Shipper’s Letter of Instruction Documentation

When it comes to shipping globally, there are several important documents that required due attention and diligence to ensure against delays and disruptions to your supply chain. Most of the well-known shipping documents include bills of lading, commercial invoices, but there are more that are lesser known such as the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction.

A Shipper’s Letter of Instruction, abbreviated often in the industry as SLI, is the directives that an exporter hands over to the freight forwarder which includes instructions on how and where to handle the cargo shipment. The SLIs can be utilized for both air and sea freight shipments, which will need to be duly filled declaring the export cargo and other specifications.

This shipping document is important as it is used to gather a multitude of information pertaining to your  cargo shipment, and allows the freight forwarder to understand the shipment to avoid any miscommunications later which could potentially disrupt the supply chain process and business operations. Often the Shipper’s letter instruction authorized the freight forwarder to act on the behalf of the shipper.

The reason why a shipper’s letter of instruction is important is because it acts a document of communication whereby the shipper themselves have to fill it in to avoid any misunderstandings which could later result in losses for the shipper. Accuracy when filling the SLI is vital. An SLI is often required for shipments to the United States of America towards federal compliance.

The Shipper’s letter of instruction will be filled in by the shipper, that is, the exporter in question. It will carry written information such as who was the recipient of the shipping documentation, who should be contacted for further inquiries with regard to the shipment, who should be contacted for proof of export, and also, who was responsible for issuing the export documentation  which would support the decision to export the products overseas. Information pertaining to the shipper’s letter of instruction should include information on the following;

  • Shipper and Consignee Information
  • Notifying Party
  • Departure and Destination
  • Hazardous Cargo
  • Special instructions
  • Product Specifications (Descriptions, Weight, and Measurements).
  • Charges Payable By Party
  • Commercial Value
  • Destination Requirements
  • Signature and Date

If you are looking to export cargo from Australia, get in touch with Transco Cargo.