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CFS Bonded Warehouse – An Essential Part of your Supply Chain?

If you stop to consider the endless combination of commodities, origins and destinations that are possible when importing and exporting goods, the total number would be enormous. But there are two things that every shipper looks for: an opportunity to streamline the supply chain and to reduce freight cost. One way to achieve those goals is by using a bonded CFS warehouse.CFS Warehouse.jpg

What is a CFS Warehouse?

A container freight station (CFS) is a facility where ocean or air freight can be transferred directly from the destination port or airport. A bonded facility simply means that it has been certified by Customs Border Protection (CBP) to receive goods directly from the port while still under a customs bond. There are actually eleven different classes of bonded warehouse authorized under 19 C.F.R. 19.1 and their function will vary, depending on the type of bond issued. The goods can be held at the bonded warehouse pending clearance by Customs and because they are moving under customs bond, the payment of duties and fees is deferred. Depending on the type of facility, those fees may be deferred for up to five years as long as they remain in the bonded warehouse.

When a shipment arrives at a CFS bonded warehouse, it may be broken down from a ULD (Unit Load Device) in the case of air freight, or unpacked from an ocean container. According to CBP guidelines, goods can be manipulated in several ways while on site, including sorting or repackaging.

How do you know a CFS Warehouse is a Good fit for you?

Let’s examine some examples of how you might benefit.

  • Air freight shipments which are typically time sensitive to begin with, can be taken directly from the airport and broken down for final delivery to multiple destinations. Usually within just a few hours.
  • If your supply chain involves the routine import or export of goods that require short-term storage before being broken down, repackaged and prepared for delivery to final destinations a CFS warehouse can increse your supply chain efficiency - which translates to potential cost savings.
  • CFS warehouses are a perfect match for dedicated consolidation services - like the one provided by Vantec Hitachi Transport. In the case of LCL ocean freight, a consolidated (aka “consol”) shipment may be a 20' or 40’ container that has been filled by combining smaller, less than container loads from a number of consignees. Air freight consolidations work much the same way. If you are undecided about the merits of shipping your goods LCL, we discussed the merits of LCL vs FCL in a previous installment of this blog.


Does your Logistics Provider Offer Dedicated Consolidation Service to a Bonded CFS Warehouse?

Vantec Hitachi Transport Chicago CSF Warehouse

If they don't, you may be missing out. Consider the potential advantages you could gain. 

  • Ocean or air freight consolidations can be moved directly from the port to a bonded CFS warehouse where they can be broken down quickly and prepared for final mile delivery to multiple destinations.
  • Including your cargo in a dedicated consol provides an additional layer of security when your goods are transported directly to a secure CFS facility; as the risk for damage or theft is minimized.
  • Vantec Hitachi Transport’s Chicago CFS warehouse provides additional value-added services such as expedited breakdown, release and delivery. 


Remember, a CFS warehouse that offers fast break-down of ULD and containers, secure transport and storage of your goods and expedited delivery may be the right Smart Logistics Solution for your transportation problems. 

Contact Us to learn more.

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