What is a Packing List (PL) used for in international trade?

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Export Documentation International Trade Packing List
Picture by Glenn Carstens Peters

In Export Documentation:

A Packing List (PL) is a shipping document used during international trade activities. It includes information about the contents of the package and is usually contained in a waterproof packet, attached to the outside of the shipment. It commonly includes information such as:

  • Quantity
  • Description
  • Weight

Pricing information is not required on a packing list.

When is a Packing List used?

An export packing list should be provided when sending a shipment overseas. It is intended to let transport agencies, government authorities, and customers know the contents of the package so each of these parties can handle the goods accordingly. For example, Customs Officials may use the list to check the cargo, whereas a shipper or freight forwarder may use it to determine the total weight and volume of the shipment.

Why do I need a Packing List?

The packing list is important as it informs all parties of the contents of the package and subsequently helps them to deal with the shipment appropriately.

Remember! To avoid any issues or lengthy delays all documents must have correct and corresponding information. 

Where can I get a Packing List template?

You can get your logistics firm or freight forwarder to provide you with a blank copy of a packing list. Alternatively, you can download a free PDF   Packing List template  here.

Additionally, you can use an online solution such as www.edgedocs.com to help you generate paper and electronic versions, just remember to use the free 30 day trial to see how you get on first.

How to complete a Packing List?

 

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