The rate-equation approach is used to describe sequential tunneling through a molecular junction in the Coulomb blockade regime. Such device is composed of molecular quantum dot (with discrete energy levels) coupled with two metallic electrodes via potential barriers. Based on this model, we calculate nonlinear transport characteristics (conductance-voltage and current-voltage dependences) and compare them with the results obtained within a self-consistent field approach. It is shown that the shape of transport characteristics is determined by the combined effect of the electronic structure of molecular quantum dots and by the Coulomb blockade. In particular, the following phenomena are discussed in detail: the suppression of the current at higher voltages, the charging-induced rectification effect, the charging-generated changes of conductance gap and the temperature-induced as well as broadening-generated smoothing of current steps.