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How to calculate landed cost

Updated February 21, 2017

Landed cost refers of the cost of shipping goods from origin to their final destination.If a rubber ducky is made in China and sold to the final purchaser in the U.S. for 8 cents, that cost may not include the cost of transportation, unless arranged by the seller. Insurance may or may not be included in transportation, but is recommended: there are 20,000 rubber ducks floating in the North Pacific because of a container lost from a ship (see reference 2 below). The other costs may include customs duties and local trucking services.

Add the purchase price and the cost of shipment. Ask the freight forwarder handling the shipment if insurance is included in the shipment fees. If not, add the cost of insuring the shipment.

Determine the customs fees, duties and taxes for the shipment. If the shipment is coming into the United States, the U.S. International Trade Commission's Harmonized Tariff Schedule is available online (See Resources). Enter the type of item, like toys. Use the pop-up listing to find the further description of the particular item and click on the item code for additional information and a rate.

Divide the total price of the shipment by the number of items within the shipment to determine the landed price per unit,

Tip

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule is available for download as a Portable Document File (PDF) or as a 3,123-page printed book.

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About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.