Here are our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Rate Information, Credit Information, Pre-Shipping, Post-Shipping and Certification questions. If your question remains unanswered, please email or contact us in any manner you prefer.

» Rate Information
Q. Do I have price and/or timeliness considerations with ocean freight service?
Q. What information do I need to furnish to receive the most competitive rate and protect my interest when shipping through DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express?
» Credit Information
Q. Do all customers need to submit a Credit Application for a shipment?
Q. What is required on the Credit Application?
Q. How much time does the credit process take?
» Pre-Shipping
Q. What is the cut-off time for delivering freight for a particular sailing?
Q. How should I mark my freight or fill out the Bill of Lading (BOL)?
Q. Are my shipments insured?
Q. What documents are required for international shipments?
Q. What documents are required for Guam shipments?
Q. How do I compute cubic feet?
Q. What information must be provided with a shipment that contains hazardous materials?
Q. What are A-Frames?
Q. What are Eastbound Transit Times?
» Post-Shipping
Q. When receiving a shipment, what should I do?
Q. How do I file a claim?
» Standards and Associations
Q. What is “IATA”?
Q. What is “WCA”?
Q. What does ISO 9001 Certified mean?
Q. What is C-TPAT?
Q. Who participates in C-TPAT?
Q. What does participation in C-TPAT require?
Q. What are the benefits C-TPAT?
Q. Are we a member of C-TPAT?
» DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express
Q. What makes us different?


» Rate Information
Do I have price and/or timeliness considerations with ocean freight service?
A. DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express currently offers 3 different levels of ocean freight service for our Hawaii destinations. The service differentiation is based primarily on the means used to reposition the freight throughout the U.S. mainland. The 3 levels of ocean service are:

Economy Ocean - Our economy service is based on the use of DGX, our sister company, CFS (Container Freight Stations). Freight is dropped off (or we do a pickup and transport the freight to) DGX's closest CFS. The freight is then railed into our Los Angeles terminal where it is then loaded on the very next sailing. Because the freight is railed into Los Angeles (as opposed to using a transcontinental carrier) the overland costs to reposition the freight are less expensive. However, because the rail containers only leave the CFS on predetermined schedules once or twice a week (dependant on location) and rail takes an extra 2 to 3 days in terms of transit time, the freight could be delayed in reaching its ultimate destination by 7 to 10 days. Thus, the Economy Service is just that - a slower, more economical method of moving a shipment.

Standard Ocean - Our Standard Ocean service uses our existing network of quality oriented regional truck lines. Pickups made at the shipper are carried directly to our terminal in Los Angeles, for furtherance on the next available sailing. Because existing quality guidelines require our transcontinental trucking partners to meet (or better) specific transit times, the freight usually arrives faster than the Economy Service by 3-7 days. Our overland rates have been negotiated based on our overall volumes, allowing you to benefit from our size in terms of reduced rates. As a result, our Standard Ocean service allows you a very good transit time at a very competitive rate.

Expedited Ocean - Expedited Ocean uses either expedited "road feeder" service or air service to bring your shipment into our Los Angeles terminal. It is then forwarded to its ultimate destination on the next available sailing. This service features a decreased overland transit time enabling you to make an earlier sailing and meet your deadlines. It is used primarily as a less expensive alternative to deferred airfreight. It is a bit slower than deferred airfreight (3-4 days) and faster than our Standard Service (3-4 days).

What information do I need to furnish to receive the most competitive rate and protect my interest when shipping through DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express?
A. The more detailed information furnished at time of inquiry, the greater the chances of receiving the best rate possible. Because different types of commodities can carry multiple classifications, if a quote is requested with minimal information, the possibility exists that the quote may be high. To furnish you with the most competitive rate, we suggest having the following information available:
  • Origin and destination addresses and telephone numbers.
  • Origin and destination zip codes.
  • Commodity description.
  • Measurements of shipment in cubic feet. Click here to see how to compute cubic feet. Inform us of any measurements in excess of 85 inches.
  • Weight of shipment.
  • Value of Freight (Do I need insurance; is it needed?).
  • Time Parameter.
  • For airfreight quotes, the accurate dimensions of each piece of cargo if not tendered as a pallet, are needed.
» Credit Information
Do all customers need to submit a Credit Application for a shipment?
A. All new customers interested in obtaining credit status (Billed Prepaid or Collect) must submit a completed, signed and dated Dependable Credit Application. New customers may remain on driver collect or prepaid in advance, if they wish to do so.
What is required on the Credit Application?
A. It is very important to include all applicable required information including:
  • Company Name
  • Street Address
  • Billing Address (if different from street address)
  • Estimated Freight Expense per month
  • Credit Amount Requested
  • Minimum of three trade references with fax numbers and any account numbers
  • Banking Reference
  • Signature of company authorized representative
  • Personal Guarantee (if necessary, depends on co. size, years in business, financial position, etc.)
How much time does the credit process take?
A. Completion time for a final credit limit decision varies on customer information provided (required answers) and the amount of time for references to be returned to the credit department. Any special invoicing, instructions, procedures, billing requirements, addresses, or other specifications requested by the customer must be submitted in writing for approval prior to inclusion as part of our Special Billing Instructions.

Notwithstanding the above, our goal is to process your Credit Application within one week.

New customers should understand that unless credit is established prior to the commencement of service, all first shipments must be prepaid in advance (or driver collect, depending on freight payment terms) while the credit review process is undertaken.
» Pre-Shipping
What is the cut-off time for delivering freight for a particular sailing?
A. There are many different cutoff times for the various trade lanes we service, as well as the wide range of origin locations we are able to accommodate.

For international shipments, cutoffs vary considerably depending on destination and the wide assortment of sailing schedules. Click Here to see our international sailing schedule on line. Please call our International Customer Service Department at (888) 488-4888, Ext. 2020 for specific cutoffs and late gate availability.

For service from Los Angeles to Hawaii, freight needs to be dock delivered prior to 5:00 pm the day before the vessel sails. For example, freight for the Wednesday sailing needs to be delivered to our dock prior to 5:00 pm Tuesday evening. Our local dispatch can arrange for same day pickup in most of Southern California for shipments scheduled prior to 2:00 pm. For Guam, freight sails once weekly and the cutoff is Monday at 5:00 pm.

For shipments originating outside California, our Transcontinental ("Transcon") and Intermodal Dispatchers can arrange next business day pickup anywhere in the continental United States for Less than Container Load (LCL) or Full Container Load (FCL) service. Please call our Transcon or Intermodal Departments at (800) 488-4888, Ext 2002 for information on pickups and transit times across the country.

For service from Oakland, departures to Hawaii are one day earlier than Los Angeles. Freight needs to be at the DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express facility by 4:00 pm Monday or Thursday, which are the nights before the scheduled sailings.

From the Northwest, freight for Hawaii needs to be at the local DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express facility prior to 12:00 noon on Thursday in Portland and Friday in Seattle.

For Eastbound service from Hawaii (Oahu), freight needs to be at the local DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express facility prior to 4:30 pm Wednesday for weekly service to the U.S. mainland and prior to 4:30 pm Friday for service to Guam.

For shipments departing all other islands, freight needs to be at the local DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express facility or agent at least 12 hours before (or the evening prior to) the barge sailings.

For all other DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express locations you can call the local terminal to arrange for pickup service or contact our national customer service at (800) 488-4888 ext 2020.

Freight that has special stowage requirements, such as hazardous materials, may be subject to delay even when delivered prior to cutoff.

DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express has the ability to be flexible in order to meet your needs or specialized requirements. Please call our corporate Customer Service Department at (800) 488-4888, ext. 2020 for any special requests or extensions you may need.
How should I mark my freight or fill out the Bill of Lading (BOL)?
A. When preparing your shipment, it is always best to mark the full address information of both the shipper and consignee on all pieces of the shipment. At a minimum, marking each pallet with complete information is recommended. Marking the pieces of the shipment with the piece or pallet count is also very helpful. If your shipment carries a booking number, PO number, house bill number, shipment reference, etc., mark this information on the freight as well. We will mark the freight and the BOL with our pro number when your shipment is tendered in order to provide complete track and trace visibility throughout our system and our website.

For international shipments that are pre-booked, the booking number will follow the shipment as the DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express or DGX pro number. Bills of Lading (BOL) should be prepared to accompany all shipments. It is important that the type of service be specified (ocean vs. air) if a DHX -Dependable Hawaiian Express ocean or air BOL is not used; Without a BOL, DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express will look for a packing slip or other documentation to use as a BOL or we will create one using our standard BOL form.

All fields should be completed to ensure the proper handling of your shipment. Any pre-arranged quote or booking number is essential to ensure proper billing. Any missing or incomplete information may result in a delay while we attempt to verify items and fill-in the blank forms prior to shipping.

For shipments originating outside California, the consignee address should be listed as 19201 Susana Rd., Rancho Dominguez, CA 90221. The final offshore destination consignee information should be written into the body of the bill or special instructions section.

For a fax copy of our standard BOL, please call our Customer Service Department at (888) 488-4888, ext. 2004 or print it directly from the website.
Are my shipments insured?
A. Liability for loss or damage to the goods shall be limited to $500 per package (or in the instance that goods not shipped in packages, per customary freight unit).

If the shipper has declared a higher value for the goods than $500 per package or per customary unit (not to exceed the lower of cost or market value) upon delivery to DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express, the higher value has been inserted on the face of the Bill of Lading and freight insurance has been requested (and paid), DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express will purchase additional insurance on your behalf. In the described event, liability for loss shall not exceed the declared value and any partial loss or damage shall be adjusted pro rata on the basis of the declared value.

The word "package" shall include, without limit, a container used to ship household goods, or freight all kinds shipped under a lump sum tariff, a liquid tank or a dry bulk container, van or trailer, and cargo shipped on a skid, cradle, pallet or unitized load, group or assemblage.

Liability for damages and shortages of personal effects and used household goods will always be limited to a release value of $.10 per pound.
What documents are required for international shipments?
  • Commercial Invoices
  • Packing Lists
  • Letters of Credit (if applicable)
  • Export License (if applicable)
  • Vehicles may require the titles for presentation to U.S. Customs
  • Certain destinations may require special documentation (i.e. Certificates of Origin or Consular Legalizations)

We will be able to assist with any special requirements. For questions, please contact International Customer Service at (888) 488-4888 ext. 2004 (Imports) or ext. 2005 (Exports).

What documents are required for Guam shipments?
A. Guam Customs requires that we provide commercial invoices for each shipment in a container prior to vessel arrival. Due to issues in enforcing such a policy, invoices supporting your shipments must be tendered to our Guam office at least three days prior to vessel arrival. The commercial invoice should be faxed prior to vessel arrival to (671) 649 -7777. Failure to complete these guidelines will result in your shipment being placed into our Guam Customs-licensed CFS and storage fees will accrue daily.
How do I compute cubic feet?
A. When shipping to Hawaii or Guam, ocean delivery, wharfage and terminal handling charges are based on density or actual cubic feet, whichever is greater.

In order to compute actual cubic feet, you will need to measure the length, width and height (in inches) of each piece to be shipped. One cubic foot is equal to a single piece with the dimensions of 12" x 12" x 12". To compute cubic feet, first multiply together all the dimensions for the piece being measured. Then divide the total by 1728. This calculation will give you your total amount of cubic feet for the piece. Total the individual pieces "cubed" to determine your total shipment cube.

  • 12" X 12" X 12" = 1728
  • 1728 / 1728 = 1 cubic foot or 12" X 12" X 12" = 1 cubic foot

Some helpful hints in computing cubic feet:

  • When taking your dimensions, round up to the next highest inch. Example: 11 ½" = 12".
  • Total cubic feet should always be rounded up. Example: 10.45 cubic feet = 11 cubic feet.
  • With multiple pieces of the same dimensions, multiply the total number of pieces along with the dimension. For example, 10 pieces at 12 x 12 x12 would be computed as follows:
    • 10 PCs X 12" X 12" X 12" = 17280 / 1728 = 10 cubic feet

Computing Cubic FeetWhen cubing a shrink-wrapped pallet, measure the highest, widest and longest dimension of the pallet. If the product does not take up the full amount of space on the pallet, you must still measure the width and length of the pallet itself, as well as the highest point of the product on the pallet. This is because your pallet is using the space within the container. Should the product hang over the edge of the pallet, you will need to measure the length and width of the product stacked on the pallet as the largest dimensions.

When computing cubic feet on shipments that consist of multiple pieces having different dimensions, compute the amount of cubic feet for each piece and then add up the cubic feet for all the pieces to determine the total cubic feet for the shipment. You do not need to round up the cube for the individual pieces. Round up the cubic feet total of all the pieces added together.

To compute density cubic feet, divide the weight of shipment by 45 to ensure that the 45 lb. density rule cube does not exceed the actual cube. If it exceeds the actual cubic feet, you will be charged based on density.

The formulas used to convert weight and cube into metric for international shipment pricing are as follows:

  • International "less than container-load" (LCL) rates are quoted on a weight/measurements (w/m) -- revenue ton basis. A revenue ton is defined as 1 cbm (m3) and/or 1000 kg. The basis for the calculation is whatever yields the greater revenue.
  • To calculate the cubic meters:
    • Follow steps above to get cubic feet
    • Divide cubic feet by 35.314 to determine cubic meters
  • To determine weight in kilos divide gross weight by 2.2046. Every 1000 kilos is considered a one CBM. The higher of actual measurement of the cargo or 1 CBM for each thousand kilos is used to determine the CBM for billing purposes.
What information must be provided with a shipment that contains hazardous materials?
A. All the information required can be found on this form. This form needs to be filled out for each type of hazardous item in the shipment. For all shipments, a material safety data sheet must also be provided in order to comply with Federal and Coast Guard regulations.
What are A-Frames?
A. There are two main types of A-frames:

  1. A crate or thin shipping unit with legs, usually 2x4's, nailed or attached to the sides that stick out to help the crate stand upright on its own. These are assembled by the shipper and are either picked-up or dock-delivered. When shipped, these units take up space additional to the crate itself as the legs stick out the side at an angle, like the shape of an "A." When we cube these types of shipments, we use the actual dimensions of the crate without the legs and then add 25 cube to the total to account for the additional space used by the legs. The addition of 25 cube is a standard for most crates. For example, a crate 108" long by 60" high by 6" wide is 23 cube. Add 25 cube and the shipment is billed as 48 cube. This is often less than what the cube would be if we used the longest dimensions. In this example, if the legs make the width 30" the total cube would be 113 cube,or 66 additional cube.
  2. A metal or wooden framework that is a stand-alone structure to which crates or slabs are strapped or banded. These shipments are most often picked-up at a shippers location where they are able to attach the shipped items to the structure securely. When we cube these types of shipments, we use the longest of each dimension for the whole shipping unit (crates, frame and all) and then divide the total by 1.5 to account for the space around the top of the A-frame structure. For example, if the A-frame is taller than the crate, use the height of the frame. However, if the crate is longer than the frame, use the length of the crate.
What Are Eastbound Transit Times?
A. For Hawaii to Mainland less-than-container load shipments, shipping from an Outer Island to the Mainland will require the freight to transition into Honolulu for consolidation with other shipments into a single container. The transition time will vary from 2 to 4 days depending on the origin island and barge connections. The sailing time frame from Honolulu to Los Angeles is 11 days. Shipments destined for Northern California up to Seattle are routed via truck and additional service days will apply. For further questions regarding transit times, please contact our Corporate Customer Service Dept. at (800) 488-4888, Ext. 2020.
» Post-Shipping
When receiving a shipment, what should I do?
First check the freight for shortages or signs of damage. If you discover a problem, immediately bring it to the driver's attention. A signature of the person receiving the shipment and date the shipment was received is required on the bottom right hand corner of the delivery receipt. Please note: Unless otherwise noted on the face of the delivery receipt, you are signing that the goods received have been delivered in good condition.

Should there be an overage, shortage or damage with the shipment, immediately alert the driver and make a notation on the delivery receipt to the nature of the exception. Your exception should include identification markings such as item description, box markings, serial numbers or model number. A complete description should be noted (e.g., one carton of item #2030, ceramic tiles, damaged).

When a unit (carton, box or pallet) shows no sign of damage, and damage or loss is noticed after the driver has left the premises, the recipient is responsible for reporting the loss or damage to the local office immediately and request an inspection within 3 working days of the delivery date. Every attempt should be made to leave the unit and packaging materials as they were when you discovered the loss or damage. Unless notice of loss or damage is apparent and the nature of such loss or damage is not given in writing to DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express before or at the time of delivery of the goods, we shall deem that you received the goods in good, damage-free condition.
How do I file a claim?
A. All claims for loss or damage of cargo must be filed with DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express which will often be solely responsible to process them to conclusion.

Notice of all claims must be sent to:
DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express
19201 Susana Road
Rancho Dominguez, CA 90221

... or faxed to 310-537-3291 with attention to the Claims Department.

The following items should be submitted along with the standard Presentation of Claim form:
  • Standard Presentation of claim or letter identifying the shipment and the claim amount. The claim form or letter must include the full name and address of the party filing the claim.
  • A copy of the seller or vendor's original invoice documenting the amount paid for the goods after any discounts or deductions.
  • Detailed repair invoices, if goods in question have been repaired. The labor charges should be broken down by the amount of hours versus hourly rate.

Time Bar 
DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express shall be discharged from all liability unless the claim is filed within nine months after the date of delivery of the goods or after the date when the goods should have been delivered.

» Standards and Associations
“IATA”?What is "IATA"?
A. IATA (International Air Transportation Association) is an organization that companies join to receive services from other IATA members without having to establish a detailed partnership relationship. Approximately 40% of the world's manufactured exports travel by air. IATA's cargo systems and relationships help us move goods from shipper to consignee as efficiently as possible.
“WCA”? What is “WCA”?
A. WCA (World Cargo Alliance) is an organization dedicated to networking transportation firms from around the world. The WCA members in other parts of the world unite with us as agents where we do not have our own offices. Today, the group encompasses over 600 members, all freight companies, with firms ranging from customs brokers, air/ocean freight forwarders to consolidation and project specialists. Global transportation regulations, customs procedures and policies are often in flux. Our membership ensures that our clients, as well as our staff members, are educated on these changes. The WCA provides us with the ability to service all locations worldwide through membership representation on a global basis.
What does ISO 9001 Certified mean?
A. ISO CertifiedManagement recognizes the need to continually improve its foundation for quality services. It is through the International Organization for Standardization, an international accreditation body, that DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express continues to build its foundation for quality and customer satisfaction.

In August of 1998, we became the first major ocean/airfreight company to Hawaii that achieved certification under ISO 9001 Certification guidelines. Currently, the Los Angeles, Oakland, Honolulu, Seattle, Maui, Kona and Guam terminals are registered. Soon, the remaining international offices will be onboard as well, meeting a company wide goal of having all terminals certified and under a single, global registration.

Implementing quality controls, documenting the various processes and procedures and focusing on quality of service and customer satisfaction are fundamental aspects of ISO. We have successfully implemented and maintained this quality foundation and it is followed by everyone in the organization, thereby increasing our efficiency and productivity with an emphasis on measuring results and continuous improvements. Through ongoing audit inspections with a Registrar of the International Organization for Standards, management can assure company personnel and our customers that we have adopted and comply with high quality standards recognized worldwide.
What is C-TPAT?
A. The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a joint government and business initiative designed to strengthen overall supply chain and border security. The goal of C-TPAT is to create a more secure supply chain through cooperative partnerships between government and business. To learn more about C-TPAT visit here.
Who participates in C-TPAT?
A. Partnership in C-TPAT is voluntary. Participants include supply chain members such as importers, brokers, carriers, terminal operators, warehouse operators, and manufacturers.
What does participation in C-TPAT require?
A. C-TPAT participants must submit a supply chain security profile for review by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The security profile must address C-TPAT security guidelines that include: Procedural Security, Physical Security, Education and Training, Access Controls, and Manifest Procedures. Additionally, C-TPAT participants must undergo a validation process through which CBP officers validate the supply chain security profile that was submitted and address security gaps as well as corrective measures to improve supply chain security. We have undergone the validation process and are validated.
What are the benefits of C-TPAT?
A. C-TPAT provides businesses with an opportunity to play an active role in the war against terrorism, while improving processing times for imports and increasing overall security for their employees, suppliers and customers.
Are we a member of C-TPAT?
A. DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express is a C-TPAT participant. Our Status Verification Interface number is "dhxCon01084".
» DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express
What makes us different?
A. We believe our flexibility, integrity and employees set us apart from industry competitors. Our employees work diligently to ensure customer needs are met and surpassed. We also believe that by helping the customer, it's ultimately helping the company. Thus, flexibility and pricing needs are important to us, as is honesty and integrity in ensuring that we take care of your business and needs. Our growth in the industry indicates we've been doing business better than the competition.
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