no exception.

Through our 40+ years in the business we’ve found that if we help customers understand commercial shipping language—including for air freight, ocean freight, trucking, rail, import/export, warehousing & distribution, logistics—the shipping process from Pickup to Delivery goes faster and smoother, saving time and money.

We invite you to visit, bookmark and come back often when there’s shipping industry jargon being slung around! And, if you have suggestions for additional terms, please let us know.

Our International Shipping Terms Glossary is a very easy-to-use, one-page index with an alphabetical search at the top of the page, Expand All/Collapse All functions, and convenient “Back to Top” links after each alphabetic section. 

Whatever your shipping needs may require, DGX’s dedicated team of highly experienced transportation specialists are available to help you. Contact us today.


How is the current crises in Ukraine affecting international shipping?

March 8, 2022

DGX shares global sentiment for a quick end to the Ukraine crisis, especially the terrible suffering for innocent civilians.

As trade sanctions take hold in Russia and Ukraine, shippers are undoubtedly encountering shipping carrier notices regarding suspended services to Russia and Ukraine that are having unintended consequences for all international transportation.

To help minimize disruptions as much as possible for the international shipping community and our customers, DGX-Dependable Global Express is monitoring daily reports from all our ocean and air carriers to help with scheduling adjustments as necessary.

Importantly, we strongly recommend cargo insurance for any and all shipments. If you need help, contact us immediately and we'll guide you through the steps to properly insure all cargo for any shipping mode.

Significant delays in key transshipment hubs caused by increased inspections on restricted or banned goods are affecting Customs clearance in affected transshipment hubs. To help, DGX is analyzing each new shipping request to determine what alternative shipping methods should be recommended, such as:

  • Air freight instead of ocean
  • LCL rather than FCL
  • Backup port pairs ,when feasible
  • Inland trucking options.

As a long-term commercial shipping and logistics company, we are alerted promptly to disruptions that impact current or upcoming shipments such as:

  • Carrier lane closures
  • Route changes/detours
  • Changes to tariffs
  • Updates on restricted cargo.

We study all notifications and pass along alternative shipping recommendations as relevant to all DGX customers. Even if you are not currently a DGX customer, please contact us and we will help you analyze your best alternatives.

As we hope for an end to hostilities, here are a few links to charitable organizations serving in Ukraine for consideration:

As part of the personalized attention that we provide to every customer, DGX assigns you a dedicated sales agent at the front end of your shipment planning.

For more information, you can contact us in the following ways:


How to get commercial ocean shipments to their destination faster? Consider shipping by air freight...

February 4, 2022

Air freight is used to transport goods over a long distance in a short period of time.
You’ve seen the photos of freight container ships stalled in ports as the pandemic continues its massive disruption in global supply chains, challenging practically every industry here at home and around the globe.

Shipping and delivery companies are scrambling to fill the needs of customers and clients. Assuming you’re experiencing the same obstacles, we strongly recommend considering air freight vs. ocean freight as an expeditious and reliable option.

What challenges can air freight solve for you?
  1. Speed
    • You need that special replacement part now
    • You have perishables and products with a short shelf life
  2. Reliability
    • Your business requires reliable departure and arrival times
  3. Cost Efficiency
    • Less packaging is required for shipments
    • Insurance premiums will likely be less
    • More security and reduced risk of theft and damage
    • And lower need for warehousing and on-hand inventory
Understanding potential shipping issues is crucial to keeping your business viable.
Shipping and delivery obstacles can include:
  1. COVID-19 regulations and requirements
  2. Miscommunication
  3. Delivery delays
  4. Dependencies on available people and equipment
  5. Labor and union labor shortages
  6. The inability to manage multiple customers’ requests
  7. Keeping customers updated
  8. Delivering goods without damage
  9. High increased delivery costs

Every air shipment starts with an expedited transit pickup that goes to the flight’s departure airport for air processing and tender at the cargo facility. You’ll need careful guidance, especially during these trying transportation times, to help you handle all of the air freight logistics from pickup to delivery.

How is it we’re so knowledgeable about commercial goods transportation? DGX-Dependable Global Express and the Dependable Companies have decades of experience specializing in domestic and global air freight service. Because we own much of our own equipment in the US we can help ensure reliability for shipments going out from the US, across the US, or incoming from other countries.

We offer a unique package of shipping services. With air as one option, our experienced team of professionals will determine the solution that best fits your needs and expectations.

If you’d like to explore shipping via air vs. ocean, please reach out to one of our local offices, or call toll-free 1.800.700.3858, and we can help.


How will the Chinese & Japanese New Years Affect My Shipments?

December 30, 2021

There are many schedule variables for commercial shippers with the upcoming Chinese and Japanese New Years holidays. With pandemic-related port congestion in the transpacific markets, increased consumer and industrial demand for products, and the recent Omicron variant outbreak; end of year and early ’22 shipping will be especially challenging even without the celebrations.

China: New Year’s Eve is January 31, 2022

  • DGX’s Shanghai office will be closed Feb 1-7 for the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival)

Please be aware most companies in China start closing 10 days prior to the official New Year’s closure dates as the great migration of workers heading back home for family celebrations begins. Drayage and trucking will be especially challenging during this time as drivers are difficult to find. All trucking and drayage will be on spot rates during this time.

We urge shippers to place bookings and shipping of products as far in advance as possible to improve the likelihood of goods shipping out prior to the Chinese New Year closures and the backlog upon China’s return to work.

Japan: New Year holiday is December 30 to January 3, 2022DGX shipping during Japanese New Year blog

New Year is the most important holiday in Japan. While only Jan 1 is designated as a national holiday, many businesses remain closed through January 3.

  • The last day to clear customs is Dec 27 or 28 depending on the region.
  • Terminal operations are also limited during the holidays. All terminals are completely shut down on New Year's Day.

Be sure to consult with your local DGX representative to go over the latest holiday closures at any port under consideration BEFORE making your shipping arrangements.

DGX monitors daily conditions and analyzes each shipment, considering alternatives such as air freight, LCL rather than FCL, backup port pairs when feasible, and inland trucking options. It is helpful to maintain a creative and flexible position to minimize costs and delays. As part of the personalized attention that we provide to every customer, DGX assigns you a dedicated sales agent at the front end of your shipment planning.

For more information, call us at (888) 488-4888 Ext. 2011. Or, for Imports, email us here. For Exports, email us here.


What is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, and why does it matter in commercial shipping to New Zealand and Australia?

October 20, 2021

The Brown Marmorated Stinkbug—BMSB or stink bug—is a known pest in international shipping, particularly when shipping to Australia and New Zealand.

The BMSB can find its way inadvertently onto export shipments bound for Oceania, usually inside corrugated cartons or wood packaging, ocean containers, and breakbulk cargo. The bug feeds on many different plants and can severely damage fruits, vegetables and crops. If allowed to enter the country, it has the potential to wreak havoc on a country's agricultural industry.

The pest is so potentially damaging that both The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) and The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have a rigorous set of rules to prevent the introduction and spread of the threat.

Australia and New Zealand's seasonal measures for the 2021-2022 allow non-compliant cargo to be quarantined, fumigated near the port, refused entry, or possibly destroyed at cargo owners’ expense. Fumigation season for Australia and New Zealand began with sailings from September 1, 2021, and will continue through April 30, 2022. 

Which shipments are affected?
Goods that are classed as target risk goods are not required to be treated but are subject to onshore intervention through random inspections upon arrival. However, target high-risk commodities are mandated to be fumigated by the Australian Department of Agriculture and New Zealand’s MPI.

Breakbulk, Full Container Load (FCL) containers, and Freight of All Kinds (FAK) shipments from high-risk countries including the USA that contain high-risk commodities must be fumigated. For instance, New Zealand’s target commodities include new and used vehicles, machinery and parts. For more information on New Zealand’s BMSB requirements visit here. For Australia’s target high risk commodities, visit here.

How do I make preparations for my shipment?
Be sure to consult with a professional logistics partner to go over the latest BMSB rules and fees for compliance BEFORE making your shipping arrangements. It will be critical to provide your logistics company with packing slips and packing specifications in advance to ensure compliance and avoid delays.

How do I choose a freight logistics company?
If your goods fall under a target high-risk group and come from a target risk country, you should hire a consultative forwarder such as DGX-Dependable Global Express who constantly monitors the changes to the regulations, rules and fees regarding shipments to Australia (AU) and New Zealand (NZ) during the BMSB season.

DGX has a clear understanding of this pest and will ensure your shipments are properly packed and loaded to avoid delays, quarantine, extra charges, or even rejection and re-export. We assign you a dedicated sales agent upfront who will work with all of the agents, shippers, and consignees involved with your high-risk commodities on a case-by-case basis and will provide the necessary fumigation requirements.

Now more than ever, choosing the right logistics partner is crucial for success. For more information, call us at (888) 488-4888 Ext. 2011, or email us.


When Will the Container Chassis Shortages End in Ocean Shipping?

September 13, 2021

In light of pandemic-related port congestion globally—especially between Asia, Australia and the Americas—container chassis shortages are creating new challenges across the global supply chain:

  • Unnecessary delays to ocean shipments
  • Additional strain for shipments already facing persistent port and rail ramp congestion
  • Lack of vessel space due to export delays
  • Increased lead times for bookings

Now more than ever, choosing the right logistics partner is crucial to make sure your shipment is paired with the right equipment at the right time.

Chassis for port drayage used to be owned by steamship lines and stored in the port. Changes in federal oversight regarding the roadworthiness of the equipment led most of the top carriers to exit the market, shifting ownership of chassis to third-party providers. As a result, many of the older units were gradually scrapped and not replaced, reducing the overall pool available at any one time. At the same time, increasingly larger ships began calling on ports, tying up thousands of chassis at a time. Third-party chassis pools are still searching for a model that gives them enough equipment to serve market peaks without excess equipment sitting idle during lulls.

Current Situation and Peak Season Forecast
This gradual increase in vessel TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) capacity, combined with a decline in the numbers of available chassis at all U.S. ports, has exacerbated pandemic-related labor shortages already in place. Due to pent-up consumer demand and the subsequent surge in container volumes hitting U.S. shores, chassis shortages are expected for most ports through peak season and the remainder of 2021.

How to Choose the Right Logistics Partner
When choosing a logistics provider for your shipment, be sure they understand the factors contributing to the recent chassis shortage and go over the latest conditions at any port under consideration BEFORE making your shipping arrangements. Once INCOTERMS are established, lining up drayage and chassis in the U.S. (which in the past was a reasonably easy afterthought) is now a critical, upfront element of the process.

A consultative forwarder should monitor daily conditions and analyze each shipment, considering alternatives such as air freight, LCL rather than FCL, backup port pairs when feasible, and inland trucking options. It’s helpful to maintain a creative and flexible stance to minimize costs and delays. Be certain your logistics provider has tried-and-true mitigation strategies.

In your search, consider DGX-Dependable Global Express with a long-standing track record in commercial international air, ocean and rail transportation. We have a clear understanding of the current situation. We believe in long-term relationships with a consultative and transparent approach to international shipping. Most importantly, we can guide you through each step of your next shipment, navigating current chassis-related issues, minimizing unnecessary delays, and avoiding unneeded headaches.

DGX assigns you a dedicated sales agent at the front end of your shipment planning as part of the personalized attention that we provide to every customer. For more information, call (888) 488-4888 Ext. 2011 or email us.


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