Frequently Asked Questions


What is a freight carrier?

freight carrier is the company or person who directly handles your shipment. If you are shipping Less Than Truckload (LTL) or international freight, several carriers may handle and transfer your shipment. A freight forwarder is a 3PL that handles your shipment through one or more modalities of freight carriage. A freight forwarder can also handle terminal handling, export crating, and cargo insuranceaspects of a shipment. A consignee is the person or company to whom the shipment is addressed as the receiver. The consignee’s name will appear on truck or ocean bills of lading. A shipper is NOT a freight company. Rather, a shipper is the sender of the shipment. Most often, it is the seller of the goods, but this is not always the case. Sometimes the shipper is the same party as the consignee. This occurs in intra-party shipments, for example between branches of the same company. The shipper’s name will appear on the bill of lading as the “From” party. A notify party is the company or person listed on the bill of lading that has authority to work with the shipment, who is neither the shipper nor the consignee. The notify party is many times the customs broker. Being on the bill of lading enables a customs broker to deal with the freight carrier on behalf of the consignee. Notify parties can arrange terminal handling and inland delivery, as well. The cargo description is the field in a bill of lading that succinctly and accurately states what the shipment is. The cargo description can list one or many commodities. This list should reflect with fidelity the contents of the shipment as listed in the packing list and the commercial invoice. The other fields in a bill of lading are the bill of lading number, the vessel and voyage information, the port parings (in international shipments), weights and dimensions, and container number (for ocean shipments) or PRO-number (for truck shipments).

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