Shipping Jargon Unpacked – Part 1

There are so many different facets to running a successful business.  When it comes to getting your products to their consumers the last thing on your mind should be trying to understand some of the confusing shipping language that is often used.  As your premier packing and crating source, we would like to offer you the following on how to better understand shipping jargon.

Transloading

This is the shipping process of transferring goods from one mode of transportation to another.  Transloading is most often employed when one mode of transportation cannot be used for the shipment’s entire journey.

ETA

Estimated Time of Arrival.  This term is generally used to describe the time that the goods are slated to arrive at their destination port.

FCL

Full Container Load.  An FCL contains enough goods to fill an entire shipping container.

LCL

Less than full container load.   An LCL is when you do not have enough goods to fill a 20-foot container.  In this case, your goods will be loaded into a shared container with other companies’ products.

Bill of Lading

The official shipping document that contains the information about the shipment.  The bill of lading represents “ownership” of the goods.  The shipment will not be released until final payments have been completed.  Without a bill of lading, the goods cannot be delivered.

CBM (M3)

Cubic Metre.  This unit of volume is often used when calculating shipment space.  The formula is 100 cm X 100 cm X 100cm = 1 cubic metre.

High Cube (HC or HQ)

Refers to any container that exceeds 8 ft 6 in (102 inches) in height.

C&F (or CFR) and CIF

Cost and Freight or Cost, Insurance and Freight.  This term refers to the buyer paying the amount that covers not only the freight, but also the cost of transporting these goods to the port of discharge.  CIF also includes marine insurance.

Consignee

The person or company receiving the goods.  The shipper sends the goods to the consignee.

Tariff

A tariff is a document that sets all applicable rules, rates and charges to ship goods.  This document is essentially the contract for the shipper, consignee and the carrier.

Commercial Invoice

This invoice contains both the buyer and the seller’s details, the type of goods, their quantity and the price of each product as well as the terms of sale.  The commercial invoice is used to declare the details of the freight to customs and dictates the amount of duties and taxes that are to be paid.

By defining some of these confusing shipping terms, you should be able to better understand how your entire shipment process affects your business.  If you would like more information on these or any other terms, please contact us today.  We also offer a wide range of shipping services as well as packing and crating solutions for your goods.  We look forward to working with you soon.