A "transshipment" occurs each time your freight is moved from one container to another, or from one vessel to another during the shipment's journey.
For example, your ocean freight from South Africa may be transshipped via Rotterdam; your air freight from Hong Kong via Chicago; your truck freight to Texas via Nashville, Tennessee.
Transshipping freight is not necessarily a problem, nor is it always avoidable, but there are risks you should be aware of:
The more transshipments, the longer the transit time.
Each transshipment requires your freight to be physically unloaded and reloaded into the next conveyance. More handling means more risk of loss, damage, theft or pilferage.
For every transshipment point, there is a cut-off date which must be met. Failing to meet this deadline can result in substantial delays in the transit time.