Shipping Manifest Simplified: Types & Template

The shipping manifest is a crucial transport document for international e-commerce businesses sending or receiving shipments.

Today, we will discuss the meaning of the manifest, its types, and how it differs from the Bill of Lading. Keep reading!

What is a shipping manifest?

A shipping manifest is a detailed document required by law for goods transported by ship and sometimes for other modes of transportation like air or ground. It contains needed information such as a comprehensive shipment inventory, the parties involved in shipping and receiving, and the destination.

What is its purpose?

Firstly, a manifest provides an overview of the ship’s cargo, aiding customs officials at ports of entry. It helps enforce import regulations, calculate import duties and taxes, and prevent the illicit transportation of goods.

Additionally, the manifest shipping streamlines the carrier’s billing process by creating invoices for importers and exporters. It also provides pick-up and delivery instructions, serving as a tool for risk management and insurance purposes in case of lost or damaged goods.

Types of shipping manifests

Manifests shipping come in various forms, each tailored to different goods types. They are generally divided into the following types:

  • Cargo manifest: This document, serving as a general shipping manifest, lists the specifications of the transported cargo.
  • Freight manifest: Often used interchangeably with a cargo manifest, a freight manifest includes similar details but also indicates the freight charges for each consignment.
  • Export and Import General Manifests (EGM and IGM): These are legal documents filed with customs when transporting goods across international borders, providing detailed information about the cargo being exported or imported.

Other specialized manifests commonly used in transportation include:

  • Out-of-gauge manifests.
  • Reefer manifests.
  • Dangerous cargo manifests.

Here’s what goes on a shipping manifest form

It is straightforward but requires precision fill. Let us delve into the essentials for each type:

General shipping manifest:

  • Description of Goods: Type, quantity, and value if needed.
  • The size and weight of the goods.
  • Consignor and consignee contact details.
  • Shipping and receiving locations.
  • Freight charges of shipping, if applicable.
  • Carrier information.
  • Document or BOL Number: Unique identifier for tracking and verification.

Click here to get a shipping manifest template.

Hazardous materials manifest:

In addition to the general information, include:

  • Nature of Hazardous Material: Class, identification number, packing group, and proper shipping name.
  • Emergency Response Information: Actions required in case of accidents or emergencies.
  • Certification: Confirmation by the shipper that materials comply with regulations.

Out-of-Gauge manifest

Alongside the general details, incorporate:

  • OOG Details: Specifics on cargo exceeding standard container dimensions.
  • Special Handling Instructions: Guidance for loading, unloading, and handling the OOG cargo.
  • Center of Gravity Images: Visual indicators showing the cargo’s center of gravity.

Reefer manifest

In addition to the basics, add:

  • Temperature Requirements: Necessary settings for maintaining goods quality.
  • Special Handling Instructions: Guidance for maintaining the temperature-controlled environment.

Shipping manifest vs. Bill of Lading

A shipping manifest, prepared by vessel operators or freight agents, provides a comprehensive overview of the cargo on-board a vessel.

However, it is not a legally binding contract like a Bill of Lading.

A BOL is a legally significant document that outlines detailed information about the cargo, shipper, and consignee. It acts as a contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier, facilitating ownership transfer.

Simplifying international shipping with Airsupply

Shipping bulk products overseas involves extensive paperwork to ensure accurate delivery instructions, with significant consequences for any mistakes.

As an Airsupply member, you can streamline the complex process of managing international shipping. Our services include customized solutions, cost-effective intermodal transport, real-time tracking, and expert value-added services such as warehousing and repacking.

Moreover, we can negotiate better freight charges by consolidating your products into bulk shipments with other shippers. We may also have access to local distribution centers in the regions where you are exporting your products, further optimizing your shipping process.

FAQs about manifest shipping

Is a shipping manifest the same as a packing list?

No, they are different. A packing list only includes the contents of a shipment, while a manifest provides a detailed list of items, shipping details, package type, and more.

Can a shipping manifest be amended after submission?

Yes, it is possible. To make changes, you’ll need a shipping line agent to send a manifest corrector document to the delivery destination or submit an online form (if available) before the ship arrives at its destination port.

Who submits the import manifest?

The Master/Agent of the vessel or aircraft must submit an import manifest within 24 hours after the vessel’s arrival and 12 hours after the aircraft’s arrival.

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