See how we helped Michael

"Fantastic! The legal document I used was so comprehensive and easy to complete. It is very reassuring to know my business now has this level of protection"

Michael S, London

Introduction to transporting goods

Introduction to transporting goods

Transporting goods

International sales contracts involve transporting goods from one country to another. This can get complicated, as usually more than one type of transport is involved.

For example, goods are carried by road (or by a combination of road and rail) to the port of shipment. They're then carried by sea to the destination port. From here, the goods are carried further by road (and/or rail) before arriving at the buyer's warehouse.

Goods are often delivered by the seller to the shipping company at that company's inland depot, rather than at the port of shipment. The shipping company will then transport the goods from their depot in the seller's country to their depot in the buyer's country and charge a freight charge. It's necessary to agree on who pays this freight charge, as well as who pays the costs of transport to the shipping company's depot in the seller's country and from its depot in the buyer's country to the buyer.

If you're the seller, the ideal arrangement from your point of view would be for the buyer to collect the goods from your warehouse or factory. The buyer would then have to pay for all the transport costs. However, few buyers would be prepared to do this.

From the buyer's point of view, the ideal arrangement would be for you to deliver the goods directly to their warehouse. In this case, you'd have to pay for all the transport costs. This, on the other hand, wouldn't be ideal for you.

There are international commercial terms (Incoterms rules) that cover various arrangements by which the seller and buyer can share the transport costs and risks. See Incoterms.

Copyright © 2022 Epoq Group Ltd. All trademarks acknowledged, all rights reserved

This website is operated by Epoq Legal Ltd, registered in England and Wales, company number 3707955, whose registered office is at 2 Imperial Place, Maxwell Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 1JN. Epoq Legal Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 645296).

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We would also like to set some optional cookies. We won't set these optional cookies unless you enable them. Please choose whether this site may use optional cookies by selecting 'On' or 'Off' for each category below. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookie notice.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Performance cookies

We'd like to set cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. For more information on these cookies, please see our Cookie notice. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form. Data is only used in aggregate.

Functionality cookies

We'd like to set cookies to provide you with a better customer experience. For more information on these cookies, please see our Cookie notice.