Frequently Asked Questions About Ocean Shipments

The ocean import/export team at has pointed out one of the most frequently asked questions among customers who are shipping freight overseas.

One of the most popular questions relates to the documentation & paperwork needed to import or export cargo. The answer is that the documentation required varies based on whether the shipment is an import or export, as well as the commodity being shipped.

The primary documents that are needed include a B/L (Bill of Lading), a Commercial Invoice (simply a bill for the goods from the seller to the buyer), a certificate of origin and a packing list. While other documents can sometimes be needed, these three are the primary documents required for the majority of shipments. Not having the proper documentation secured can be a huge issue, and can result in both increased costs and storage charges, as well as delays in transit time. For these reasons, it's important that even experienced shippers confirm exactly what's needed with a company like!