FOB Shipping: Defining Freight and Free on Board

fob shipping

FOB origin, or shipping point, means that the buyer will receive the title for the goods they purchased when shipment begins. The seller’s responsibility ends when the items are placed with a shipment carrier, and the buyer must ensure their goods reach their final destination on time and undamaged. By understanding the implications of different FOB terms, you can navigate the complexities of shipping costs and responsibilities.

  • These terms determine ownership and payment responsibilities, influencing everything from shipping documents to customs clearance.
  • The term FOB is also used in modern domestic shipping within North America to describe the point at which a seller is no longer responsible for shipping costs.
  • Understanding FOB is essential because it helps both parties determine ownership, outline who is responsible for transportation costs, and specify who files claims if goods are damaged en route.
  • Incoterms are international commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce.

Due to constraints to an information system or delays in communication, it is more realistic that there is a slight timing difference between the legal arrangement and the accounting arrangement. Unlike FOB shipping, the supplier is not required to ensure the safe movement from port to ship. When you are shipping loose cargo (ie, not a full container), for example, your goods must go through a Container Freight Station (CFS) to be consolidated into a container. This guide cuts through the legal jargon and explains everything you need to know about this common incoterm in plain English. With the advent of e-commerce, most commercial electronic transactions occur under the terms of “FOB shipping point” or “FCA shipping point”.

Difference between CIF & FOB

That means the seller will transport the goods to a port in Japan and load them onto a ship. And, as the buyer, you’ll pay all remaining costs to get the goods to the US port you choose, unload them and get them to their final destination. If you’re new to overseas freight shipping, navigating those uncharted waters can be confusing and overwhelming. This guide should help you gain a better understanding of at least one of the many trade terms you may encounter.

fob shipping

On the flipside, the buyer must note in its accounting system that it has inventory on its way. That inventory is now an asset on the buyer’s books, even though the shipment has not arrived yet. Let’s talk about the benefits, providers, and tips for making mass payments for your business. Wise connects local bank accounts all over the world to cut out expensive international fees.

Understanding Shipping Point vs FOB Shipping Point

Or, if you’re paying in the local currency where you’re buying from, you may find you could save up to 8x by sending through Wise rather than your bank or even PayPal. In an FOB agreement, often the seller only needs to take the goods to their nearest port. Oftentimes, in an FOB arrangement, the port at which the goods change hands is indicated. Like if you saw “FOB Los Angeles” or “FOB Beijing” it would note where the seller must bring the goods before releasing them to the buyer.

Especially for international shipments that need to be streamlined as much as possible, ShipCalm is here to help. Don’t take chances with your international deals that could end up costing you tremendously. Contact ShipCalm today to learn more about how we can be your partner and resource in international shipping – we take the uncertainty out of the complexities of incoterms. FOB shipping point (also known as FOB origin) and FOB destination point reference the moment in the transaction where the title of the goods transfers from seller to buyer. This is a very necessary distinction in that it determines succinctly which party is responsible and liable for any lost or damaged goods during the shipping at any given time. There are many industry terms importers and exporters need to be well-versed in to guarantee their shipping relations are well understood.

Free on Board Shipping Point vs. Free on Board Destination: An Overview

If the same seller issued a price quote of “$5000 FOB Miami”, then the seller would cover shipping to the buyer’s location. “FOB Destination” means the seller retains the title of the goods and all responsibility during transit until the items reach the buyer. In the case of CIF, responsibility moves to the buyer once the goods reach the point of destination.

  • That also means that if a pallet of jewelry is lost or damaged in shipment, the buyer must file any claims for reimbursement – not the seller – since the shipment became the buyer’s responsibility immediately.
  • FOB shipping point (also known as FOB origin) and FOB destination point reference the moment in the transaction where the title of the goods transfers from seller to buyer.
  • Buyers generally consider FOB agreements to be cheaper and more cost-effective.
  • CIF is much more expensive for the buyer because they rely on the seller to include shipping in the price of their products.

FOB is not a one-size-fits-all term; it comes with a variety of designations that provide more specific guidance on shipping responsibilities. While “FOB Origin” and “FOB Destination” are standard, there are other terms that offer nuanced differences. If the goods are damaged in transit, the buyer should file a claim with the insurance carrier, since the buyer has title to the goods during the period when the goods were damaged. Officially FOB cannot be used for air freight, it is restricted to transit by sea or inland waterways.

Freight 101 Library

From a practical perspective, recognition of receipt is instead completed at the receiving dock of the buyer. Thus, the sale is recorded when the shipment leaves the seller’s facility, and the receipt is recorded when it arrives at the buyer’s facility. This means there is a difference between the legal terms of the arrangement and the typical accounting for it.

FOB transfers liability from seller to buyer when the shipment reaches the port of origin, and not the destination. The specific definitions vary somewhat in every country, but both contracts generally specify origin and destination information that is used to determine where liability officially begins and ends. They also outline the responsibilities of buyers to sellers, as well as sellers to buyers. For small What Is Accounting For Startups products that will inevitably be shipped by air, or small suppliers with little experience working with international buyers, you may receive quotations in EXW Incoterms. However, the vast majority of the quotes you will receive from sellers in China will be under FOB Incoterms. If you look at a quotation, you will usually see the unit price, FOB as the Incoterm, and a Chinese city, the shipping point.

Who pays FOB destination freight?

When the voyage begins, the buyer then assumes full liability, including transport, insurance, and additional fees. CIF is commonly used for large deliveries, including oversized goods, that are shipped by sea. The seller also obtains the necessary documentation, licenses, and inspections that may be required. FOB shipping point means you choose your delivery method, which can lower costs, or you can avoid liability, even though you’ll likely pay more, with FOB destination. The point at which the goods’ ownership transfers and related shipping costs also affect your cost of goods sold (COGS). FOB is an International Commercial Term (Incoterm), a predefined commercial term meant to reduce confusion between sellers and buyers about ownership transfer points and responsibility for shipping costs.

The term FOB is also used in modern domestic shipping within North America to describe the point at which a seller is no longer responsible for shipping costs. The most common international trade terms are Incoterms, which the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) publishes, but firms that ship goods within the U.S. must adhere to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). By paying attention to these details, you can craft a watertight FOB agreement that protects your interests and simplifies the shipping process for all parties involved. FOB means that shipping costs are not to be borne by the seller, they are to be paid for by the buyer. Freight for taking goods to the destination port or the importer country’s port is to be borne by the buyer.


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