Incoterms and their meanings: International Shipping

On route to work this morning I’m sitting on the train intrigued by the conversation held between the group of teenagers also on their way into the city to enjoy a school holiday activity involving performing arts – I know this because firstly I’m an expert eavesdropper and secondly is it just me or do teenagers speak very very loudly?  Anyway I hear one of them say “hopefully today won’t be a wombat” and they all had a good chuckle and agreed that no one likes a “wombat”.  Well I’ve always thought a wombat is an extremely strong muscular creature often compared to being badger like.  Oh no… a wombat has another meaning – ‘Waste of money, brains and time’.  They do say you learn something every day and this particular lesson I might just pass on and utilise in the right circumstances.

I began thinking about the use of acronyms and where I hear them – after only seconds of me taking my coat off and turning on my work computer do I hear the next set of questions – it soon becomes obvious that International Freight Forwarding is full of these little gems.

Is that DDU or DDP?
It’s an FOB shipment.
What are the EXW on that job?
Do they want a CFR quote or CIF?

WTF……is there some code between International Freight Forwarders?! Apparently there is.  Incoterms – the international rules for the interpretation of trade terms designed by the Chamber of Commerce.

IMHO and as I RBTL my POV is that these Incoterms are very useful when organising import and export shipments; working in different times zones and organising shipments with many different agents and clients overseas these incoterms prove to be a valuable tool when quoting accurately, ensuring full shipment needs are met and the invoicing is correct.

SITD?  Well I HTH….

DDU – Delivery duty unpaid.
DDP – Delivery duty paid.
FOB – Free on board.
EXW – Ex works.
CFR – Cost and Freight.
CIF – Cost, Insurance and Freight.

IMHO – In my humble opinion.
RBTL – Read between the lines.
POV – Point of View.
SITD – Still in the dark.
HTH – Hope this helps.

So not only do all the cool kids use the same acronyms of the Freight Forwarder, I can guarantee there isn’t a WOMBAT situation going on here today.

Renee Laverne.