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Shipping manifest

What Is a Shipping Manifest?

A shipping manifest is an essential logistics document, detailing all items being transported on a ship, airplane, or vehicle. It includes information such as the names and addresses of the shipper and consignee, descriptions of the cargo, the quantity and weight of each item, and any special handling instructions. The manifest helps ensure that all parties involved in the shipping process, including customs authorities and logistics providers, have a clear understanding of the cargo being transported.

How to Create a Shipping Manifest

Creating a shipping manifest involves several key steps:

  1. Gather Information: Collect all necessary details about the cargo, including descriptions, quantities, weights, and any special handling requirements.
  2. Organize Data: Arrange the information in a structured format, typically including sections for the shipper, consignee, and cargo details.
  3. Use Templates: Utilize standard templates provided by shipping companies or logistics software to ensure all required information is included.
  4. Verify Accuracy: Double-check all entries for accuracy to avoid any discrepancies during transit.
  5. Submit to Carrier: Provide the completed manifest to the carrier and any relevant authorities.

What Does It Mean When Cargo Is 'Manifested'?

A cargo tracking status of 'manifested' means that the details of the shipment have been entered into the shipping manifest. This status indicates that the shipment has been recorded and documented by the carrier and is ready to be loaded and transported.

When cargo is manifested, it confirms that the following steps have been completed:

  1. Documentation: The shipment details, including descriptions, quantities, weights, and consignee information, have been thoroughly documented.
  2. Verification: The carrier has reviewed and verified the cargo information to ensure accuracy and completeness.
  3. Readiness for Transport: The cargo is now officially part of the shipment manifest, signifying that it is prepared for loading onto the transport vehicle.

Shipping Manifest vs. Customs Manifest

While a shipping manifest and a customs manifest contain similar information, there are key differences:

  • Shipping Manifest: Primarily used by carriers and logistics providers to track and manage cargo during transport. It includes detailed information about the shipment for operational purposes.
  • Customs Manifest: Specifically used for customs clearance. It includes all the necessary details required by customs authorities to process and approve the entry or exit of goods across international borders.

Shipping Manifest vs. Delivery Manifest

While a shipping manifest details the cargo being transported from the origin to the destination, a delivery manifest focuses on the final stage (last mile) of the logistics process. The delivery manifest lists the specific items to be delivered to individual consignees, including detailed delivery instructions and confirmation of receipt upon delivery.