Hermes can handle Full Container Loads (FCL) to almost any country in the world.

1. CONTAINERS (dimensions, specs.):

1. A 20 ft. standard container when filled to capacity with personal effects holds up to 1000 cu ft. / 6000 lbs., while a 40 ft. standard container holds up to 2000 cu ft. / 12,000 lbs.

2. In matching the container size to your volume, we recommend that you make a detailed inventory list to be used by Customs, for insurance purposes and for Hermes recordkeeping. This list helps us determine the volume and weight of the shipment and allows us to make the best recommendations for your individual shipment. A general rule of thumb is that 1 and 2 bedroom apartments will take up anywhere from 300-1000 cu ft. and require a 20 ft. container while 3 and 4 bedroom homes will take up between 1100-2000 cu ft. and require a 40 ft. container.

3. After determining the size of the container needed for your shipment, “drayage” or the details of trucking the container to your door, is an important factor to consider. First, the trucker is only a driver. He is paid to drive and can’t assist you in any other way, such as packing or loading. Secondly, you must take into account the local zoning ordinances and laws pertaining to fire, police, EMS, garbage pickup and no-parking zones. Finally, you must take into account the physical conditions of the road/driveways. The trucker has total discretion on this matter.

4. The trucking term, “live load,” that we use in your rate is important because when the trucker shows up, he will expect you to have everything planned out, staged and ready to go within a 3-hour time limit. In the event you run over the 3-hour limit, you will be assessed an hourly overtime trucking fee.


The next step is to consider how you are going to pack/load your shipment. Below are a few possible options:

1. One option is to use cheap labor to pack and load your container. While many of these people haven’t been trained in container packing, if you are looking for somebody to quickly and cost effectively load the freight into the container, then using this type of labor is perfectly fine. Just remember to make sure they are fully licensed and insured.

2. The second is loading the container by yourself during the 3-hour time limit for a live load. While this sounds difficult, many of our former clients chose this option because it best suited their needs and budget. By planning ahead, prepacking all of your goods and having them staged and ready to go when the trucker shows up, you can avoid the cost of hiring moving men.

3. Drop and pick option is great for people who are doing their own packing/loading and need additional time to do so. The trucker drops off the container on a set date and comes back 3 to 5 days later to pick it up and bring it directly to the port. This process is also known as a double pick. It should be noted that the trucking cost is doubled for this service.

4. Whether you choose to pack yourself or hire a local mover, realize that loading a container is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. You have to visualize the concept of linear space and realize that once you get the right pieces in first everything else will fit together.


In regards to automobile shipping, the shipper must have the title to the vehicle along with a lien release form from the creditor allowing you to ship overseas. When shipping a vehicle internationally the shipper has to consider the following: Packing the vehicle into a container is easy and is actually recommended even to the novice shipper to avoid additional costs. However, to pack your own vehicle the shipper also needs a flatbed truck with a tilt-back so that the auto can be picked up and slid into the container with the front end of the car facing the back of the container. The gas line must be completely drained, and the vehicle’s engine should be run until empty. The battery should be disconnected with battery cables tied up with electrical tape. Wheels should be blocked and properly chocked.


Whether your auto will be professionally loaded or you decide to make arrangements to load the vehicle yourself, you must keep the following in mind when mixing personal effects into the same container:

1. Personal effects go in first, followed by the bulk heading (building of a wall), and lastly the vehicle itself.

2. Keep in mind the dimensions and linear space of the container, e.g. with a 20 ft. container you can load up to 200 cu ft. of personal effects followed by the auto. The 40 ft. container holds up to 1100 cu ft. followed by the auto.


We work with Ramon insurance, an insurance brokerage firm specializing in marine cargo insurance, and through them we can provide shippers with a number of different insurance plans.

1. All Risks Policy: This policy is provided for personal effects and/or autos. The rate that we charge is 3% of the value insured ($30.00 for every $1000.00 of insurance). This is an all inclusive policy that provides full protection for your freight while it’s in transit. In addition to major damages, it provides coverage for scratches, dings, dents etc.

2. Named Perils/FPA: This type of policy is sold at 1.5% of the value insured ($ 15.00 for every $1000.00).This policy covers damage to freight that result in total loss, such as fire, theft, container washed out to sea, container dropped at the terminal or customs inspection at the US port of call that results in total damage.

3. The minimum insurance premium amount is $ 30.00.


If you need to buy a container, you also need to obtain a seaworthy certificate in order to ship your container overseas.


1. Duties: The general rule when shipping out of the US is that there are no duties on used personal effects that are over a year old assuming the shipper has no intention of reselling any of the contents inside the container to the general public. However, with shippers who are returning to their native country or who have purchased items that are less than 1 year old it is best to check with the consulate of the country you are planning on shipping to. To check the local laws regarding shipping and potential duties, visit

2. Customs Clearance: For shipping to most countries, shippers can contact the consulate of the country they are shipping to and obtain the proper forms to be filled out and submitted to Customs. In some countries like the UK you can download the C-3 form and mail it in to Customs, but for other countries like Greece , Italy and France, you may have to physically go to the port to clear the container for release.