Shipping Support

All You Need to Know About the B2C Shipment Incoterms

Understanding and effectively utilising shipping Incoterms is crucial for navigating the complexities of international trade. Incoterms, short for International Commercial Terms, are a set of globally recognised rules that define the responsibilities, risks, and costs associated with transporting and delivering goods.


To better understand shipping Incoterms and how they work, this article will provide the following information:


What are Shipping Incoterms, and How They Impact Your Shipping Costs

First published in 1936 by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Incoterms are standardised trade terms that clarify the obligations and rights of buyers and sellers in international transactions. Incoterms establish key parameters such as how shipments should be delivered, who pays for shipping costs, what happens if something goes wrong during shipment, and who bears responsibility for any damage caused during transport.


Incoterms can significantly impact the cost of shipping in international shipping transactions. This is because the specific Incoterm agreed upon between the buyer and seller determines who is responsible for the costs associated with the delivery of goods, including transportation, insurance and customs duties. For example, if the agreed upon Incoterm is CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight), the seller is responsible for the delivery of goods to the destination port and the cost and risk of loss or damage to the goods during transportation. In this case, the seller will bear the cost of transportation, insurance, and customs duties, which can reduce the shipping cost for the buyer.


What Do Incoterms Not Cover?

While Incoterms provide essential guidelines into how to organise international shipping, there are some aspects that Incoterms rules do not address, including:

  • addressing all the conditions of a sale;
  • identifying the goods being sold nor listing the contract price;
  • referencing the method nor timing of payment negotiated between the seller or buyer;
  • when the title, or ownership of the goods, passes from the seller to the buyer;
  • specifying which documents must be provided by the seller to the buyer to facilitate the customs clearance process in the buyer’s country; and
  • addressing liability for the failure to provide the goods in conformity with the contract of sale, delayed delivery, nor dispute resolution mechanisms.


Importance of Using the Right Incoterms

Selecting the appropriate Incoterm for your shipping arrangements is of paramount importance. This is primarily because importers and exporters need to consider which Incoterm is best suited before the contract of sale is negotiated to prevent unnecessary complications and surprise costs.

Choosing an Incoterm means aligning the buyer and seller on shipping procedures to ensure the timely payment of goods, services, and duties while protecting suppliers, carriers, and buyers.


Key Changes in Incoterms for 2023

In order to keep pace with evolving business practices and address contemporary challenges, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has introduced updates to the Incoterms in 2023Cargoline has summarised the following changes to shipping Incoterms that we are reproducing here:

  1. Definition of “Delivered at Place” (DAP): the definition of DAP has been modified to include deliveries to an inland clearance depot (ICD), which is a facility where goods are cleared for import or export. This change follows the increased usage of ICDs in international shipping to ensure that the responsibilities of the buyer and seller are clearly identified in such situations.
  2. Definition of “Delivered Duty Paid” (DDP): The definition of DDP has been clarified to articulate the seller’s responsibility for all costs and risks associated with the delivery of goods, including customs clearance. This change helps to ensure no confusion over who is responsible for customs-related costs and risks in international trade transactions.
  3. Increased focus on sustainability: Incoterms 2023 places a greater emphasis on sustainability and the responsibility of buyers and sellers to act in an eco-friendly manner. This includes recommending both seller and buyer consider using more sustainable transportation options, such as rail or sea transport, instead of air freight.
  4. Simplification of definitions: The definitions of certain Incoterms have been simplified in Incoterms 2023, making them easier to understand to reduce the risk of confusion. This includes clarifying specific terms, such as the responsibilities of the buyer and seller for loading and unloading goods.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of shipping Incoterms, their impact on shipping costs, and the key changes introduced in the 2023 edition, it’s essential to highlight how a reliable partner like Luwjistik can be instrumental in navigating this complex landscape.


Seamlessly Deliver Your Shipment With Luwjistik

Luwjistik recognises the pivotal role that Incoterms play in international logistics, and our commitment is to make this intricate web of rules work to your advantage. Here’s how we assist you:

  • Tailored Solutions: We provide tailored solutions that align perfectly with your unique requirements. Whether you’re a shipper, consignee, or network partner, we ensure that your interests are protected while optimising the efficiency of your shipping arrangements.
  • Expertise in Simplifying Complex Procedures: We specialise in simplifying the often convoluted world of international shipping procedures. Our in-depth knowledge and experience allow us to streamline the process, ensuring that the right Incoterms are selected for your specific needs.

To learn more about the offers, you can contact our representative at, or if you need any assistance, you can reach our support team at