An Overview of Important Shipping Documents
While choosing the correct mode of transportation and properly packaging your goods are crucial elements of freight shipping, they should never overshadow the importance of paperwork. Knowing what you need for your shipment is crucial, especially if you will be shipping from Canada to the USA or internationally. As leading providers of complete third-party freight shipping solutions, the team at C&D Logistics knows that accurate and correct paperwork is crucial for preventing delays or other unwanted issues for your shipment. That is why we have provided an overview of important shipping documents to help you determine what will be needed for your shipment and understand why these documents are important.
5 Crucial Shipping Documents and Their Purpose
The following documents are required for most cross-border and international shipments:
1. Bill of Lading
The bill of lading (BOL) is a required document that describes the goods being shipped, their quantity, and their destination. It must accompany the goods on their journey and be signed by the carrier, shipper, and receiver to confirm receipt of the goods and that they were received in acceptable condition. The BOL ensures that a proper declaration has been made to Customs and verifies the piece count, weight, description of goods, and date of pick-up or export.
2. Commercial Invoice
The commercial invoice is a legal document issued by the seller to the buyer that serves as the contract and/or proof of sale or conditions of trading goods. Unlike the BOL, it does not specify the ownership or title of goods. Instead, it specifies the price paid, the value (if not being sold), the quantity of the goods, and the trade/sale conditions agreed upon between the seller and buyer. This document is important because it assists Customs with valuing and classifying the goods and determining if other documentation is required.
3. Certificate of Origin
The certificate of origin is a document that certifies that goods in a particular shipment are completely obtained, produced, manufactured, or processed in a particular country. It may be prepared by the exporter or the manufacturer, but it is typically certified by the exporting country’s Chamber of Commerce. This document is important as it determines whether the goods can be legally imported or exported.
4. Carrier Manifest
The carrier manifest acts as a record of a shipment entering or exiting a country. It is produced by the carrier and lists all the cargo present. The manifest must include a unique reference number for each shipment that can be traced or tracked. This document enables Customs to control the movement of the goods while ensuring that a proper declaration is made for the payment of duties and taxes.
5. Proof of Delivery
Commonly abbreviated as POD, proof of delivery is exactly what the name suggests; it is a document signed by the consignee upon receipt of a shipment. The POD plays an important role in the shipping journey. In addition to providing proof that the delivery was successful, it can serve as further evidence in the event of a claim, as it is recommended that the consignee takes note of any visible loss or damage to the shipment when signing it.
To learn more about important shipping documents or to inquire about our freight shipping solutions, get in touch with the team at C&D Logistics. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services.