Common Shipping Acronyms You Should Know

  • Date Published: November 8, 2022
  • Date Updated: November 8, 2022



When you first start importing, it’s common to hear new acronyms you’ve never heard of before. Since you’re new to it, there might be a chance of misunderstanding your forwarder or supplier or getting terms mixed up. But worry no more, we’ve created a list of acronyms you should know as an importer so we can mitigate any shipping miscommunications we might have. 



  1. Incoterms 

  • Incoterms or International Commercial Terms define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the sale of goods in international transactions. Thereby creating legal obligations for both buyers and sellers. Furthermore, varied incoterms satisfy different needs of buyers and sellers. 
  • Here at EZ Sourcing, we use EX Works (EXW) where in your China or Korea supplier delivers the goods to EZ China or Korea warehouse then their job is done. Your suppliers do not need to load goods or clear them for export. EZ Sourcing does it on your behalf. 



  1. FCL & LCL

  • FCL (Full Container Load)
Meaning your goods occupy the whole container, regardless whether it’s 20 footer or 40 footer. One of the main benefits of FCL includes, it’s usually transported faster. There's no need to separate the packages, because all the goods or packages belong to one shipper. Unlike in LCL, different shippers own the packages inside one container. 
  • LCL (Less than Container Load)
Meaning you don’t need to occupy the whole container. LCL consists of multiple shippers. This is perfect for new importers, since it gives you the freedom to ship small packages. On the other hand, since LCL consists of packages from different shippers, it may take a while to sort and process these packages, thereby increasing the transit time. 



  1. BOL (Bill of Landing)

  • It’s a shipment receipt showing that the carrier has safely handed over the shipment to the consignee. 
  • Why is BOL important? First, it provides proof of receiving the freight services from the carrier. Second, provide proof that the consignee has received the goods from the carrier. Third, provides evidence that the consignee is now the owner of the goods. 



  1. DM fees (Demurrage Fees)

  • Demurrage fees are the fees consignees pay for when they exceed the ‘free days’ carriers give them to pick up their containers in the port terminal. 


  1. DT fees (Detention Fees)

  • While for detention fees, these are the fees consignees pay when they don't return the empty container after loading within the agreed days. If not planned correctly these fees can quickly add up to your costs
  • These fees are implemented to prevent the delay of container owners from leasing it to the next lessee. 




Hopefully our EZ Sourcing readers find this guide useful! Want to know how we can help you out in your international shipments from China and Korea to the Philippines? Contact us here. If you haven’t registered your shipping account with us yet, you may register here, to start importing with us!


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