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Port-to-Port Shipping: Explained in Detail
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Port-to-Port Shipping: Explained in Detail

July 21, 2023
Last Updated:
July 24, 2023
5 min read

Discover the intricacies of port-to-port shipping & get insights into the process, benefits, and key terms involved in this fundamental aspect of global trade.

Port-to-Port Shipping: Explained in Detail

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Are you in the business of international trade? If so, chances are you're all too familiar with the term "port-to-port shipping". But do you know exactly what goes on behind this method of transportation?

Understanding how port-to-port shipping works is essential to making sure your goods get from one place to another safely and quickly.

In this blog post, we'll explain port-to-port shipping in absolute detail, covering everything from its advantages and disadvantages to the individual steps involved.

What Does Port-to-Port Shipping Mean?

Port-to-port shipping (PTP) is the transportation of goods from the port of origin to the port of destination, essentially forming the middle leg of the whole logistics operation.

It’s pretty straightforward — the shipper is responsible for getting the goods to the port of origin, and the consignee is responsible for getting them from the destination port.

Port to port shipments

There's no transport chain involved in a normal PTP process, which can result in streamlined and more cost-effective shipping. Plus, since PTP only involves one main run, it's easier to make reservations and keep track of your cargo.

Port-to-Port Incoterms

Incoterms play a crucial role in port-to-port shipping. These terms are used to determine who bears the responsibility for transportation costs, insurance, and other risks associated with the shipment of goods. The Incoterms that can be applied to port-to-port shipping include C-Clause (CFR, CIF, CPT, and CIP) and D-Clause (DDP, DAP, and DPU).

Port-to-Port Shipping Process

The port-to-port shipping process is actually quite simple and everyone involved has their role to play:

  • Cargo Preparation: The first step in the port-to-port shipping process involves preparing the cargo for shipment. This includes packing, labeling, and ensuring that the goods meet all regulatory requirements for international shipping.
  • Delivery to the Port of Loading: Once the cargo is prepared, it is transported to the port of loading. This could be a seaport or a dry port depending on the location and logistics involved.
  • Loading and Departure: At the port of loading, the cargo is loaded onto the shipping vessel.
  • Transit: During transit, the cargo is subject to various checks and inspections to ensure it remains secure and intact.
  • Arrival at the Port of Destination: Upon reaching the port of destination, the cargo is unloaded from the ship.
  • Collection: Finally, the consignee or their appointed agent collects the cargo from the port of destination.

Benefits of Port-to-Port Shipping

Benefits of port-to-port shipping

#1 Cost-effectiveness

In contrast to door-to-door shipping, where you pay for the entire journey from the origin to the destination, port-to-port shipping allows you to pay only for sea transport.

This significantly reduces your overall shipping costs, making it an economically savvy choice for businesses of all sizes.

#2 Flexibility and Control

You are not tied to a specific freight forwarder's schedule; instead, you have the freedom to choose your own logistics partners at both the origin and destination ports. This allows you to negotiate the best rates, select the most reliable partners, and ensure the smooth flow of your cargo.

In addition, having control over your cargo's journey means you can better manage unforeseen circumstances or last-minute changes, thus ensuring greater operational agility.

#3 Increased Cargo Security

Since the cargo travels directly from one port to another without intermediate stops, there is less chance of mishandling, loss, or damage.

Also, most ports are well-equipped with advanced security measures providing an extra layer of protection for your cargo. This means you can have peace of mind knowing that your goods are in safe hands throughout their journey.

Services Included in a Port-to-Port Shipment

When you're considering a port-to-port shipping quote, it's important to understand the wide range of services that are included. Here's a breakdown of the key services typically provided:

  • Ocean Freight Rate: This is essentially the cost of transporting your cargo across the ocean. It's calculated based on various factors including the size and type of your cargo, as well as the distance between the origin and destination ports.
  • Security Fee: Ports charge this fee to cover the costs associated with maintaining maritime security. It ensures that necessary precautions are taken to protect your cargo from potential threats.
  • Container Rental: This fee covers the cost of renting the shipping container that will house your cargo during its journey. The cost can vary depending on the size and type of container required.
  • Loading and Unloading Time: Your quote also takes into account the time allocated for loading and unloading your cargo at the respective ports. The duration of this 'free time' can vary depending on the specific rules of the origin and destination ports.
  • Cargo Tracking: To keep you informed about the status of your shipment, many carriers and freight forwarders offer tracking services. At Cargoflip, we go a step further by providing notifications that keep you updated in real-time.
  • Document Issuance: Certain essential documents and the costs of issuing them are also included in the quote.

From Origin to Destination

In terms of other transportation modes, there is no faster, more efficient way to move product from A to B than port-to-port shipping.

No matter the size of your product portfolio or geographical reach; when it comes to global shipping needs, port-to-port shipping can be a great choice.

While it requires a bit of extra organization on your part for either pre- or post-carriage, it can still be very profitable if you have the know-how.

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