The Export Process
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  • Shipper or Exporter : Companies that are authorised by Customs and Govt authorities to export cargoes from South Africa to various countries..
  • Place of Origin : A place from which a certain cargo originates in order to be shipped to a certain destination as per the contract of carriage.. This place of origin could also be an inland destination..
  • Port of Load : A seaport from which the cargo can be loaded on board a ship..
  • Port of Discharge : A seaport at which the cargo is discharged from a ship..
  • Place of Delivery : A place to which the cargo is to be delivered as per the contract of carriage.. This place of delivery could also be an inland destination..
  • Stack Dates : A period of time (usually about 3-4 days) specified by the port authorities for a particular ship, within which period, all containers that are planned to be loaded on the ship have to be brought into the port/terminal..
  • Shipper requests a rate to a certain destination from the shipping line that offers a service to that destination..
  • The shipping line provides the rate to the shipper..
  • Once the rate has been accepted by the shipper, he requests the shipping line to make a booking to that destination..
  • The shipping line provides a booking reference which in general cases is also the reference for the release of the empty container for the packing..
  • Based on the stack dates nomianted for the ship, the shippers nominated transporter goes to the empty depot to pick up the empty container..
  • The empty container is taken to the shippers warehouse for packing.. Once the cargo is packed, the full container is taken to the port/terminal within the stack period..
  • If the for any reason the container cannot be brought into the port/terminal within the stack period, at the discretion of the shipping line or port/terminal a LATE ARRIVAL request may be processed for upto 24 hrs after the original stack period is closed..
  • The container then waits at the port/terminal for it to be loaded on the nominated ship..
  • Once the container is loaded on board, the shipping line normally advises the client of the same and sends their freight invoice in order for the client to fetch his bills of lading..
  • Once the container has been packed by the client as above, a shipping instruction (also known as bill of lading instruction or SI) is sent by the shipper or his agent to the shipping line..
  • This is sent in order for the shipping line to prepare the bill of lading..
  • The SI is generally sent in shipping lines template updated on the website in case of lines working on e-commerce (Safmarine / Maersk)..
  • Once the SI is captured by the line, some of them send a draft copy of the bill of lading to the shipper for it to be checked..
  • Once the draft is confirmed, then the shipping line prints the final bill of lading for release..
  • The shipper or his agent should produce the cheque or proof of payment of the lines invoice, the Bill of Entry and the Cargo Dues copy for the shipment..
  • Only once these docs are provided, the shipping line will release the bill of lading to the shipper..
  • This essentially completes the export process between the shipping line and the client with both of these entities following their individual processes further on..
Further process being:
  • The shipping line has to consolidate all the bills of lading released for a particular ship into a cargo and freight manifest and distribute/despatch the same to their agents at the discharging ports for them to file the manifest at their relevant ports..
  • The shipper on the other hand may have to forward his docs including the original bill of lading and other associated documents (generally - commercial invoice, packing list, certificate of origin, F178 etc) to his bank (in the case of L/C) or to his consignee in order to claim his monies..


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