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What are Container Freight Stations (CFS): Purpose & Benefits

July 5, 2019 Rick LaGore

Container Freight Stations (CFS)

Container Freight Station (CFS) Defined in 100 Words

A container freight station is a distribution facility where import and export shipments are consolidated and de-consolidated.

CFS’s are a key component in any supply chain moving interior point intermodal (IPI) freight.  

Freight forwarders are typically the largest users of CFS companies, but shippers and other third-party logistics service providers also hire them for their customers’ freight.

Container freight stations are located near ports and major inland distribution cities.

Key Benefits & Functions of a CFS

  • Consolidate LCL shipments into a larger container with freight of the same or different customers being shipped to the same destination region.
  • Transload IPI containers from 20’s, 40’s and 45’s into 53’ intermodal containers for cost savings and more control of inventory.
  • CFS stations typically have both a foreign trade zone (FTZ) and non-FTZ component.  The reason being is many shippers take advantage of keeping their product in-bond on a customs form 7512 to keep the product outside of the jurisdiction of the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).  This allows the shipper to defer the payment of duties and taxes until it is consumed in a manufacturing process or sold to a customer.
  • Manage and clear shippers' freight, or as mentioned above, consolidate and ship products in-bond.
  • Brings control and efficiencies to inland freight movements for shippers.
  • CFS stations help maintain records of shipments, including such information as exporter names, importer and customs agents, origin and destination points, cargo details, etc.

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