International Shipping Document You Need for the Settlement of Payment


International Shipping Documents, issued by the carrier, verify that the goods have been shipped for the transportation and delivery. Under symbolic delivery, shipping documents are necessary for the settlement of payment.

Generally, different modes of transportation have different shipping documents. Railway bill and railway cargo receipt are issued under railway transportation. Airway bill are issued under air transportation. Even in post, parcel receipt is issued by post office. Here we focus on some commonly used terms in import export transportation - International Shipping Document




Bill of Lading (B/L)

It is a formal contract of carriage between the consignor and carrier. The key elements contained in a B/L should include:


  • Name of the shipper
  • Name of the carrying vessel
  • Full description of the cargo including any shipping marks, individual package numbers in the consignment, contents, cubic measurement, gross weight,etc.
  • Port of loading and port of discharge
  • Full details of freight, including when and where it is to be paid - whether freight prepaid or collect at destination.
  • Name of shipper
  • Name of carrying vessel
  • Terms of the contract of carriage
  • The date the goods were received for shipment and/or loaded on the vessel
  • The name and address of the notified party(the person to be notified on arrival of the shipment, usually the buyer).

  • Number of Bills of Lading signed on behalf of the master or his agent, acknowledging receipt of the goods
  • Signature of the carrier or his agent and the date


Shipping Note

A Shipping Note gives information about a particular export consignment when offered for shipment. It serves the shipping company as a delivery or receipt note for particular consignment. Some people also call it Mate's Receipt. Its role in various ports and trades may differ worldwide. However, the cargo description in a Shipping Note should conform to that found on the commercial invoice - International Shipping Document


Packing List

A Packing List provides a list of the contents of a consignment. It is completed by the shipper. Its prime purpose is to give an inventory of the shipped goods. A Packing List is especially useful for the consignments which are composite. It is usually required by the Customs for clearance purposes - International Shipping Document


Airway Bill

An Airway Bill should basically have the following key elements:

  • The place and date of its execution.
  • Name of the departure and destination airports
  • The name and address of the consignor, consignees and the carrier
  • A description of the goods including method of packing, marks, weights, quantity and dimensions etc.
  • The total freight amount prepaid and/or collect at destination.
  • The declared value for customs purposes, likewise for carriage, and the currency.
  • Date of the flight.
  • Details of any special route to be taken
  • The signature of the shipper or his agent.
  • Details of the booked flight and the actual flights incorporating the first,second and the third carrier if there are several carriers involved - International Shipping Document


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