Shipping Support

What is Pre-Alert in Cross-Border Shipping?

The intricacies of international logistics can often lead to delays, confusion, and miscommunication. One critical aspect that plays a significant role in ensuring the smooth movement of goods across borders is the concept of “Pre-Alert“.

What is Pre-Alert in Shipping?

According to Freight Course, Pre-Alert refers to a preliminary notification sent by the shipper or the shipping agent to the recipient or consignee before the arrival of a shipment. It serves as an early warning system, providing the consignee with essential information about future delivery and allowing them to make necessary arrangements.


What Shipment Information is Found on a Pre-Alert?

A pre-alert typically includes crucial shipment details that enable the consignee to prepare for the arrival of the goods. Some standard information found in a pre-alert includes:

  • Shipper: The sender/seller/exporter of the goods.
  • Consignee: The receiver/buyer/importer of the goods. Full contact details are indicated on the pre-alert so that brokers and freight forwarders know the delivery address.
  • MBL/Master AWB Number: The pre-alert will also feature the MBL number for ocean freight shipments or the Master AWB for air freight shipments.
  • HBL/ House AWB Number: It may also contain a freight forwarder’s HBL number for sea freight shipments or a House AWB number for airfreight shipments.
  • Vessel/ Flight information: The name of the vessel/airline on which the cargo or containers are loaded.
  • Cargo information: Included here is a brief description of the goods, the type of packaging, the number of items, the weight, the cubage or measurement of the goods and information such as shipping or handling instructions. It can also be the source of information if special trucks or trailers need to be used for on-carriage.
  • Container number: The container number in which the goods were loaded. This number is only applicable for sea freight shipments.
  • Packing list: A detailed list of all the items contained in this shipment. These details should include the name, weight and quantity of the goods.
  • Invoice: Shows a detailed list of the cargo value for each item and in total. This list is the document that customs authorities use to determine the applicable duties and taxes.
  • Estimated arrival (ETA): The estimated arrival of the vessel or aircraft at the port of discharge or destination airport. An ETA is used for tasks such as manifest sending, special equipment allocation, or shipment planning.
  • Estimated/Actual Departure (ETD/ATD): A vessel or aircraft estimated departure date. This list indicates the delay between estimated and actual departure dates and confirms when the ship or aircraft has departed.
  • Port of Loading/Origin Airport: The seaport or airport where the shipment is loaded.
  • Port of Discharge/Destination Airport: The seaport or airport where the shipment will arrive.
  • Incoterm: The Incoterm is often indicated as a reference for freight forwarders to understand the responsibility and handover of the shipment.
  • MSDS: Required when shipping dangerous goods.
  • Additional Forms: Any other relevant shipping forms (E.g. COO, CoA, Form D, etc.) are included in the pre-alert and relayed to the import broker and freight forwarder at the destination.


Where is the Pre-Alert Sent to?

The pre-alert is typically sent to the ‘Notify Party’ in the Bill of Lading as an email, which can be one or multiple parties. The notify party is most commonly the destination freight forwarder or the customs broker. Occasionally, the pre-alert is also sent to the consignee so that they are well informed and prepared to receive the shipment promptly, as stated in the previous update by Freight Course.

By providing advance notice and essential shipment details, a Pre-Alert facilitates seamless coordination, helps prevent delays, and enables efficient planning for both shippers and recipients. However, harnessing the full potential of Pre-Alerts requires a reliable partner who understands the complexities of international shipping and offers tailored solutions to optimise the process, like Luwjistik.


How Luwjistik Helps?

Luwjistik is committed to simplifying cross-border logistics and enhancing the Pre-Alert experience for businesses and individuals. With a customer-centric approach, Luwjistik offers two options to cater to your logistics-specific needs: 

  • Smart Routing International (SRI):
    • SRI is an automated solution Luwjistik offers to streamline international shipping and logistics. This service likely leverages advanced technologies and algorithms to optimise the routing of shipments and ensure they reach their destinations efficiently and cost-effectively. Here are some potential benefits of SRI:
      • Efficiency: SRI may automatically choose the best routes, carriers, and transportation methods to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery of goods.
      • Cost Savings: By optimising routes and transportation modes, SRI could reduce shipping costs for businesses and individuals.
      • Automation: Automation can reduce human errors and streamline the logistics process, making it more reliable and efficient.
  • Modular Service:
    • Modular service is a customisable logistics solution provided by Luwjistik. It implies that customers can tailor the logistics services to their specific needs. Here’s how Modular service may help:
      • Tailored Solutions: Businesses and individuals can select the specific logistics components they need, such as warehousing, transportation, customs clearance, and more, to create a solution that suits their unique requirements.
      • Scalability: Modular service allows for flexibility and scalability, which means you can adjust your logistics solution as your needs change, whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise.
      • Cost Efficiency: By choosing only the required services, you can reduce unnecessary expenses and optimise your logistics budget.

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