5 Shipping Terms Every Importer or Exporter Should Know

  • 2 min read

If you’re a regular importer/exporter of goods, you’ll know that international shipping is not a straight-forward process. Regardless of what or how you ship, there are numerous complexities involved in the process and many things that you as a shipper need to understand. This includes a sizable list of terms and acronyms.

Fortunately, ISS is here to help. Read on for 5 freight terms that every international shipper should know.

1. Incoterms

Incoterms are international rules for the interpretation of shipping terms. They universally outline roles and responsibilities in shipper/carrier relations and help traders in different countries understand one another.

Incoterms outline a thorough list of trade terms, and it is important that you are familiar with them. Read our Incoterms Definitions article here for an overview of the most recently updated Incoterms.

2. FCL and LCL

FCL stands for Full Container Load and LCL stands for Less than Container Load.

As their names suggest, FCL refers to freight that fills a full shipping container, whilst LCL refers to freight that fills only part of a shipping container.

Knowing when you should opt for FCL versus LCL is important in determining the cheapest and most efficient way of shipping your goods.

3. Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading is a legal document issued by the carrier to the shipper. It includes basic details like the type of goods being shipped, their quantity, the destination address, and the freight rates.

The Bill of Lading can be regarded as an agreement between the two parties to follow given rules and regulations, guaranteeing the hassle-free and timely delivery of goods.

4. Detention

A detention fee is a fee that you may have to pay if your shipping containers have been picked up from the port of destination but have not been returned empty to the shipping line on time.

Shippers must pay an extra fee, depending on the number of days they have taken to return empty containers. This is one of the many reasons why it is crucial for you to be on time when unloading and returning shipping containers when importing goods.

5. Rollover

Rollover occurs when a container does not load onto the correct ship on time. It usually means that cargo needs to be switched from its original sailing to a later one.

There are various reasons why a container may not get loaded onto its originally scheduled ship, such as late delivery to the terminal, overbooking, vessel omissions, and customs complications.

In rollover situations, the carrier reschedules cargo containers to the next sailing with available space.

At ISS, we understand that international shipping can be confusing, especially if you have little to no experience. Fortunately, we can help guide you through it with our complete logistics solutions. These will guarantee that your products get from point A to point B without hassle and without unnecessary expenditure.

For more information, contact ISS today.