Hello! Vicki here from homevestures!
Container buying in much like shipping a 'flat rate box' USPS uses for their customers. Cost is based on size not weight. There is a system that moves the 'flat rate box' around; likewise, there is a system for moving the container around; both are under the US government standard and rules. Containers come in 3 sizes; 20 foot, 40 foot, and 40 foot high cube.
It's very easy to ship a container. Homevestures has the best shipping broker in the US and Indonesia to insure all rules and safety regulations are followed.
Document fees constitute approximately 20% of container shipping costs. Those fees are paid each time a container ships from one country to another. The document fees are the same regardless of the size of the container and average between 650usd-1000usd. Likewise, document fees apply to LCL 'less than container load'. Which means you will pay the document fee amount whether you ship one chair or you ship a 40'hc container.
Approximately 25% of the total cost is in packing, stuffing and moving the truck from the warehouse to the port of orgin aka Jakarta port. This goes back to the idea of getting the 'flatrate box' ready to ship then driving it to the post office or having it picked up at your door to begin it's journey to you.
The dock fees and the ocean freight aka 'ship transport ' are approximately 30% of the cost.
US Port and custom clearance, insurance and reports is the remaining 25%. Custom clearance means all guidelines, rules and documents are checked to promote safe entry of goods into the country.
Lastly, the container is 'freight forwarded' -meaning moved from port of destination, New York, Los Angeles etc by tractor trailer to your location. This cost is calculated and paid separately. If you are close to the port, in an easy location, cost is low; if you are far from the port and hard to get to, cost is high. Expect an additional 10-35% of your total shipping cost to freight forward your container of goods to your location.