Exclusive container shipments (FCL) 

FCL's are faster and more predictable than shared container shipments (LCL's), because they usually go directly to the port from your home, then on to a ship,
then into the port of arrival--without being unloaded--then to your home.  Containers that arrive in Haifa and are sent by rail to Ashdod have 2 days of free storage 
in Ashdod. Shipments to be cleared and delivered from the same port they arrive to have 4 days.   If all goes well, it can take a week to clear through customs and deliver a container. 
After 2-4 days, there is storage to be paid.  After 1 week there is demurrage (container rental) to be paid.

 For all import and export shipments, expect at least a few days of port storage charges and container rental.  Containers loading from storage are more often delayed.  
"Live load" containers, where goods are put directly into the shipping container, which is sent straight to port have greater urgency and are less frequently rescheduled.

LCL’s (less than container loads)

need to be matched up with other shipments to fill the container, and on the delivery side,  the container is unloaded, your goods identified, then, often, matched up with other shipments to fill the delivery truck.  LCL delivery takes from one to several weeks after clearing customs.  At origin and destination, the smaller the shipment, the less predictable the time of shipping and delivery, the greater chance of delay.   Please see LCL Arrival notice moving to Israel.  At the port in Israel, LCL’s have 28 free days,  at the US port, it depends on the port, usually only a week


Estimated Transit Times from pick-up until arrival at destination port, based on Zim (fast) sailings.   OOCL and other steamship lines are slower (by weeks or more) and less predictable.  These are very general estimates;   please read the rest of the page.

Exclusive Containers (FCL)

East Coast  4-6 weeks (DC and Florida)     3-5 weeks (New York)  Sailings to/from Florida sometimes change vessels in the Mediterranean, adding 1-2 weeks.

West Coast:   6-9 weeks

LCL’s (less than container loads)

East Coast: Minimum 6 weeks.  8- 12 weeks is average.  In winter, add 2-6 weeks.
West Coast:  Minimum 7 weeks.  9-13 weeks is average.  In winter, add 2-6 weeks.


Timing a Shipment to Israel —Choose a Target Arrival Date relative to your Arrival date

Those claiming import privileges must be in the country at the time their shipment is cleared.   It may be possible to pay taxes and ask for them to be refunded, once your tax/visa status is in place.   Some  choose:

Exclusive container FCL:  1-2 weeks after your arrival.

Consolidated/Shared Shipment LCL:  a few days after you arrive.


Air freight

2-3 weeks.  Large (or any air shipments with large pieces) are often split onto multiple airplanes.  The shipment cannot be cleared and delivered until everything arrives.


Early or Late

Shipments, and all the components of the shipping process– containers, steamships, airplanes, trucks, crews, materials, drivers–can be significantly early or late.   There is always significant uncertainty,  no matter what you believe or have heard or read or understood the projected time frame to be.   We do our best to keep to planned times, though we do not make promises or take responsibility for timing, changes, or inaccurate information.      The overall unpredictability comes from unforeseen earliness and delays at every stage of the process, which, when they happen in series, can compound to dramatic effect.


Changes in Timing

These happen with surprising regularity in every part of the shipping process–packers, pickup trucks, container, air carriers (splitting shipments and oversized pieces), steamships, port handling, train from Haifa to Ashdod (or the reverse, or Baltimore to New York), container unloading, customs clearing, and delivery.  We do our best to let you know when they occur.   Hint:   Whenever someone is expected, be sure you have their contact information as well as cell phone numbers of at least two Kef managers.  When necessary, we are on call 24/7.   Ask to be notified of any changes and to be called 45 minutes before their anticipated arrival.


Some causes for delays

From the shipping side–congestion or unavailability of ports, vessels, trains, trucks, or delivery teams, difficulty filling a shared container, vessel over- or under-booking, cancellation, ports deleted or backed-up, closeout dates changed, missed connections, engine breakdown,  delays or mistakes in documents, strikes, wars, weather, etc…  The risk of delay is greater in summer when most of the year’s traffic moves.

From your side–not doing any of the following on time–paying, opening customs files, supplying information or customs documents to Kef or our agents on-time, accepting delivery when offered.


Check for updates 

Ask us regularly.   Even information about changes does not come automatically and it is not unusual that the “official” sources are unreliable.


Information must come from and go through the Kef Office only. 

Information from any source other is unreliable, as is information or instructions given to anyone outside the Kef office.    Assume that you have and will be misunderstood; check and confirm our Agents’ understanding and work continually.   Truckers/movers/Agents are NOT a reliable conduit for information and instructions–not for receiving or for giving.  Therefore, follow our instructions religiously and ask any questions asap.

 Containers, vessels, trucks, drivers, materials etc. can be delayed, incurring added costs despite meticulous due diligence.  We apologize for any inconvenience and expense.