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What does FOB stand for in shipping: Meaning, and How is it used?

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Pay the full price agreed upon between the two parties in the agreement of sale. To remove this confusion, it is now recommended that the Incoterms’ use be stated explicitly together with the edition of the standard. For example, “FOB New York ” means that in this case, they are referring to the incoterms 2010 edition meaning of the term.

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More to that, the it defines the point at which ownership and liability get passed on from one party to the other. EXW. Ex Works, which only requires the retailer to get products ready to be shipped from its location. The buyer is responsible for making any settlements for the shipment and for picking the goods up.

Advantages of FOB for the Seller and Buyer

In that case, just know what method to use as an international trader. Well, FOB is one of the most commonly used terms for international trade. This is because this method offers some of the most effective terms for shipping costs. For that reason, it happens to be convenient for most shippers as well as receivers.


In North America, the term “FOB” is written in asales agreementto determine when the liability and responsibility for the shipped cargo transfers from the seller to the buyer. When it is indicated as “FOB Origin,” it means that the transfer occurs at the seller’s shipping dock when the goods are safely on board the ship. A common mistake is to use FOB Incoterms® for containerised goods, instead of the “all transport modes” rule. Under FOB, the risk is officially transferred when the cargo is loaded onboard the vessel.

Berlin acquiesced, ordering its submarines to avoid passenger ships. The British frequently violated America’s neutral rights by seizing ships. If they somehow had a clear view into each other’s ships, each crew would see the others’ clocks and movement as going too slowly. All goods shipped from a given basis point are charged the same amount. commercial laws have been in place for decades and were established to standardize the rules and regulations surrounding the shipment and transportation of goods. Having special contracts in place has been important because international trade can be complicated and because trade laws differ between countries. Freight Prepaid and Added – Seller pays freight charges and then bills them to buyer. Freight Prepaid and Allowed – Seller pays and bears freight charges. Read on to discover some tips and tricks you can leverage to reduce or eliminate these fees. Goods being moved across country borders, on ocean cargo ships, or during hazardous local conditions may be at higher risk of something going wrong.

Other FOB Terms

As a seller, when you send the shipment via a third-party carrier like UPS, you should use a bill of lading. This ensures that you can file a claim in the event of loss or damage of the cargo. The buyer provides the seller with adequate notice of the vessel’s name, the loading point, and the required delivery time. For instance, if the buyer’s location is New Orleans, the terms will read “FOB New Orleans”.

Should any of the goods get days sales in inventoryd or lost during shipment, it is the buyer, not the seller who should file any claims for reimbursement. How many products of the products you use in your daily life have been made outside your country? Since the buyer takes possession of the items at its receiving dock, that is also where the seller should document a transaction. Remember that trade laws vary from country to country, so you should always review the laws of the country you’re shipping from. Revenue Operations is an integrated approach to business operations that streamlines the functions of sales, marketing, and customer success teams with the primary goal of driving revenue growth. If ‘FOB Destination, freight collect’ is specified, it means that the buyer is the one to pay for the freight.

Since the shipment is the FOB shipping point, the delivery is made when the carpets are shipped. Bloemen Alle should record the sale of $5,000 on 21 October 2012. The title of the goods usually passes from the supplier to the buyer. It means that goods are reported as inventory by the seller when they are in transit since, technically, the sale does not occur until the goods reach the destination.

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Upon delivery to the buyer’s noted location, the title is transferred to the buyer, who then owns the goods and is legally responsible for them. When the freight must be collected, the person receiving the shipment is responsible for all of the freight charges. Freight collect means that the buyer takes on all of the risks and is responsible for getting insurance and filing a claim if the products are damaged in shipping.

  • However, the disadvantage for the buyer is the lack of control over the shipment including shipment company, route and delivery time.
  • If the goods are damaged in transit, the loss is the responsibility of the buyer.
  • Bloemen Alle should record the sale of $5,000 on 21 October 2012.
  • Due to potential confusion with domestic North American usage of “FOB”, it is recommended that the use of Incoterms be explicitly specified, along with the edition of the standard.
  • In this guide, you’ll learn all about FOB meaning; what the Free on Board shipping Incoterms® mean and what you need to know to determine if it’s the right shipping option for your business.

While domestic trade is straightforward, shipping to other countries is not as clear-cut, since the international trade laws you have to deal with will depend on which country you are shipping to or from. In the case of FOB shipping point, the sale becomes complete when the shipment is sent off. As for FOB destination, the sale becomes complete when the goods are delivered and come into the buyer’s possession. According to the generally accepted accounting principles , a business cannot record revenue until the transfer of risks and rewards of the goods from the seller to the buyer. The seller is responsible for all expenses until the goods are loaded onto the vessel at the port of shipment. Any costs incurred for loading the goods on to the cargo ship are also the seller’s responsibility.

A local trip, on the other hand, is more likely to be hassle-free. Because the legal owner must deal with paperwork or accidents, you should consider carefully who you want to be on the hook. In FOB agreements, the responsibility for shipping transfer to the buyer as soon as the goods leave the seller’s location under FOB Shipping Point. Or, the responsibility can transfer to the buyer once he or she receives the goods if there is a FOB Destination agreement in place. Understanding these terms becomes important when the inevitable loss or damage occurs and knowing who agreed to cover costs with their insurance. FOB Destination is a shipping term that means that the legal title to the goods remains with the seller until the goods reach the location of the buyer.

What Is FOB Shipping?

The transportation department of a buyer might insist on FOB shipping point terms, so that it can take complete control over the delivery of goods once they leave a supplier’s shipping dock. At the same time, even though the treadmills have not yet been delivered, the buyer has now officially taken responsibility for the goods. When at the shipping point, the buyer now has an open accounts payable balance though it also should now carry the treadmill on their financial records. The fact the the treadmills may take two weeks to arrive is irrelevant for this shipping agreement; the buyer will already possess ownership while the goods are in transit. Since FOB shipping point transfers the title of the shipment of goods when the goods are placed at the shipping point, the legal title of those goods is transferred to the buyer.

If anything happens to the goods on any leg of the journey to the buyer, the supplier assumes all responsibility. When you are shipping loose cargo , for example, your goods must go through a Container Freight Station to be consolidated into a container. The FOB destination outlines terms indicating that the seller will incur the delivery expense to get the goods to the destination. An Insurance ClaimAn insurance claim refers to the demand by the policyholder to the insurance provider for compensating losses incurred due to an event covered by the policy.

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Read on to learn about 6 insights that may help you get back on track. Discover more benefits of cross-docking and how the process may improve warehouse efficiency. 12 Sold computers on account for $8,000 to a customer, terms 3/15, n/30. The ending Merchandise Inventory should have a balance of $45,300.

The two terms have a specific meaning in commercial law and cannot be altered. The last distinction is important for determining liability or risk of loss for goods lost or damaged in transit from the seller to the buyer. Those familiar with various incoterms might feel that Freight Collect shipping is fairly similar to the Cash on Delivery system in place in online trading shipments. COD varies in that the customer only pays for the item purchased after it’s been delivered by the courier.


With the advent of e-commerce, most commercial electronic transactions occur under the terms of “FOB shipping point” or “FCA shipping point”. Sometimes FOB is used in sales to retain commission by the outside sales representative. Although FOB has long been stated as “Freight On Board” in sales contract terminology, this should be avoided as it does not precisely conform to the meaning of the acronym as specified in the UCC. International shipments typically use “FOB” as defined by the Incoterms standards, where it always stands for “Free On Board”. Domestic shipments within the United States or Canada often use a different meaning, specific to North America, which is inconsistent with the Incoterms standards. Due to potential confusion with domestic North American usage of “FOB”, it is recommended that the use of Incoterms be explicitly specified, along with the edition of the standard.

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When calculating the overall cost of goods, freight charges can become quite substantial. The rates for these freight charges will fluctuate depending on the transportation mode used for transit, the cargo’s volume, as well as the type of goods being shipped. The shipping costs of the shipment are determined as soon as the buyer takes up the ownership as well as the responsibility of the goods being shipped. And this also impacts the accounting system of that particular company.

  • “FOB origin,” which is a synonym for “FOB shipping point” indicates that the sale completes at the seller’s shipping dock.
  • In this article, ShipCalm will explore what FOB is, the pros and cons of FOB, and how a third-party logistics company like ShipCalm can help your business with all its shipment needs.
  • FOB destination means that goods are placed free on board at the buyer’s place of business, and the seller pays the freight.
  • What’s even more important, you must record your shipping costs correctly.

Once the delivery is unloaded in the receiving country, responsibility is transferred to you. An FOB shipping point agreement is signed and the container is handed off to the freight carrier at the shipping point. Upon delivery of the goods to the destination, the title for the goods transfers from the supplier to the buyer. With FOB shipping point, ownership of goods is transferred to the buyer once they leave the supplier’s shipping point.




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