Glossary of Shipping Terms for Importing From China

FOB? CIF? FCL? We try to cover the international shipping terms you are likely to come across importing from China.

ATA: The Actual Time of Arrival, or Airport-To-Airport.

AWB: An Air Waybill is the same as a bill of lading which covers both international and domestic flights that transports goods to a location. The AWB is used as a receipt for the shipper to confirm they have accepted the shipment and will be responsible for delivering the goods to the destination.

B/L: The Bill of Lading is a legal contract between the carrier and the owner of the goods - generally associated with ocean freight.

C&F: Sometimes also known as CFR. A trading term where the buyer of the goods pays a total sum that covers the cost of the goods and the cost of transport from the origin to a destination rather than being charged separately for cost of goods and freight.

CFS: This is the Container Freight Station, the carrier's facility where parcels of cargo are grouped and loaded into containers.

CIF: The Cost, Insurance, and Freight is included in the seller's quotation. This term is generally used for ocean shipments.

COC: This term stands for Carriers Owned Containers, it means that the containers used for transport of cargoes belong to the carrier.

CLP: Container Load Plan. A plan to stipulate how goods should be loaded, location in the container and maximum load heights. This plan may have such details: individual and total weight, shippers, consignees, markings and measurements, origin and destination of the goods.

DDU: Delivered Duty Unpaid. With DDU the shipper clears the goods for export and is responsible for delivery or make the goods available for the buyer at the specified location where the buyer will clear the duty at the arrival destination.

DDP: Delivered Duty Paid. The opposite of DDU, DDP is where the shipper clears the goods for export and is also responsible for delivering to the destination including duty and import taxes.

DDC: Destination Delivery Charge. A charge assessed by the carrier for the handling a full container at the destination.

DST: Double Stack Train. Two 40' GP containers stacked on top of one another.

ETA: The Estimated Time of Arrival of the carrier.

ETD: The Estimated Time of Departure of the carrier.

FBT: Full Berth Terms. Indicate that the costs of loading and discharge are included in the quote, and will be paid by the carrier.

FCL: Or Full Container Load. This is an arrangement between the shipper and the carrier or the forwarder. The shipper packs the cargo into a container, before delivering to the container terminal.

FOB: Free On Board. FOB indicates that the seller is responsible for delivering the shipment to the destination, free of all transportation fees. Once arrived at the designated location, the buyer then becomes responsible for the goods and the risk of damage.

FSP: The Free Storage Period is a period offered by the carrier, free of charge, at the destination where the goods are allowed to be delivered by the consignee. Usually this is limited to three days after which a daily rate will be billed.

POD: The Port Of Discharge, at which the container is discharged from the vessel.

POL: The Port of Loading, the location where the goods are loaded onto the vessel.

SED: The Shipper Export Declaration is a form that is required to be completed prior to exporting goods.

SOC: Shipper Owned Container simply states that the container used for transport belongs to the shipper.

SITC: The Standard International Trade Classification is a numeric code used by the United Nations to classify goods used in international trade.

WB: A Waybill is a document on the goods that shows the origin, destination, route, consignor, consignee, description of shipment and the amount charged for the transportation service. This document is not a document of title, unlike the bill of lading.

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