Shipping note

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Shipping note
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AShipping note is a document prepared when goods are sent to the port of shipment. It contains details of the consignment, the mark and number of packages, the name of the ship, and of the supplier and the port of discharge[1].

Standard shipping note

A standard shipping note (SSN) was introduced in 1975. SITPRO (Simple Trade Procedure Board) published standard shipping note, to give the shipper to standardize documents for all shipment regardless of port or inland depot. Because of that it delivers to the receiving authority the total amount of information at the right time as well as providing all those with an interest in the cargo with adequate information at each stage of its delivery process, until final loading on board [2].

Usage of shipping notes

Standard shipping note is available for usage for the delivery of FLC (Full Container Loaded) and LCL (Less than Container Loaded) to CFS (Container Freight Station) or CB. It's also used for uncontainable items which are sent directly to the terminals. Standard shipping note is being used when delivering goods to British ports, container bases or other freight terminals. It has to be given with the goods that are given to the receiving berth/dock or base of containers. It can be also lodged at the receiving authority's chosen office before goods arrive for shipment. Only cargo designed to shipment to one port of discharge on one sailing or related with one bill can be placed on one shipping note [3]. However, dangerous goods should be shipped with different type of document, Dangerous Goods Note[4].

Informations in standart shipping notes

Standard shipping note contains[5]:

  • name and address of the shipper/exporter;
  • vehicle booking reference, when relevant, as issued by the receiving authority;
  • customer reference;
  • exporter's reference;
  • forwarding agent reference;
  • shipping company's booking reference where issued;
  • details of the company responsible for FOB/receiving authority's export charges;
  • name of a shipping line or combined transport operator;++
  • name and address of forwarding agent or merchant;
  • ship's reviewing date(s);
  • berth and dock/container base etc.;
  • ship's name and port loading.;
  • port of discharge and, for less than container loads, final destination depot;
  • name of receiving authority, e.g. port authority, shipping company, container base, to whom the shipping note is addressed;
  • port scale of charges;
  • marks and numbers of packages in full. Concerning container shipments detail of container owner's marks, serial numbers and seal number to be given;
  • number of kind of packages;
  • description of goods;
  • package dimensions in centimetres;
  • gross weight in metric units for each item;
  • total gross weight;
  • cubic measurement of packages in cubic meters;
  • total cubic measurement;
  • HM Customs free status;
  • pre-entry (bonding or drawback formalities etc.);
  • hazardous or other special stowage cargo:
  • name of company/telephone/fax number;
  • name and status of a person preparing the note;
  • place and date of issue.

Generally, the use of the standard shipping note might be slightly different depending on individual port practices[6].


  1. Benson D., Whitehead G. 2013
  2. Brodie P. 2013
  3. Branch A. E. 2012
  4. Brodie P. 2013
  5. Branch A. E. 2012
  6. Branch A. E. 2012


Author: Michał Dembowski