Cleveland container freight station (CFS)

Understanding Cleveland Container Freight Station (CFS) Services

With supply chain logjams on U.S. coasts expected to stretch well into 2022, shippers looking to ease the strain on intermodal supply chains are increasingly turning to underutilized sea ports and air terminals – including those in Cleveland, Toledo and Cincinnati. As a longtime provider of Cleveland container freight station (CFS) services, On Time Delivery & Warehouse is prepared to onboard new business-to-business clients for consolidation/de-consolidation of import/export freight, full container loads (FCL’s), less-than-container loads (LCL’s), block & brace services, product segregation, heavy/oversized loading and unloading, stack & wrap services, CFS warehousing and customs bonded warehousing.

What is CFS – And Why Does it Matter?

CFS is short for container freight station. These are facilities located near ports, terminals, inland container depots or major railway hubs that help facilitate import/export shipments from origin and destination. They’re particularly popular with those utilizing LCL (less-than-container) shipments because they can serve as a central hub for importers/exporters looking to ensure their goods are going to be securely stored, carefully handled, and expeditiously sent on the next leg of the journey.

Among the core functions of CFS providers:

  • Preparation of container load plan.
  • Stuffing and de-stuffing containers (both FCL and LCL).
  • Marking and sealing containers for identification.
  • Serving as a temporary storage space for cargo, empty, and laden containers.
  • Moving empty containers from container yards and laden containers to nearby ports and terminals.
  • Stacking, sorting, tracking, and tallying containers pre- and post-shipment.
  • Organization of customs clearance procedures (examination, classification, goods assessment, etc.).
  • Ensuring safety and security of all goods in the facility.
  • Managing break bulk cargo (cargo that’s not in a container).

Cleveland container freight station services are essential because they help decongest air terminals and sea ports – freeing them from numerous customs clearance procedures.

As reported by WKYC Channel 3 in October, the Port of Cleveland can easily handle 100,000 containers annually. Yet in recent years, it’s been topping out well below that – somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000. Pandemic-related congestion on the coasts is spurring a shift to higher local volumes, as cargo owners and third-party logistics (3PL) firms increasingly eye smaller ports to move their goods. Cleveland is the third-largest port on the Great Lakes. Although it can’t handle U.S. Navy or cruise ships, it can accommodate vessels bound for transatlantic shipments. Plus, smaller ports like Cleveland are often more efficient – and cost effective – than the larger hubs in Southern California (Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland) New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas (Houston).

As dedicated Cleveland CFS and 3PL service providers, we meticulously maintain records of shipments, exporters, importers, customs agents, cargo details, origin and destination, carriers, tracking numbers, etc. We help ensure security, timely and efficient loading/unloading, stuffing/de-stuffing and other services mission critical to your supply chain. As a 3PL, we can also help identify potential inefficiencies and unnecessary touchpoints in your existing CFS services, ultimately reducing costs and improving both delivery times and customer satisfaction.

What’s the Difference Between CFS and CY?

If you’re eyeing CFS services and pricing, it’s helpful to know the difference between CFS and CY. They are similar, but have different functions.

As we mentioned before, CFS stands for container freight station, a place that facilitates import/processing/export of container freight shipments. CY, on the other hand, is short for Container Yard. This is an area – typically in a port – where FCL (full container container loads) are kept before/after being loaded on/from a ship. CY shipments are delivered to a designated container yard at each respective port under the shipping line’s account. Containers/cargo are sent to the CY to await the next leg of the journey, whether it’s a port-to-port shipment or bound for rail, air, or road transport. A CFS, meanwhile, has more capabilities to process the goods inside.

Who Uses a Cleveland Container Freight Station for Shipments and Warehousing?

Typically the largest users of CFS shipping and warehousing are freight forwarders, though shippers and other third-party logistics services also use them.

A CFS service is of particular value for those shipping less-than-truckload cargo, given that LTL involves consolidation of freight from different businesses to fill the truckload. CFS providers offer terminals to conduct those transfers.

Our team also helps prepare bills of lading for CFS shipments that spell out the agreement between the parties involved in the logistical movements of international goods.

If your business relies heavily on import/export of goods, we strongly recommend working with a dedicated Cleveland Container Freight Station with 3PL capabilities and proven performance to ensure the shipping, storage, and transport processes are seamless.

Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

New Studies Find Unprecedented Impact from Supply-Chain Turmoil, Jan. 7, 2022, By Lydia O’Neal, The Wall Street Journal

More Blog Entries:

4 Questions to Ask Your Cleveland Freight Station, May 4, 2021, Cleveland CFS Blog

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