FAQ from Koch International

Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our products and services. We hope that this information will help you to quickly find the information you need. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

General questions

What does “free kerbside” mean?

“Free kerbside” is a delivery term that indicates that the delivery will be made to the kerb in front of the recipient’s building, but does not include any further services such as carrying the goods into the building or placing them in a specific location. The carrier is only responsible for delivering the goods safely to the kerbside.

What does “FTL” mean?

FTL, also known as full truck load, refers to a transport in which an entire lorry load is reserved for a single consignment. This means that all available space in the lorry is used for the specific shipment. FTL transport is often used for large volumes of freight to maximise efficiency and speed of delivery.

What does “Incoterms” mean?

Incoterms are international rules that define the rights and obligations of buyers and sellers in international trade transactions. Among other things, they determine who is responsible for transport costs, insurance, customs clearance and transfer of risk. Incoterms help to avoid misunderstandings and disputes between the parties by establishing clear rules for international trade.

  • The e-clauses:
    • Here the costs and risks are transferred to the buyer from the time the goods are made available at the named place.
    • EXW (Ex Works … named place)
  • The F clauses:
    • The buyer bears the costs of the main transport and the risk passes to the buyer when the goods are handed over to the carrier of the main transport.
    • FCA (Free Carrier … named place of delivery)
    • FAS (Free Alongside Ship)… named port of shipment
    • FOB (Free on Board … named port of shipment)
  • The C-clauses (two-point clauses)
    • The seller bears the costs of the main transport and the risk is transferred to the buyer when the goods are handed over to the carrier of the main transport
    • CFR (Cost an Freight … named port of destination)
    • CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight … named port of destination)
    • CPT (Carriage Paid to … named port of destination)
    • CIP (Carriage, Insurance Paid … named place of destination)
  • The D-clauses:
    • The seller bears all costs and risks up to the named place where the goods are delivered.
    • DAP (Delivered At Point … named place)
    • DPU (Delivered At Place Unloaded / Delivered… named place)
    • DDP (Delivered Duty Paid/Delivered Duty Paid … named place)

What does “just in time” mean?

Just in time (JIT) is a production and delivery philosophy in which materials or products are provided exactly when they are needed and not before. This aims to minimise stock levels and increase efficiency by only producing or delivering what is needed immediately. JIT systems are designed to reduce the waste of resources and optimise production processes.

What does “LTL” mean?

LTL, also known as Less than Truck Load, means that the freight quantity is not sufficient to fill an entire lorry. Instead, smaller consignments from different senders are loaded and transported together. LTL shipments are more cost-efficient for smaller quantities of freight and make it possible to share transport costs.

What is a pallet exchange?

Pallet exchange refers to the exchange of pallets between suppliers and customers as part of the delivery process. After delivery, the supplier exchanges the customer’s empty pallets for full pallets in order to make efficient use of pallets. This makes it possible to reduce the cost of purchasing and storing pallets and optimise the logistics process.

What is a proof of delivery?

A proof of delivery is a document or confirmation that proves that a consignment has been successfully delivered to the recipient. This can be a signature of the recipient or a proof of delivery, for example. The proof of delivery is important to ensure that the delivery has been made correctly and can serve as proof in the event of any disputes or queries.

What is additional cargo?

Additional loading refers to the possibility of transporting additional freight in an already booked means of transport (e.g. lorry, ship or aircraft). This allows transport capacity to be used more efficiently and costs to be reduced by minimising empty times or unused space. Additional cargo is often used to transport small quantities of freight that are not sufficient to fill a dedicated means of transport.

What is an export declaration?

An export declaration is a document that must be submitted to the customs authorities in order to export goods from a country. It contains information about the exported goods, such as type, quantity, value and destination. The export declaration is used to control the movement of goods and ensure that export regulations are complied with.

What is groupage freight?

Groupage refers to a consignment that has been put together from various smaller freights or consignments and is transported together to one destination. This enables cost-effective transport for smaller consignors, as the transport costs are shared. Groupage is often used by freight forwarders to maximise the efficiency of deliveries and reduce costs.

What is local and long-distance transport?

Local transport refers to the transport of goods over relatively short distances, usually within a city or a narrowly defined geographical area.

Long-distance transport refers to the transport of goods over longer distances or between different cities, regions or countries.

What types of pallets are there?

Euro pallet: The Euro pallet is a widely used standardised wooden pallet that is used in Europe for transporting goods. It measures 80 cm × 120 cm and is made of robust wood. Due to its standardised size and design, the Euro pallet is widely used in the logistics industry and is used to transport a wide variety of goods. It facilitates the handling of goods and enables efficient storage and transport processing.

Disposable pallet: Disposable pallets are pallets that are designed for single use and are usually made from inexpensive materials such as plywood or pressboard. Unlike the Euro pallet, which is often reused, disposable pallets are often disposed of or recycled after use. They are particularly popular for the transport of light or perishable goods as they are inexpensive and do not require return.

Düsseldorf pallet: The Düsseldorf pallet is a special type of wooden pallet that is often used in the beverage industry, especially for transporting beer kegs and beverage crates. It is characterised by its robust construction and its specific dimensions, which are tailored to the requirements of the beverage industry. The Düsseldorf pallet facilitates the safe transport and storage of beverage containers and is an important tool in the logistics of the beverage industry.

These pallet types are just a selection from a large number of pallet variants that can vary depending on the intended use, industry and region. Each pallet type has specific features and benefits that make it suitable for certain applications.

Questions about air freight

Can dangerous goods be transported by air freight?

Dangerous goods can fundamentally be transported by air. Certain legal requirements need to be observed when transporting dangerous goods by air. The Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) define the dangerous goods that can be transported by air and the conditions under which such transport is possible.

How does air freight need to be packed?

In terms of the packaging, you need to make sure that it can withstand the specific stresses during the flight. As a guide, vertical impacts of three times the weight and vertical impacts of 1.5 times the weight of the parcel need to able to be absorbed. The packaging should also be stackable.

During loading in the hold, the goods may be stacked on top of one another and should be able to withstand the pressure from above. Depending on the type of shipping selected, packaging always includes, for example, appropriate outer packaging, a pallet, appropriate inner packaging as well as secure closure, if applicable, edge protection, lashing straps and bubble wrap.

What documents are required for shipping via air freight?

To be supplied by you:

Accompanying documents, such as the commercial invoice, shipping list, import licences or consular invoices. These depend on the provisions in the relevant countries.

In addition, an export accompanying document (EAD) is necessary for shipments with an invoice value of 1,000 euros or more or a weight of 1,000 kg or more. You can either prepare these independently or send a request to our colleagues from our Customs Team at zoll@koch-international.de to prepare an EAD. For dangerous goods: Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods (DGD) and a safety data sheet (MSDS) (where available)

We provide the following for you:

Air waybill (AWB), which is internationally accepted as the sole accompanying document. It must be prepared in compliance with the IATA guidelines.

What documents are required for transporting dangerous goods by air?

Dangerous goods that are transported by air require a “Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods” or “Dangerous Goods Declaration” (DGD). This declaration must contain all information about the dangerous goods, i.e. the dangerous goods class as well as all labelling information. Only qualified IATA personnel are permitted to complete the declaration, which they must also sign to release the dangerous goods for air freight.

What is the dimensional weight?

A practical size that is used to evaluate the costs of a shipment by air freight. The chargeable weight is the basis for calculating the freight rate.

Dimensional weight calculated:

(length (cm) * width (cm) * height (cm)) / service provider-dependent divisor = volumetric weight in (kg)

Common divisor = 6000 (166.7 kg/m³); however, parcel service providers often also use 5000 (200 kg/m³)

What weight is used as the basis for calculating the freight rate?

The “Actual Weight” is the physical weight of an air freight shipment, weighed and measured in kilograms (kg). To calculate the freight rate, the “Actual Weight” is compared against the calculation of the dimensional weight, also called the “chargeable weight”, according to the dimensions. The higher weight figure is then used as the freight rate.

Questions about land transport

Can I send parcels worldwide?

Yes, we work together with our partners and can transport your goods and merchandise worldwide.

Can I track my shipment?

Yes, if you use our Koch portal you can keep a constant eye on your shipments. The Koch portal lets you access your shipping information. You can use it to submit your orders as well as to view the status of our (your) shipment.

Do you offer cross docking and drop shipments?

Yes, we offer cross docking as well as drop shipments for our customers.

What is general cargo?

At Koch International, general cargo is transported via the CargoLine network. General cargo usually consists of up to 6 pallets and/or 2,500 kg.

What is land transport?

Land transport refers to the specific type of transport. In this case, the goods are transported by lorry or rail.

Questions about logistics

Can goods only intended for seasonal trade also be stored?

Yes, we can also store goods for seasonal trade. No matter whether spring, summer, autumn or winter.

In what temperature ranges is storage possible?

Storage in an ambient range of between 15 and 25°C is possible

What can and cannot be stored?

Unrefrigerated packaged foodstuffs, pyrotechnics, raw materials, finished products, non-flammable dangerous goods and goods with water hazard classifications can be stored. Goods with a storage requirement below 15°C cannot be stored.

What hazardous substances can be stored?

Water hazard classes 1 to 3 and goods in storage classes 2.b, 6.1 A-D, 8 A+B, 10 to 13 below the quantity threshold defined in the fourth Federal Emission Control Act (4.BimSchV) can be stored.

What storage certifications does the company hold?

The s.a.f.e.PLUS certification, DIN EN ISO 9001, HACCP concept and GDP certificate.

What storage options are available?

Block, high-bay and drive-in rack or shelf storage for small parts. We provide the areas that you need.

What value added services (VAS) are offered?

  • We offer expiration date, batch and serial number management, order picking, packaging and dispatch.
  • VAS: Returns management, temperature and humidity monitoring with temperature and humidity loggers, customer-specific printing (label, delivery note printing) as well as tailored add-on services for your needs.
  • Connection to various ERP systems through our in-house IT department, burglar alarm system, fire alarm centre and permanent video surveillance in some areas.

Where are the Koch International warehouse sites?

Koch International has several warehouse sites in and around Osnabrück. Our new logistics warehouse in Bramsche has just been completed.

Questions about rail transport

Can dangerous goods be transported by rail?

Dangerous goods can be transported by rail but must be individually requested.

Can general cargo be shipped to and from China by rail?

Yes, in this case aggregated containers are stowed just like in sea freight, which are then shipped by rail.

As an alternative to sea and air freight; by way of comparison: the transport time for sea freight is around 36 days, transport by rail along the Silk Road usually takes between 18 and 22 days.

Transport costs are on average half that of air freight

More sustainable alternative with lower carbon emissions

Can preliminary and final legs for sea containers be offered by rail in Germany?

Thanks to an excellent network and domestic terminals at key hubs, containers can be transported by rail throughout Germany.

What amount of carbon emissions can I save with combined transport compared to exclusive road transport and why should a switch to rail transport?

Goods transport on rail is more environmentally-friendly, compact and more efficient than goods transport by road: a lorry emits 110 times as much carbon dioxide, needs three times as much transport space and only travels around a quarter of the distance of a train with the same energy consumption.

What are cranable trailers and their characteristics?

To be able to use semi-trailers for combined transport (CT), they must be cranable. This means that they must be able to be loaded onto the train by crane at the starting terminal and unloaded by crane at the destination terminal.

Cranable load units have reinforced points on the outer frame, called grappler pockets, which make them suitable for vertical handling at the terminal.

What is combined transport?

Combined transport is the transportation of goods in a lorry or load unit (e.g. swap bodies, containers or semi-trailers) where the longest part of the overall route is covered by rail or inland or seagoing vessel, while the other, shortest possible, part is covered by lorry and where the load units rather than the goods themselves are handled when changing modes of transport or the loaded lorries are transported on the railcar or ship.

Your benefits are the:

  • 44-tonne rule
  • low toll charges
  • relieving the strain on roads
  • reducing greenhouse gases
  • optimising working time

What is the 44t rule in combined transport?

Vehicles in the preliminary or final leg to or from the nearest suitable terminal within a 150 km radius can have a total weight of 44t (in contrast to vehicles in road transport with a permissible maximum weight of 40t).

What types of containers can be transported by rail?

All standard containers can be transported by rail. Other container types can be individually requested.

Questions about sea freight

What are the most common types of containers?

  • 20’ standard containers
  • 40’ standard containers
  • 40’ High Cube standard container (higher than the 40’ standard container)
  • 45’ standard containers
  • Open-top containers 20’ and 40’ (containers with an open top (can be covered with a tarpaulin), e.g. for overheight goods)
  • Flatrack containers 20’ and 40’ (containers without side walls and roof), e.g. for overheight and/or overwidth goods
  • Reefer containers 20’ and 40’ (refrigerated containers in standard dimensions with own refrigeration/heating unit, e.g. for foodstuffs and temperature-sensitive goods)
  • Platform containers 20’ and 40’ (containers with a platform without side and end walls), e.g. for overwidth and/or overlength goods

What do ETD, ETS and ETA mean?

  • Estimated Time of Departure
  • Estimated Time of Sailing
  • Estimated Time of Arrival

What does ISF stand for?

Importer Security Filing is a customs and border security requirement in the USA. All required data (among other things, names and addresses of buyers, sellers, importers, manufacturers and final recipients, type of goods with HS code, country of origin, container data) must be submitted to the American customs office no later than 24 hours prior to ship departure. Non-compliance or false statements risk considerable fines.

What does w/m (weight/measurement) mean?

Calculation of the sea freight based on dimensions (in cubic metres) or weight (in tonnes), where the higher value is used for calculation.

What is “demurrage”?

Idle time of the shipowner in port; is calculated if a defined free timeframe for loaded containers in port is exceeded:

For imports = from arrival of the ship until acceptance

For exports = from delivery until departure of the ship

What is “detention” and how is it calculated?

The shipowner’s container rental; is calculated if a defined free timeframe is exceeded:

For imports = from the loading of the full container until the return of the empty container

For exports = from the loading of the empty container until the return of the full container

Essentially, it is the time in which the container is not in the shipowner’s possession

What is “storage” and how is it calculated?

The terminal’s storage fees; is calculated if a defined free timeframe is exceeded:

For imports = from arrival of the ship until acceptance

For exports = from delivery until departure of the ship

What is Solas/VGM (Verified Gross Mass)?

Guidelines for determining the verified gross mass of freight containers.

There are 2 methods for calculating the gross mass:

Method 1: Weighing the packed and sealed container

Method 2: Weighing all the individual packages and cargo (incl. pallets, stowage materials) and adding the tare weight of the container to obtain a total weight

What is the difference between an original bill of lading (B/L), telex release B/L and sea waybill?

Original B/L = a negotiable document, ownership is transferred by handing over the original B/L. Is used, e.g. for LOC settlement, new business relationships as security for receipt of payment.

At least 1 original B/L must be submitted for release in the port of discharge
Telex release B/L = an original B/L is created for security, after receipt of payment a switch to telex release B/L can be requested, which is then used like a sea waybill for processing

Sea waybill = a non-negotiable document whose electronic form is sufficient for release in the port of discharge

Questions about the customs service

What does MRN stand for?

MRN = Movement Reference Number

Tracking number for customs documents, e.g. in the EAD or T1.

What is a customs office of exit?

The customs office at which the goods are exported from the EU.

What is a customs tariff number/goods tariff number?

An unambiguous classification of goods by material and, where applicable, intended use in the harmonised system (HS). Every good can be assigned an existing customs tariff number.


Support from customs in Dresden Tel.: 0351 44 83 45 20; info.gewerblich@zoll.de

What is a T1 document?

Transit procedure under customs supervision; transit document for duty-free, i.e. non-Community, goods.

What is a T2 document?

Transit document for Community goods that is used for goods to transfer a non-Community country duty-free, e.g. goods from DE are transported to Italy via Switzerland. No duty is paid in Switzerland.

What is an approved exporter?

A permit that must be requested from the customs office. Facilitates the export of goods, including above the 6,000-euro threshold. Proof of preference in the form of a declaration of origin + permit no. on the invoice.

What is an EORI number?

This is the identification number of economic operators for customs purposes. This is required for trade with non-EU countries and can be requested from the customs office via a written form.

What is an EUR.1?

A movement certificate and formal proof of preference; submitted to make use of reduced customs duties. This is required if the consigner of the goods is not an approved exporter and from an invoice value of 6,000 euros. Requires a formal application with the competent customs office with associated supplier declarations.

What is an export accompanying document (EAD)?

A document after export approval has been issued by the customs office. This is required to ship goods from the EU to a non-EU country. It is a requirement from an invoice value of 1,000.00 euros and/or a shipping weight of 1,000 kg.

What is an export customs office?

The domestic customs office with which the export is registered. Depends on the applicant’s postcode.

What is an export notice (EN)?

Verification that the goods were exported from the EU. This is automatically created by the customs system once the EAD has been scanned.

Questions about the transport shop

Do I need a VAT ID for registration?

Yes. We require your VAT ID for our invoicing.

How can I register in the Transport Shop?

You will find the “Register” button at the top right of the homepage. Any registration with us is absolutely obligation-free. But registration is essential if you wish to make a booking.

How do I cancel an order?

To cancel a shipment, go to the customer portal. Once there, you can select the overview of the shipment that you would like to cancel.

How do I log in to the Transport Shop?

You will find the “Login” button at the top right of the homepage. The blue circle at the top right lets you know whether you are already logged in.

How do I reset my password?

If you have forgotten your password to an existing account, you can reset this on the login page by clicking on “Forgotten password”. After entering your email address, you will receive an email from us that lets you reset your password.

What payment options are available?

You can either pay by invoice or with PayPal. If the “Invoice” method does not work, please send us an email at digi@koch-international.de. We will then check whether we can release the payment by invoice option.

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