Home Tips & Tricks Importance of shipping documents in international trade

Importance of shipping documents in international trade

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The shipping industry runs in a very systematic and organised manner. Whether it be inland logistics or seaborne vessel transportation, every step is documented in bills and invoices. Since international trade involves legal bodies and authorities of the trading countries, failure to produce any of the shipment documents can lead to intense consequences. No matter how much faith and value one puts in the product knowledge, the experience of the industry, customer beliefs, etc., legal paperwork is important to ensure the integrity of the business. After all, trade between the two countries cannot happen on the liability of verbal conversation. Therefore, shipment documents come into play for helping the trading parties in maintaining uniformity in the process. 

The individuals who have recently started their import-export business must know the implication, uses and significance of all the important shipment documents. It would allow them to understand the gravity of securing each bill in an organised format. There are plenty of shipment documents that the exporters and importers need to read, sign and send across for maintaining the flow of work. 

Filing all the shipment documents manually in a sequence can be a hectic task. 

Significance of Shipment Documents 

All the shipment documents serve a purpose either to the shipper, importer, or exporter. They act as proof that the business operations are running legally and that all the goods are procured, stored and then sold under the complete knowledge of legal authorities and designators of the country. Apart from that, it is also important to maintain a certain level of transparency in the work process to build strong and reliable business relations that last long. 

In most of the cases of international trade, the importers and exporters do not get to sit one-to-one to discuss trade deals. All the parties operate through digital media, and the rest is conducted through word of mouth. The shipment documents work as the only proof of transaction, other than the shipping contract that the traders can use at the time of crisis. Thus, one should store all the documents carefully. 

How To Store The Documents Securely? 

Traditionally, the exporters and importers had to hire individuals for managing all the back-office work and maintaining files of all the shipping documents separately. Today, a few of the logistics service providers are lending a helping hand to ensure the security of all the shipment documents on the digital platforms. With the user-friendly interface of the company’s web portals and convenience of mobile applications, maintaining a uniform flow of the trade transactions and then storing the bills of the same is very easy. 

Just like one uses the mobile-banking facilities, it is now possible to use mobile-trading facilities. The top companies in the trading business are here to offer all the techs and toys that one may need to store the shipment documents electronically. No need to worry about getting physical damage to the BoL (Bill of Lading), Sea Waybill, Shipping bill, and all the other documents related to the customs clearance procedure. 

Benefits of Using Logistics Services 

One can reap several benefits by making a reliable trade partner. From providing inland logistics to customs clearance service, the service providers take care of everything. Moreover, there are many other added benefits like credit days, account management, and of course, storage of all the shipment documents electronically. 

  • With the help of the company’s software, one can easily use billing templates to form accurate bills without the chance of any manual errors. Use professional language to make shipping quotations, packing lists, invoices, purchase orders, etc. No need to sweat over the minor details and spend hours to finalise these documents accurately. 
  • Say bye to the practice of going back-and-forth with the customer to ensure that he has received all the necessary documents within the defined time. Now it is possible to share all the documents directly with the stakeholders, and also keep a track of when he is receiving the same. Managing document circulation has never been easier. 
  • With the help of the mobile application, search, view, recheck, edit, and finalise the shipment document anytime and anywhere. No need to rummage through a pile of bills and files to find the one required for the customer. Everything is stored on the secured servers for the convenience of the customers. 
  • Arranging and managing documents in the electronic order with the help of advanced technology reduces errors considerably. Fewer errors mean less amount of work, and consequently one can conveniently avoid delays in the shipping process. 
  • Choosing the right service partner can help a trader in increasing his entire team’s productivity. Also, well-organised and managed business always gains a lot of praise and appreciation in the market, which is important for the company’s reputation. 

Shipment documents are not some mere pieces of paper that serve no purpose after the work is done. From freight auditing to business accounting, the documents help in every task and proceedings after a successful shipment. Traders should handle all the documents with care!

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