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DDP, CIP, DDU…For anyone other than a logistics expert, shipping terms can be daunting. Here’s a primer on the most commonly used terms and some pointers on their cost implications. These guidelines apply to goods produced in China.

DDPDelivered Duty Paid

  • Seller is responsible for all freight costs including importing, customs clearance and any applicable duty for the goods to be delivered to your nominated address. Nothing further to worry about.
  • Seller bears responsibility and risks to get goods to their final destination, not just to a destination seaport.


FOB Free On Board

  • Seller agrees to deliver goods to a ship of the buyer’s choosing at the seaport of origin.
  • If you’re already familiar with bringing goods into the country from overseas and have a network of importers, this is the best option for you.


CIF: Cost, Insurance and Freight

  • Seller is responsible to deliver the goods via sea cargo to your nominated port within your country. It is then your job to clear the goods through customs and organise shipment from the port to your desired location.


EXW: Ex-works

  • Seller packs the goods for shipping and provides the physical address where goods are to be picked up. Buyer is then responsible for transporting goods to the port of origin and for all sea and land transportation thereafter.
  • EXW works best for experienced importers or those who have relationships with overseas delivery suppliers.


Bill of Lading:

A shipping document noting the loading details of cargo on a vessel. Unless other arrangements such as a Telex release have been made, the Bill of Lading is generally the document required for a consignee to claim goods.


Telex release: 

The process by which a shipper may electronically authorize release of goods to a consignee without presentation of the Bill of Lading.

China Printing Solutions (CPS) typically quotes DDP shipping terms unless otherwise requested. Since DDP shipping includes all freight movement including import and duty costs for the goods to be delivered directly to your door, this is most convenient for companies that do not have importing experience or existing relationships with freight forwarders.

If you are already experienced in importing goods from Asia, we are more than happy to accommodate various shipping options and will work directly with you or your freight forwarding company.

CPS always includes freight information in our detailed quotes which also include information on weight, dimensions, quantities and volume. 

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Darren Milne
P: 61.4.0888.6441

Charlie Meyer
P: 1.972.899.5336


Note: The above Incoterms (International Contract Terms) are established by the International Chamber of Commerce in an attempt to standardize transportation terms worldwide. While these terms are commonly used around the world, in practice, many in the transportation industry misuse them either unintentionally or intentionally. Always verify who is responsible for performing specific transportation services before signing a contract.


About China Printing Solutions: China Printing Solutions is an American-owned print management company with offices in Shanghai, China and Melbourne, Australia. CPS is owned by Ivie & Associates, an international leader in global marketing solutions. From turnkey print processes to globally scalable marketing and advertising campaigns, China Printing Solutions strives to become your go-to source for all of your printing and advertising needs

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