Steps in Involved in Export Shipping Documentation Process

Global trade management involves documentation obviously, but documentation is a very small part of the whole process.

However, this documentation is also a complete process in itself, which needs a lot of attention, finesse, and professionalism to completely fulfill its purpose.

We take a look at the steps involved in the export shipping documentation process as per the prescribed standards of global trade management-

1- Receiving the Inquiry

The very first step in the preparation of shipping documents is getting an inquiry from the customer interested in purchasing your product or service. A potential customer will be sending across a letter of inquiry with also a request to get a tentative or informal quote in the process.

2- Buyer-Location Verification

The next step in the process after receiving an inquiry is to ensure if conducting business with them will actually be possible or not. For any trade service, it’s good to have customers that don’t belong to any kind of defaulter list.

This verification is an important step in the trade document examination process and can be done by a manual screening of their name, organization name, and even address, which can also be done with automated software for checking this out much quicker. It also ensures that the location of the buyer also gets verified.

3- Deliver a Proforma Invoice

Once a buyer and the country of origin get verified, a proforma invoice comes into the picture. This trade service document encompasses the first impression that will be made on buyers and looks both- a quotation as well as an invoice that’s commercial in nature.

In the case where a final deal gets closed, then the proforma invoice will mostly match the proforma invoice.

4-Finalizing the Sale

Once the proforma invoice is sent, it’s then time for the buyer to take a final decision on accepting or declining your trade service proposal. Most likely, a buyer will try to negotiate on the final terms if they think of agreeing to the proforma. A binding verbal or written contract is the next step.

Some other terms other than the price to be paid include-

Payment terms
The manner of shipping
The responsible party for shipping the goods
The manner of transaction for the amount payable
Documents that need to be provided

Planning for such steps in advance results in saving a lot of time and costs, which becomes critical at times when ensuring deadlines are important.

5- Preparing Final Goods and Documents

The next step is preparing the documents and final products that are to be delivered.

Packing List
A packing list includes details for the freight carrier, forwarder, and the final consignee about the shipment information, as well as the numbers and marks on the outside of the packaging.

Invoice is generally prepared first, once the order has been finalized and includes different details of which three copies are included. The information in a commercial invoice include-
Time and place where a product gets sold
The name, address, contact information, and other relevant contact information
Complete buyer details like name, address, tax identification number, and the like

Bill of Lading
For successful export, you will always need at least one, but depending on the situation, multiple bill of lading documents. While an inland bill of lading is needed to move packages from one port to the other, exporting the goods to other countries will bring the need to include another specific bill of lading with it.

6- A Re-Screening for Restricted Parties

Before the ordered goods are finally shipped for export, there’s a need to run one final test screening to ensure that there has been no change in the status of the buyers' legitimacy. By employing technology for this purpose, the screening gets automatically documented in the platform being used.

Trade Consulting Services with Us

Documentation is just a part of what international trade entails. There are a lot more important steps involved. Trade Technologies is a renowned provider of cutting-edge trade document software that’s tailor-made according to your needs and offers a streamlined experience that offers significant scalability and transparency in trade-related operations.

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