From

(in days)

Hong Kong FCL Hong Kong LCL UK FCL UK  LCL
Delivery to Dock 7 7 7 7
Port to Port 28 12 19
Port to Port MLB 21 28
Palletizing 2 2
Port to Warehouse 5 5 5 5
Total MLB 35 42
Total MLB Peak 42 49
Total all Water 42 N/A 24 31

FCL = Full Container Load      LCL = Less than Container Load

MLB = Mini land bridge — e.g. ship docks at San Diego and books continue by train to east coast port for clearance.

Port to Port = all water, will be a ship docking in an East coast port.  Palletizing may not be required.

Peak season from China: 15 June – 30 November

FOB = Free on board (named loading port):  The seller pays all costs associated with loading the books on board the vessel nominated by the buyer.  Cost and risk are transferred to the buyer once the books are loaded.  The seller must clear the goods for export.  The buyer makes all decisions on routing and is responsible for clearing the books though U.S. Customs and arranging delivery to the warehouse.

CFR = Cost and Freight (named destination port): The seller pays all costs to ship the books to port of destination, and makes all decisions regarding routing.  Risk is transferred to buyer once the books have been loaded on the vessel.  Buyer clears books through U.S. Customs and coordinates delivery to the warehouse.

CIF = Cost insurance and freight (named destination): Similar to CFR except that the seller is responsible for obtaining a transferrable certificate of insurance on behalf of buyer.  The seller’s responsibility ends when the books are on board the ship.  The buyer remains responsible for clearing through U.S. Customs and delivery to the warehouse.

See International commerce terms (INCOTERMS) in Wikipedia.