Freight Forwarder

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A freight forwarder is an agent who handles your cargo on your behalf.  However, the freight forwarder (often shorted to forwarder) is not the same as the carrier, who is physically handling your cargo.  The value a freight forward brings … Read More

General Average

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If a cargo ship’s master voluntarily sacrifices the cargo, equipment or funds from the ship to save the voyage, then all parties involved in the venture (including all cargo owners) are required to make a proportional contribution to cover the … Read More

House Bill of Lading (HBL)

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The House BL (HBL) is issued by the NVOCC (Non vessel operating common carrier). This BL will often be released in conjunction with the Master BL (MBL) because it can serve different purposes.  In addition to representing the contract between … Read More

Import Value

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There is “customs value”, which is the value presented to customs of the destination country. Customs always needs to have some sort of “invoice” or declaration of value for cargoes entering their country. We cannot say $0.00 and say it … Read More

Incoterms

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Incoterms provide a common set of rules to clarify  who is responsible for what and when under sales contracts. Incoterms significantly reduce misunderstandings among seller and buyer. Below is a list of the more common terms.  This list is meant to give you an … Read More

Insurance Value

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Since little out of pocket cash was paid out for these commodities, the exporter normally sets the insurance value to cover such expenses (like ocean freight, cargo handling, procurement, service fees, etc.). These expenses are rarely precise, and the exporter … Read More

LCL (Less than Container Load)

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An LCL shipment, as the name implies, is anything smaller than a full container load.  Generally, this is referring to ocean-going cargo. If you do not have a full container’s worth, LCL can be a viable option. Most of the … Read More

Lift Gate

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A lift gate is an attachment on some smaller trucks. It helps lift the cargo from the ground to the truck bed. For LCL shipments, the price is often comparable; however, not all trucks have them so you need to … Read More

Master Bill of Lading (MBL)

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The carrier may release their BL in four different ways.  Sometimes there is no choice as the country stipulates the release method. Original.  Here the BL acts like a bank check.  The consignee or notify party must sign the back … Read More

Notify Party

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This is the party listed on the Bill of Lading (BL) who the carrier will notify upon arrival (however, in reality, this is not something you should depend on–we recommend being proactive and “chasing the cargo”).  They also have a … Read More

NVOCC – Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier

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Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier Carrier offering an international cargo transport service through the use of underlying carriers and under their own rate structure in accordance with tariffs filed with the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington D.C.

Onward

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The Onward segment references the overland portion, often following the ocean segment.  Typically, this is a substantial difference (to another city or country), not a door delivery within the port city.  For example, if your cargo disembarks in Mombasa en route to … Read More

Packing List

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The Packing Lists is the list of all the cargo for a particular shipment. Here is a sample form you can download and use.

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