Shipping process procedures and paperwork explained

The shipping process is long and laborious. It involves many steps and stages, from booking to delivering goods to the final destination. However, there are many things in between that exporters and importers have to deal with. And in order to overcome the obstacles, they have to handle the entire supply chain to ensure the shipping process goes as smoothly as possible. However, shipping process procedures and paperwork are very demanding. So, for you to understand what they include, shipping and logistics companies will guide you on how to manage the shipping successfully.

Documentation in a file
Sometimes shipping process procedures and paperwork can be daunting

Shipping process procedures and paperwork: step by step

Shipping goods internationally includes a lot of steps, and no step can be skipped. For shipping to be successful, there must be strong logistics behind it. So, let’s see how the shipping process works from the begging to end. Here’s what the chain looks like:

  1. An importer orders goods from a supplier: Buyers ask suppliers for a quote when purchasing goods. The quote is usually in the form of a proforma invoice, and it serves for providing estimates. However, the estimate is prone to changes. If a buyer agrees with the quote, the purchase order is created. Then the buyer arranges a freight forwarder to handle the transportation. When an order is ready, the supplier obtains a letter of credit. Then, the supplier provides a commercial invoice. Importers are also known as consignees, while suppliers are known as consignors.
  2. Freight forwarders arrange the export: They contact the suppliers and arrange the take over of goods. It involves a lot of preparations and documentation.
  3. Booking of freight: once the necessary paperwork is ready, the supplier books the shipment export.
  4. Goods travel to the international port: After being packed, the goods are ready for export. Then, they are transported to a port.
  5. Goods are subjected to customs clearance: Goods are reviewed and checked by the government. Without proper documentation, the shipment cannot pass customs.
  6. The goods arrive at a final destination: Here, goods have to pass import customs.
  7. Transportation of goods: The buyer gets its shipment from the port.

So, in order to have successful shipping, you should have strong logistics behind. And to do that, use logistics services international. Without professional services, you may encounter a lot of issues. Your shipment may be delayed or even returned.

The complexity of the shipping process procedures

Customer demands constantly increase, especially nowadays with the development of technology. Pandemic also influenced the increase in demand. So the shipping process procedures and paperwork are increasing as well. Due to this increase, there’s a supply chain congestion. And, the importance of fast and reliable delivery is even higher. Several factors cause supply chain complexity besides customers’ expectations. However, we cannot only blame customers for this complexity. Business goals also contribute to it. How? Well, most businesses want to expand, and the growth adds to the complexity since they have to support the increased number of customers. Market expansion, acquisition, and new locations add more to the complexity of shipping. The growth in supplier relationships also makes the supply chain more complex. So, if you want to have successful shipping in Saudi Arabia, you should contact  shipping companies in Dammam and find a a shipping partner.

Shipping container at sea port subjected to shipping process procedures and paperwork
Shipping becomes more complex every day

Documents you will need for shipping

Since shipping process procedures are demanding, there is a lot of paperwork to deal with. Here’s a list of the most important documents you’ll need for shipping goods:

  • Pro forma invoice: it is a preliminary bill where you get an estimate. It helps you know what to expect.
  • A commercial invoice: a final invoice stating who is buying from whom. It includes company name, receiving party, PO number, forwarding agent. Besides, it includes product description, product value, and certificate. It also includes shipping terms and conditions.
  • A letter of credit: it guarantees the buyer’s payment to a seller. Buyers use a letter of credit as the most secure payment method.

Supplier documents

Here is a list of documents that a supplier needs to prepare:

  1. A packing list: freight forwarders use it to record the freight before the transportation.
  2. Certificate of origin: it states where goods are produced.
  3. A shippers letter of Instruction: SLI states the details of a shipment. It includes consignee and consignor information, location of loading and discharge, collection, and delivery instructions. Also, it includes information about whether a cargo is hazardous or not, and if the cargo is insured.

Documents a buyer needs to prepare

  1. Export/import declaration: the statement provides information about goods and import/export details.
  2. Import/export permit: this refers to prohibited goods. If you need to import or export prohibited goods, you must have a special license, especially when shipping to Saudi Arabia.
A person signing documents
Shipping requires a lot of documents

How to avoid customs clearance issues

Customs clearance issues may happen if you don’t have all the necessary documentation. Also, if the documents are not complete, you cannot pass the customs. So, to avoid potential customs clearance problems, you should have a reliable logistics company by your side. Besides, if you want to avoid cargo delay or return, you should do s research. Check if you are allowed to ship certain goods to that country. Then, check if the goods are classified correctly. Also, make sure to pay all the taxes. Most importantly, check if all of your shipping paperwork is filled in correctly. One wrong detail can ruin the shipping. Take your time to fill in the documents since customs paperwork is pretty demanding. For shipping process procedures and paperwork to be successful, there has to be detailed logistics behind it.

Have a strong logistics partner in Saudi Arabia

Now that you are familiar with shipping process procedures and paperwork, it’s time to ship your goods. However, you won’t have to deal with the paperwork yourself. Four Winds Saudi Arabia is here to help you with it. With our detailed logistics, you’ll be able to pass the customs. But that’s not all. We offer services such as packing and crating, warehousing, and cold chain services as well. So, don’t hesitate and contact us today. We will make sure your goods arrive safe and sound at the final destination.

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