What is shipment advice and what are the contents of a shipping advice

What is Shipment Advice in international trade of exports and imports? Who prepares Shipping advice – Exporter or Importer? When is Shipment advice being sent? What are the contents in a Shipping Advice?

What is Shipment Advice? How to prepare a Shipping advice?

Once after shipping goods from your (seller’s) place, You need to send shipping details with complete details of carriers and expected time of arrival at your buyer’s place. Shipping advice helps to track the goods as per details and importer can plan import clearance procedures accordingly. If buyer not received documents in time, from their bank for taking delivery of goods he can keep an alert to get the documents and make sure, all documents are in order to customs clear the goods and take delivery.    

Contents of Shipping Advice.

1. The purchase order or Letter of Credit number, or any other reference number of contract of the said shipment if necessary.

2. Exporter’s commercial invoice number and date.

3. Bill of Lading / airway bill number and date

4. Shipping carrier’s name with liner name. eg, for sea shipments, MAERSK LINE, EVERGREEN,MSC, HYNDAI etc. For air carriers, Lufthansa, Emirates, Air France, Air America etc.

5. If any freight forwarders involved, their complete contact details at destination with telephone, emails and key contact person’s name.

6. Name of vessel loaded at port of loading

7. Expected time of arrival at final destination.

8. If goods are trans-shipped, the details of transshipment port and the details of vessel /aircraft with ETA at destination. Updating transshipment sailing details once, vessel sailed from transshipment port or flight details


Once updating shipment advice, the exporter has to keenly monitor about the vessel/flight details and make sure, the details updated with the buyer is correct, once after goods moved out of load port. If any changes in vessel details and expected time of arrival at final destination has to be updated accordingly with the overseas buyer.

Sending a Shipping Advice to overseas buyer/importer/consignee is a good practice in international trade of exports and imports. Shipment advice helps importer/buyer/consignee to track the goods on its arrival at destination port. Shipping advice helps buyers/importers/consignees for proper planning to customs clear the cargo at final destination port.

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