Sea Freight

The world would not have grown to the magnitude it is today without the developments in sea freight shipping.  The earliest explorers such as Marco Polo, not only travelled the seas in search of new land and territory, but also in search of new and wondrous goods to trade. Transportation by sea freight continues to form a key part of global commerce and global economics.

Global Coverage

Dealing with many of the world’s largest leading shipping companies, Mercator is able to provide regular sea freight schedules at all principal ports throughout the five continents of the globe.  This means that we can offer our customers various sea freight routes, departure dates, costings, and shipping transit times. 

Our established business relationships and standing in the logistics world, teamed with our founding member status of the global freight forwarding network MarcoPoloLine, ultimately gives Mercator ability to obtain an excellent sea freight service and good rates for our customers.

Mercator’s global network and associations with over 350 other independent freight forwarders in more than 95 countries, means we are able to call on a wealth of global freight transportation and freight forwarding knowledge, reduce costs and provide a safe, secure and timely freight forwarding service.

Load Sizes

If your goods do not fill a whole container, Mercator can offer less than container load (LCL) sea freight shipping services depending on the size and nature of your cargo.  Generally our groupage shipping services are suitable for palletised and boxed goods.




Full container loads are typically 20′ and 40′ standard and high cube shipping containers.  We can handle any shipping container type and have the following containers available to suit your needs:

Any Destination

Sea Freight at Port Logo

All Major Ports Covered

Globe Logo

Import & Export

If your cargo is oversized we are able to provide a specialist project cargo freight service tailored to your needs.

Sea Freight FAQ.

FCL (full container load) is where you have sole use of the shipping container from origin right through to destination.  Your goods will be loaded and secured, then the shipping container will be sealed, not opened until it has reached the destination (unless there are any UK Customs holds which require the goods to be inspected).

LCL (less than container load) is where your goods are loaded into a shipping container with other consignments.  Your goods will be picked up at origin, and then packed into a shared container.  Once it has reached the destination port, the shipping container will be transported to a warehouse where the individual shipments are unloaded before making their onward journey to the delivery addresses.

Europallets (1.2m x 0.8m)

11 europallets will fit into a standard 20’ container

You can get 25 europallets in a standard 40’ container


Standard pallets (1.2m x 1.0m)

You can fit 10 standard pallets in a standard 20’ container

21 standard pallets fit into a standard 40’ container

The standard height and width of shipping containers is 8’ 6” high and 8’ wide.  The most common shipping containers are 40 foot containers, which, you guessed it, measure 40 feet long.  A 40 foot shipping container is available also in a “high cube” version, which is 9’ 6” high (great for taller cargo).  20 foot shipping containers are the next most common, which measure 20 feet long.

Specialist shipping containers include out of gauge options: open top containers, flat rack containers, and platforms.  There are also temperature-controlled containers, known as reefers in various sizes including 40 foot and 20 foot.