Shipping Terminology

anatomy of a custom exam

Shipping Terminology

When printing books overseas, the shipping terminology should be noted on your invoices and quoting process.  Majority of the quotes you receive from other China printing services or print brokers or printing companies tend “NOT” to include all the shipping cost to wheel you into their pricing.  They tend to quote only FOB pricing, which doesn’t include everything, but about 50% -60% of the actual cost. Please note these few terminologies when you receive your quote and what is in the contract before going with that printer:

Here are some inciters with brief definitions from least coverage to greatest coverage.

(Seller = Printing Company and Buyer = Customer or you the book buyer)

FCA:  (Free Carrier)

– The Seller fulfils obligation to deliver when the goods are handed over to the carrier, cleared for export.  The Buyer assumes all further costs and risks.

CPT:   (Carriage Paid)

– The Seller pays the freight for carriage to the named destination.  The Buyer assumes all risk of loss or damage, as well as any further costs.

CIP:    (Carriage and Insurance Paid)

– The Seller has the same obligations as under CPT but also must procure cargo insurance against the Buyer’s risk of loss or damage.

Ex-Factory:  (Exit-Factory)

– This term is still widely used, this sale term is where the title of goods passes to the Buyer when the leave the vendor’s dock.  At this point the Seller is not liable for loss or damages in shipping

FOB:   (Freight on Board)

– The shipper (or Seller) is agreeing to take responsibility only until the shipment is secured on a vessel.

CIF:    (Cost, Insurance and freight)

– The Seller is responsible only for the carriage of goods by sea to a port of destination.  The Buyer is to provide all necessary documents to obtain the goods from the carrier.

DDU:  (Deliver, Duty and Unpaid)

– The Seller bears all costs and risks involved in transporting the goods to the named place in the country of destination, Excluding duties, taxes and other official import fees.

DDP:  (Delivery, Duty and Paid)

– The Seller has the same obligations as under DDU but also is responsible for payment of duties, taxes and other official import fees.

Here are more costs that incur when not requesting a DDP delivery, merchandise processing, harbor maintenance and customs clearance fees.

See our blog regarding the Anatomy of Customs holds that can occur when importing from overseas.

PRC Book Printing (Pearl River China Printing) we (as your China printing company representative) will provide you with DDP pricing unless otherwise requested by the client.  There are no hidden fees when we are quoting your project. What you see is what you pay to your loading dock…

If you’re interested in hearing more about PRC Book Printing and or this blog, please contact us at 888-659-8320 or email

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