More Glossary Terms

Shipping Order

A shipping order is a document issued by a shipping line to confirm a freight shipment’s booking on a vessel.
Shipping order

A shipping order is a document issued by a carrier. Carriers issue a shipping order to confirm that equipment and space on a shipping line vessel are available for a shipment’s transport.

Import/export shippers present shipping orders to customs officials during international transportation to authorize the release of the cargo to the shipper.

TMS Terms: Shipping order

Shipping order in the MercuryGate TMS means the record of a request for freight to be moved. In the course of TMS execution, one or more shipping orders are placed on an execution load, which is a record of what carriers are hired to move.

Note: Details in this glossary term generally relate to shipping orders as they are used in ocean transportation.

What is a shipping order?
A shipping order is an inventory control document that identifies space booked on a vessel. Shipping orders identify goods included in the freight shipment. The shipment destination is detailed in a shipping order.

A shipping order is referred to as a Container Release Order or Authority to Withdraw in certain countries. Shipping orders are compiled into a shipping manifest presented to an ocean-going carrier completing the vessel voyage.

Who issues a shipping order?
Carriers entrusted with transporting a freight shipment issue the shipping order when the cargo has been scheduled for dispatch. After cargo transportation is completed, the carrier issues a shipping order to the consignee to confirm that a shipment has occurred.
Ocean-going vessel operators can issue shipping orders, or a shipping order can be issued by an agent recognized as a carrier’s representative.
What information is in a shipping order?
Shipping order information varies based on carriers. Generally, shipping orders include specific freight cargo details, shipper information, the location of the shipment on a vessel, the origin, and destination, and other shipping order tracking information.
A shipping order includes details relevant to the cargo, the shipper, and the transport, such as:
  • Shipper details.
  • Freight forwarder information, if applicable.
  • Cargo information and commodity type.
  • Bill of lading number of the carrier.
  • Place of receipt for the empty container.
  • Port of loading where the container will be loaded on the vessel.
  • Port of discharge where the carrier will deliver the goods.
  • Transshipment port where containers may be transferred from small to larger vessels.
  • Vessel name and voyage number.
  • Equipment type for the containers required for shipment.
  • Empty pickup location where haulers will pick up empty containers.
  • Full return location where the loaded container needs to be returned.
  • Document cut-off for when shipping instructions need to be sent to the carrier.
  • Verified gross mass (VGM) cut-off for the deadline to submit a shipment’s VGM information.
Who needs a shipping order?
Most commercial shipments require a shipping order for cargo release following customs inspection at a port of entry. In some cases, a shipping order can be redundant to other trade documents. There is no standard shipping order template.

Electronic shipping order management streamlines transportation workflow.

Shipping Order Number vs. Purchase Order Number vs. Tracking Number
A carrier issues a shipping order to confirm a shipment’s space on a vessel. Shipping orders can be identified by a number assigned by the carrier.
A purchase order identifies a buyer’s order or purchase. Purchase order numbers are assigned to keep track of the transaction. A seller can use a purchase order to record shipment details, payment terms, or shipment status.

The tracking number is assigned to each shipment before transportation. Tracking numbers are unique identification codes that allow shipment tracking from departure at a warehouse or freight hub to the final delivery destination.

How MercuryGate Supports User Shipping Orders

MercuryGate TMS offers users a secure, cloud-based platform to store, manage, generate and execute shipping orders and other documents required across the transportation supply chain.

Easy access to electronic shipping orders facilitates faster collaboration among supply chain partners, fewer errors in data management, and expedited movement through ports of entry.
Benefits of Digital, Embedded Shipping Order Generation

Risk mitigation: Identify document problems and develop solutions in advance to save expenses.

Manage by exception: Automated processes provided by TMS integration, document generation, and file management free manpower to focus on more strategic objectives.

Paperless supply chain: Instantly access any document related to a freight shipment without waiting for an email, upload, or paper transaction.

Meet compliance: Vital transportation documents are automatically managed as required by law.

Existing templates and auto-fill features allow users to generate digital documents quickly and customize them as needed.

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