Cargo Manifest

In the international shipping industry, there are many documents used by shippers, freight forwarders and the crew on the vessels when your containers are in transit. Perhaps the most recognized document known by most shippers is the Bill of Lading. However, sometimes shippers confuse the Bill of Lading with the manifest, another document that also lists the cargo on the vessel. The major difference is that the manifest is used primarily for customs agents to keep track of cargo on board. Sometimes a manifest might also list the passengers on a ship, but when it is only freight, the manifest is called a cargo manifest.

The cargo manifest has been used in international container shipping for many, many decades. With the recent use of technology, we now have digital cargo manifests. This technology makes shipping more efficient and may save some costs by eliminating paper. Despite the technological advances, the content of a cargo manifest remains the same for many shipments. On the cargo manifest, expect to find the names and contact information for the consignor and the consignee. Usually, a description and quantity of the cargo is listed. Sometimes the value of the merchandise is listed. And of course the locations, both the origin and destination ports are included as well.

The more you ship ocean containers, the more you might see how important the cargo manifest is. That document helps customs agents facilitate a safe and secure shipping environment at the ports and on the vessels.