What is a CFS (Container Freight Station)?

A Container Freight Station (CFS) is a warehouse that consolidates and deconsolidates freight before it is prepared for the next leg of its journey. Container freight stations are used to combine less than container (LCL) ocean and air shipments to fill containers entirely before being transported. They are also used to deconsolidate freight when it reaches its destination.  

Most CFS are located near ports of entry such as an airport, ocean port, or major railway hubs. In the US, CFS are designated with a FIRMS code for customs filing purpose.

half full truck pulling into container freight station to be consolidated
Consolidating an outbound shipment for transport to destination
full truck pulling into container freight station to be deconsolidated
Deconsolidating an inbound shipment for final distribution

What is a Bonded CFS Warehouse?

Bonded means that the CFS has the authority from the Customs & Border Protection Agency to receive cargo under a customs bond.

CFS Shipping Benefits

Container freight stations give companies flexibility by offering LCL and air shipments a convenient place to be consolidated and deconsolidated around the globe. After cargo arrives at a CFS, it is combined with other shipments to fill an entire container or ULD. This allows a company’s LCL and air shipments to be optimized for cost effectiveness and capacity. 

Importing and Exporting Shipments Through Container Freight Stations

Exports are shipped to container freight stations, where they are packed with other goods heading to the same destination port or airport. Similarly, when imports arrive at the destination port, they are sorted. The bill of lading (BOL) will state if a container is carrying an LCL shipment that needs to go to a CFS to be deconsolidated. Once the shipment reaches the CFS, the freight is unpacked and ready for the final mile carrier to pick it up and transport it to its final destination.

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