What is an Arrival Notice in Shipping
An arrival notice is a document that is issued out by a carrier that lets all relevant parties know when a shipment will arrive at a specified destination. Relevant parties include the shipper and the receiver of goods as well as truckers, customs brokers, and everyone else involved in the shipment of the item.
Arrival notices are not mandatory and there is no set standard for how they are written and distributed. However, they are common in the shipping industry (especially when it comes to shipping freight via air and ocean) as they help prepare all parties and speed up the overall process of shipping.
What Information is Included in an Arrival Notice?
The exact information in an arrival notice can vary depending on the carrier. But the most common information included in an arrival notice is:
- Details of the Shipper: Name, address, and contact information.
- Details of the Buyer/consignee: name, address, and contact information.
- AWB, SWB, BoL Number: An Airway Bill, Seaway Bill, or Bill of Lading number that is a unique identification number assigned by the carrier.
- Flight/Vessel details: The name of the ship or aircraft and the voyage/flight number that is transporting the goods.
- Container number: The number of the container in which the goods will be sitting in as they are in transit.
- Cargo details: A description of the items being delivered as well as the quantity of that item.
- Estimated time of arrival (ETA) – The projected time at which the goods will arrive at a seaport or airport.
- Actual Time of Arrival (ATA) – The actual arrival time the goods made it to the intended seaport/airport
- Place of Delivery: This is the final place in which the goods are being sent. This could be the airport or seaport but it could also be the facility at which the buyer as asked for the goods to be delivered.
- Freight charges: This is how much is owed to the carrier for delivering the goods.
- Freight terms: These are the terms that were agreed upon between the seller/shipper and the buyer/cosignee. It will often indicate if the freight charges will be prepaid or not.
Why is an Arrival Notice Important?
Keeping everyone in the loop when it comes to when cargo will be arriving is key to avoiding any unnecessary delays. The ETA listed on a bill of lading or another tracking system may not be as accurate as an arrival notice since weather or port congestion may not be factored into those.
With an arrival notice, all parties benefit in different ways. For example, receivers of the shipment can have people and equipment ready in time to offload the cargo. If they aren’t the end-user of the item benign delivered, they will also be able to better inform their customers of when they might be receiving their products. They can also get payment ready once the items arrive.
For customs brokers, they can start submitting and filing paperwork to comply with the regulatory agencies of their country, county, and city. And for truckers it allows them to have the manpower in place to keep the cargo moving from the ports to their final destination.