Shipping Companies? Have you ever seen big ships or large vessels on the sea? Often the ships are tagged with the name CMA-CGM, Maersk, or APL on the side. What meaning do you make of them? Well, names like Maersk and CMA-CGM are big names in the shipping business. They are called shipping lines. A shipping line is a company that manages and operates ships that carry and deliver cargoes or cargo carrying containers internationally. Sometimes the term Liner is used to refer to the ships or the company themselves. This article is meant to different certain shipping terms that are often ambiguous or misused.
SHIPPING COMPANIES: THE TERM SHIPPER
The Shipper is the company that does the actual export of goods. The shipper could be either the seller of the goods, or the manufacturer of such goods. It could also a company that assembles and exports the cargo. The term exporter is used interchangeably with shipper. From this description, it must not be the manufacturer or seller that must stand as the shipper or exporter.
WHEN SHIPPER CONSOLIDATES
I have had a case from one of my clients who was desirous of shipping goods from different suppliers under one exporter. My suggestion was simple; approach a company at the supply country, and ask them to stand as consignor, and then assemble all other goods under them. The benefit of putting a lot of items in one pro forma invoice for exports to Nigeria lies in clearance costs. For instance, the cost of preparing multiple Form M and SON PC/SONCAP is reduced to one. So this is why as a clearance vendor, we always like to take ownership of your cargo from the very step, to advise you properly on cutting costs.
SHIPPING COMPANIES: THE TERM CONSIGNOR
This term often used interchangeably with the term exporter is often more generic and legal. It covers sea, land and air cargo transportation. In addition, another term used in lieu is ‘sender’ As stated above, the consignor is usually the seller, but need not always be. He could be just someone or company that serves that purpose. Some would rather skip all these terms in the pro forma invoice and simply write the name, address and contact of company sending or responsible for export of the cargo, or better yet use a letterhead.
SHIPPING COMPANIES OR SHIPPING LINE:
As stated in the introduction, this is a company that manages and operates the vessel (rented or owned), that does the actual movement of cargo. Note that shipping lines only accepts at least a container from exporters. Thus, customers with less-than-container-loads (LCL) must engage the services of a freight forwarder. The Forwarder consolidates cargoes from different owners to form container loads. Otherwise, the customer would have to pay more for less.
SHIPPING COMPANIES AND FREIGHT FORWARDER:
This Freight Forwarder serves as middleman between exporters of less than container loads and the shipping lines. Many of such customers are brought together to make up the container loads. The benefit of this arrangement is enormous. The forwarder helps customers reduce cost of hiring and transporting goods in a semi-filled container, while paying for a full one. Hence, the forwarder helps in errands such as export haulage, origin handling, export cargo clearance. The Forwarder also do all other activities such as documentation.
Read also: BEST NIGERIAN AIRPORTS: AIRPORTS NIGERIA
This article has considered shipping terms – personnel involved at the origin in shipping business. Next article will deal with shipping terms – personnel at the destination. We love to have your response to how you see our posts.