Drop: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

In this guide, you will find all information you’re looking for about drop.

So, if you have any question about drop, you will find the answer right here.

Let’s dive right in.

What is a Drop in Shipping and Logistics?

Drop refers to a process in which a trucker makes delivery of FCL shipments to the customer destination. However, the trucker does not wait for complete offload of the cargo.

Here the shipping container is left at the drop destination and offloading is given time to take place. Later the trucking driver comes to pick up the empty container.

The timeline is usually within 48 hrs.

Figure 1 Drop in Cargo Shipping from China

Drop in Cargo Shipping from China

When Should I Consider a Drop for Cargo Delivery?

A drop for cargo becomes more efficient when dealing with heavy or voluminous cargo. These type of shipments take time to offload.

As a result, the truck drivers see it fit to leave the cargo unloaded, and come back later when offloading is complete.

There are two options for which the truck drivers can opt for. There is the container drop, and drop and pick categories.

The container drop allows the truck driver to come for the container later after offloading. However, for the drop and pick, the warehouse usually has a ready empty container for the truck driver for exchange

The drop and pick is efficient only when the warehouse has ready empty containers for exchange. This means the warehouse is frequently receiving containers.

Therefore, if a shipment takes time to offload then a drop is the best option for delivery.

What are the Benefits of a Drop off for Container Delivery?

Drop offs for containers come with various benefits. Aside from being time conscious, drop offs create efficiency in transportation of containers.

Additionally, drop offs help reduce drivers` workload and costs. Below are major benefits arising from drop off container delivery;

Guarantee Better Service Delivery Levels

This is because drivers are able to take rests as mandated by the federal authority. The drop offs allow drivers to drop containers at available warehouses.

This is because the warehouse regulations only allow drivers to drive for a maximum of 11 hrs. If the cargo fails to reach the specific destination by this time, another driver takes over to ensure the cargo arrives.

As a result, accurate timings for delivery are enhanced.

Convenience and Flexibility to Drivers and Carriers

Delays not only reduce credibility of carriers and drivers; they also result in unavoidable costs. Delays also attract possible detentions in the warehouse.

However, drop offs help evade such inconveniences. It also offers enough time for loading or offloading cargo. This further translates to efficient time management.

Convenient to Shippers and Workers of a Warehouse

With drop offs, there is no need to rush and offload shipments in a hurry due to time.

Drop offs create time for warehouse workers to carefully unload the truck without causing damage to the cargo.

Some shippers do not have sufficient employees to offload the trucks.

And this aspect does not change even during high peak seasons when shipments are streaming in in large numbers.

As a result, it might lead to overworking of employees.

To counter this, most shippers use the drop off procedure to create adequate time for loading and unloading.

This translates to better service delivery to clients, hence create a customer satisfaction.

It further helps the warehouse carriers and customers to be in control of the pricing in drop shipping.

Facilitate Reduced Shipping Costs

Shipping attracts voluminous costs.

Consequently, drop offs aim to reduce these costs.

Drop offs cancel any possibilities of accruing detention charges.

Additionally, shippers have a date that they must adhere to in relation to the arrival of the shipment.

Failure to which, the delays attract fines.

To avoid such inconveniences, drop offs help scrap off such costs.

What is FCL Shipment Procedure?

There are two procedures in the FCL shipment delivery and unloading process. There is the live and drop procedure.

For the live procedure, the shipment arrives at the specific destination, and the driver waits until unloading is complete. This should take not more than two hours.

In the drop procedure, the driver makes sure the cargo arrives on time. However, unlike in live unloading, the driver is allowed to come back later to pick the container once unloading is complete.

Nonetheless, it is a little bit expensive due to the extra trip from the driver to pick up the container. To avoid extra costs, the warehouse offers another container in exchange for the one in arrival.

This procedure is also known as drop and pick procedure.

Drop and pick is most convenient for those warehouses that are frequently receiving shipments.


FCL Container

 FCL Container

Is a Drop Delivery applicable for LCL Shipments?

Yes. However, there are some considerations to make to ensure that the drop delivery is done efficiently.

This is because in LCL shipments, the container carries different cargo for different clients. Hence it is important to be careful when offloading to avoid unloading someone else`s cargo.

What is the difference between ‘Drop’ and ‘Drop and Pick’ for FCL delivery?

Drop in FCL shipment refers to the procedure where truck driver in charge of delivering the cargo leaves the container at the warehouse.

He later comes back for the container within 48 hours when the unloading is complete.

Drop incurs extra costs to cater for the trip made to come back for the container.

Drop and pick allows the truck driver to deliver the shipment but goes back with another empty container in exchange.

As a result, warehouses doing a drop and pick FCL delivery require extra empty containers for exchange.

What is a Drop Fee?

This is the extra fee that covers the delivery of containers and later pick up of the container when complete unloading is done.

This fee is also known as bobtail fee.

How much does a Container Drop off cost?

Container drop off cost vary between different shippers.

As a result, it is advisable to be in contact with the management of your shipper to clearly highlight the costs to incur.

However, factors such as time during unloading that exceeds two hours will attract increased costs.

Also in case of an extra trip, due to time in offloading, this will attract additional costs.

Which factors influence Container Drop Off rates?

There are various factors that contribute to the pricing of container drop offs. These include;

Flexibility and Speed to Attend to the Containers

Most truck drivers are on a time schedule. Therefore, pick and delivery time for containers is very crucial to them.

Long distances to pick up and delivery destinations will definitely incur more costs. Moreover, delays during unloading attract fines and possibly penalties, hence adding to the costs.

Market Factors

This mainly encompasses the fuel aspect. The supply and demand for fuel is usually a main factor that affects pricing in drop off containers.

Increase in fuel prices will definitely increase the container drop off rates.

Weight of Cargo

Different shippers have different rates pertaining loads to carry. The more the load the less the prices to pay.

However, heavy loads make the trucks more susceptible to cases of wear and tear. As a result, the container drops off rates may increase if the load is weighty.


All year round there are different seasons which affect the shipments and container drop off rates. It is this seasons that determine the level of peaks.

Produce seasons tend to attract higher rates. However, if you have an established relationship with your shipper, you might evade such higher rates.

Natural Hazards

This encompass hurricanes or events that lead to port strikes. Such unforeseen factors make availability of trucks for container drop off unavailable.

As a result, the available trucks tend to charge higher container drop off prices.

Long Distances

Naturally, long distances attract higher rates.

What are the Additional Fees Associated with Shipment Drop?

The additional fee is known as a drop fee. This fee caters for the extra trip in making a drop due to the return for the container.

Additionally, in the event of a live drop, if the unloading extends to more than two hours, the extra hours are charged.

How can I Avoid Unnecessary Charges during a Drop?

By ensuring that you unload the container within 24hrs after the drop.

Additionally, you can opt for a live drop, where unloading takes place within 2hrs and the container gets back to the truck driver.

Moreover, if you have an extra empty container the same size as the one dropped, exchanging it will be wise. This helps avoid incurring unnecessary charges.

Do I need Freight Forwarder Services during Container Drop Services?

If you are not fully conversant with the drop services, a freight forwarder comes in handy.

Provide the full documents required by the freight forwarder regarding container drop for your cargo.

What are the Specifications of FCL Containers in relation to Drop off services?

FCL shipping containers come in two types.

The 20 feet and the 4o feet types. Further classification takes root depending on the purpose of the container.

However, below are specifications of the 20 feet and 40 feet containers for general purpose shipping.

20`GP Shipping Container Specification

The 20 footer container, is 20 feet in length, from its name.

It is the most common cost-efficient container shipment method to use.

For the 20` GP container, the merchandise is packed into cartons. The cartons are later rearranged into pallets and then arranged in the container.

In total, the container accommodates 16 pallets. Thus, 2 pallets high, 2 pallets wide and 8 pallets deep.

40`GP Shipping Container Specifications

This container is similar to the 20`GP container. The difference is the sizes.

The 40`GP shipping container is double the size of the 20`GP container. Thus, it accommodates double the number of pallets.

The containers as well avail themselves in different designs to suit different purposes. These include

  • Dry cargo containers
  • Refrigerated containers
  • Open top containers
  • Flat Rack containers
  • High cube containers

Shipping Container Specification

Shipping Container Specification

Is there a Weight Limit for Container Drop?

All containers must undergo a weight check before dispatch. This is to ensure that all containers are within the desired weight limit.

Shippers observe three factors that help determine the weight of a container. These are

  • Rating
  • Tare mass
  • Payload

Rating outlines the maximum weight a container can weigh with its contents. Each type of container comes with its own weight.

For example, a 20` dry cargo container weighs 24,000kgs.

Tare mass outlines the actual weight of the container without any cargo inside.

This weight is affected by the type of material used to make the container and the design of the container.

Payload is the maximum weight of the cargo for containers. Both the Tare mass and the Rating help compute the maximum weight for payload.

Payload= Rating-Tare mass

These weights are determined at specific weighbridge points. If a truck exceeds the weight of required pay load, it is denied access

This further translates to further costs of unloading and repackaging the cargo to meet the required weight.

Weight limits help protect roads. Additionally, weight limits vary across different countries, hence it is advisable to be on the look out to avoid possible inconveniences.

Is Cargo Insurance Necessary During a Container Drop?

Yes. Accidents and possible hijacks sometimes are inevitable.  As a result, making sure you have an insurance cover goes a long way to protect you from loses.

Do Container Drop Services Provide Storage Services?

Yes. The truck driver leaves the container at the designated warehouse.

The warehouse thus has to keep safe the container for return. Hence storage services are available for container drop.

What are the Requirements for a Drop in Shipping?

Documents in requirement for a drop shipping include;

  • FCL shipping invoice
  • Packing list
  • Shipper export declaration
  • Insurance documents
  • Certificate of origin in relation to the cargo shipment

Availability of this documents especially if you are using the freight forwarder enables for easier processing of the drop shipment.

How does Live Unload Vs Drop compare in Container Delivery?

Live unload involves the actual unload of container shipment. The process does not usually take long.

However, if it takes more than two hours, there will be a fine to pay.

In the case of a drop, the truck driver leaves the container for unloading and later comes back for it.

What are the Common Mistakes to Avoid during FCL Shipping and Delivery?

FCL shipping and Delivery involves a number of procedures. However, a lot of clients tend to incur unnecessary costs due to negligence and small mistakes when handling the FCL shipment.

Here are common mistakes to avoid during FCL shipping and delivery.

Delaying to Pick Up your FCL Shipment On Time

Once your shipment arrives at the port, it is on a countdown to the number of days you are supposed to pick up.

Failure to which the shipment will be under detention.

Delays either from the client or the consignee to pick up the container results to detention. Consequently, this results to detention fees.

Door to Door Delivery

For door to door delivery for FCL shipment, it is common for clients to forget to present the full set of required documents. It is important to make sure that these documents are at the full disposal of your shipper.

Door to Port

For door to Port services, ensure your cargo is ready for dispatch to the desired port.

The shipper only has a maximum of two hours to load at a shipper facility. Any additional hour attracts extra costs.

Can I Track an FCL Shipment Scheduled for a Drop?

 Loading and Unloading FCL Container

 Loading and Unloading FCL Container

Yes. The implementation of electronic loading device facilitates easier tracking for your cargo.

This is because as drivers manage their time at on the road and loading centers.

This information further facilitates to the whereabouts of the cargo.

Additionally, if you are using a freight forwarder, tracking services are made available upon request.

Most freight forwarders offer this service to their clients to boost their credibility.

In case you have any question, your trusted freight forwarder from China is here to help – Contact BanSar China right now.

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