One important feature of containerisation is the ease with which goods are transferred from road vehicle, rail wagon and barge to ocean vessel and back again. Taking advantage of this facility of handling, container shipping lines in many trades will carry goods overland in the country of export and the country of import.This element in the through movement of containers is called carrier haulage. Carriers do not have to own the vehicles that they use but can use private haulage companies with whom they negotiate haulage charges. This applies equally to the way in which rail and barge are used. It is not, however, at these rates that the merchant is debited: the line or conference will have a set of rates for this purpose known as zone haulage rates or grid haulage rates. In the country of export, the rates cover the portion of the journey from the place of acceptance of the goods in the contract of carriage to the terminal.The place of acceptance could be the supplier’s premises or a container yard, wherever the container is loaded.The terminal is usually at the port but could be a deliveringin point elsewhere, sometimes at a port formerly served by the line but which, for reasons of rationalisation, is no longer called at. In the country of import, the haulage rate covers from the terminal to the place of delivery which could be a container yard or the consignee’s premises, wherever the container is unpacked. The rates are known as zone rates or grid rates because each country is divided up by the line or conference by means of a grid or into zones with individual rates applicable from any zone to the terminal or terminals in the country of export and vice-versa in the country of import. When the container is placed by the merchant in the care of the carrier, the latter decides on the best way of delivering it to the terminal and it is not unknown for the inland leg of the voyage to be effected using more than one means of transport. Carrier haulage rates are normally expressed in local currency as a lump sum.They are usually not subject to surcharges.