What is a Cargo Manifest?

  • 2 min read

A cargo manifest is a document that lists all of the goods comprising the cargo on board a vessel. It contains information regarding the contents of all bills of lading issued at the port(s) of shipment.

Typical Contents of a Cargo Manifest

Most cargo manifests will contain the following information:

  • Name of the vessel and its voyage number,
  • Names of consignors and consignees,
  • Descriptions of goods,
  • Document or bill of lading numbers,
  • Shipping route,
  • Agreed method of payment for the freight.

Uses of the Cargo Manifest

While the cargo manifest is important for shippers and all other parties concerned with the cargo carried on the vessel, it is of particular importance for the port customs who require the document to allow the ship to unload its cargo on the port. Most of the time, the chief officer of the ship is responsible for submitting the cargo manifest to the port customs.

Can the Cargo Manifest be Changed?

Generally, the cargo manifest cannot be changed once it is submitted. This is because changes to certain details often result in changes needing to be made to custom duties and other fees.

In some instances, changes may be permitted, however customs authorities will often issue a fine.

Cargo Manifest VS Bill of Lading

The cargo manifest is often confused with the bill of lading. Although both documents are concerned with the type and quantity of goods, there are some important differences between the two. A cargo manifest is a single consolidated list of all bills of lading on board the vessel, and details of the cargo that are listed on them. A bill of lading, on the other hand, usually only contains details about the cargo of one particular shipper.

With numerous documents required for the shipment of goods, understanding which ones are and are not your responsibility can be confusing. Because of this, we recommend all shippers get in contact with ISS. We will ensure you have all the correct documentation accurately filled out to get your freight from point A to point B seamlessly and cost-effectively.

Don’t stress, use ISS!