What is a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI)?
A Shipper’s Letter of Instruction is a document created by the seller for the freight forwarder providing instructions for accurate and safe movement of goods from the origin to the destination. It mainly contains details about the shipping terms and packages measurements allowing the carrier to issue an accurate bill of lading or airway bill. It lays out directions for the carrier on how to move, load and unload the shipment without any physical damage to the products.
When is a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) issued?
A SLI is issued by the seller when it has completed procurement or manufacturing of goods. The seller then shares the SLI with the freight forwarder. The SLI will act as a handbook for the freight forwarder to transport the goods as per the agreed terms and conditions.
What is a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) used for?
- Proof of instructions: SLI acts as a written proof of instructions provided to the freight forwarder leaving no room for any miscommunication.
- One place for all freight information: It contains all information regarding how the goods should be shipped from origin to destination making it simple for the freight forwarder.
- Helps with export documents: SLIs are often used by carriers to create bill of lading or airway bill documents
What’s included on a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) document?
Shipper: Name and address of the shipper
Consignee: Name and address of the consignee (receiving party)
Forwading Agent: Name of the forwarding agent
Freight Charges: Freight charges to be paid to the freight forwarder
Method of Shipping: This could be SEA, AIR, TRUCK or RAIL
Type of Shipment: FCL (Full Container Load), LCL (Less Than a Container Load), FTL (Full Truck Load), LTL (Less than a truck load), Air, Break Bulk
Country of Origin: Country where the goods were manufactured
Country of Destination: Country where goods will be finally delivered (Usually the country where the buyer resides)
Port of Loading and Port of Discharge: Seaport or airport in respective loading and discharge locations
Departure Date: Date of Delivery or handover. This depends on the inco-terms
Incoterms: Could vary from EXW, FOB, CFR, DDP, DAP. Checkout our detailed guide on incoterms.
Package details: Marks, Kind of Packing, Number of Packages, Description of Goods, Net weight and volume
Special Instructions: Might contain specific information on how shipment should be handled
Name and signature of authorized signatories