10 shipping terms every international shipper should know

10 shipping terms every international shipper should know

COD, CYCY, DM & DT may sound like gibberish to the untrained ear. But for international shippers, understanding these shipping terms is essential when safely transporting goods across the globe. It can be challenging to remember all the abbreviations, but this quick reference guide provides a helpful resource. Having it on hand can be incredibly useful when you need it most. We are glad to provide this as a way of making your life easier!

Having a thorough knowledge of shipping terminology is crucial for any business. It allows us to confidently manage our shipments and ensure everything goes as planned. Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular terms used in shipping and what they mean.

International shipping is a challenge and there are quite a few steps involved to guarantee the goods make it safely to their destination. Following all the necessary protocols ensures the goods arrive in perfect condition. Staying informed on shipping terminology is indispensable, as it plays a major part in the entire logistics process. Knowing such intricacies can prevent miscommunication and reduce any potential mistakes in the supply chain.

It is important for shippers to be familiar with the various shipping terms that are used often. To help you out, let us review some of these commonly used shipping terms.

1. Incoterms – It is important to negotiate international commercial terms when buying and selling goods so that transportation from the point of origin to the destination is handled efficiently. This allows for a smooth process and ensures that no unexpected delays occur. It's important for both sides to comprehend and accept the specifics of any agreement. To do so, both parties must communicate effectively and make sure that there's a mutual understanding of the terms being used.

Incoterms, or International Commercial Terms, is a set of terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce. These rules are designed to clearly outline the responsibilities, costs & risks related to transporting and delivering goods. They are extremely beneficial as they provide clarity on who is responsible for what when it comes to logistics.

2. COD – When a sudden change of destination for goods already loaded onto a container ship is necessary, there is no cause for alarm. Requesting a Change Of Destination (COD) can be easily done and provide peace of mind knowing that the shipment will end up in the correct place. This is a request asking the container ship to discharge the container and transport the goods to a different destination than what was originally booked.

3. CYCY – It's amazing how CYCY (Container Yard To Container Yard) has become such an important acronym in the shipping industry. A /container yard is a port facility where containers are safely stored awaiting loading onto ships or just after being unloaded from them. CYCY shipping term is a great way to organize your shipment and determine the responsibility of the carrier between two container yards: the port of loading & discharge.

4. DM – Demurrage fees are a common charge that shipping container lines apply when you don't retrieve your imported containers within the set timeframe. After they've been unload, usually the port will provide a free period for storing them. We appreciate you picking up the containers before the free period expires. This helps us avoid additional charges & it keeps port operations running smoothly.

Container lines might charge a demurrage fee when you're unable to ship out containers due to customs-related problems. It's an additional fee based on the number of days they have to store your containers at the port.

5. Rollover – It means the container was not loaded onto the ship due to customs issues, overbooking, or vessel omissions. This is a common occurrence and it may have happened with your container as well. Your carrier will reschedule your shipment and place your container on the next departing ship.

6. DT – If imported containers are not returned to the shipping line on time, Detention fees must be paid. This is in addition to costs associated with the extra number of days taken to return the containers. You can also be charged for demurrage fees if you have containers that cannot be shipped out by the container line because you didn’t return them in time. You will then have to pay for the extra number of days the containers have been in your possession.

7. Port Storage - When your containers have been discharged from a ship, they are moved to a container yard. The port provides a free period of storage (not to be confused with the free period demurrage provided by container lines). During this period, you have time to take care of customs clearance procedures and transport your goods to a warehouse or the final destination. This is important to ports as lack of space may affect port productivity and cause port congestion. If you do not clear your goods and move your containers in time, the port can charge you for Port Storage.

8. FCL (Full Container Load) & LCL (Less than Container Load) - FCL is short for Full Container Load. This means you have enough goods to stuff an entire container. LCL is basically the opposite. It is short for Less than Container Load and means you do not have enough goods to stuff an entire container. Instead, your individual consignment is combined and shipped together with other consignments in the same container. At the port of destination, the consignments are separated back into their original individual consignments.

LCL is often beneficial for small or midsize businesses that don’t have very large goods volumes but cannot afford to miss delivery deadlines. It often allows for savings on freight costs as the goods are shipped at lower rates. Sharing space also makes LCL an eco-friendly alternative.

9. Bill of Lading - The Bill of Lading is a legal document issued by a carrier to a shipper including shipment details such as the type of goods, quantity, freight rate, and destination. It represents the agreement between the parties involved and helps guarantee that exporters receive their payment and importers receive their goods. The bill of lading also serves as a shipment receipt. 10. Stuffing & Stripping - The last shipping term I’m going to share with you is the most straightforward: Stuffing is the process of loading a container with loose goods prior to shipment. Stripping is the process of unloading a container when it arrives at the port. As simple as that!

About ShipGlobal

ShipGlobal is not just one of the best shipping services companies in the USA. We pride ourselves on being the best cross-border e-commerce service provider with a global network. As one of the top express and logistics companies in the world for the last 20 years, we give you best-in-class economical international shipping, courier, trucking, and logistics solutions, helping thousands of online sellers worldwide manage their shipping costs and increase their profits.

If you’re also navigating your way across the technical terms, we are just a click away. Contact us and we shall get in touch with you soon!