• Destinations, shipment and shipping advices


    If the port of destination is not known it is not easy for the seller to organize shipment. For forward shipment or FCA contracts the ECF therefore sets a time limit of 14 calendar days (GCA 15) before the first day of the contractual shipping period for communicating this information to the seller. Otherwise it might not be possible to complete the processes required for shipment within the agreed period - see also under "Port of destination" in topic 04.05.03 for more on how the GCA approaches this particular aspect. For immediate and prompt shipment or FCA contracts the destination must be declared at the latest on the first calendar day following the date of sale (and at the time of contract by GCA). Shipment must be made during a vessels last call at the agreed port of loading during that particular voyage. This rule is intended to exclude vessels that trade up and down the coast of a country with several ocean ports until enough cargo has been accumulated to make the main journey more profitable.

    The coffee must be shipped on a port to port or a combined transport bill of lading issued by a regular or Conference shipping line which, using one or more vessels, will carry the goods throughout the voyage without further intervention by seller or buyer. The line issues a B/L at the port of origin to cover the entire voyage, enabling the buyer to see the details of shipment on the first vessel and to claim the coffee at final destination from a subsequent vessel. (See also 05, Logistics.)

    Transshipment: the first vessel discharges at an intermediate port and the goods are reloaded onto another vessel to the final destination. This is increasingly frequent as shipping companies rationalize operations. In particular, the use of containers has encouraged the development of shipping hubs: larger or more central ports that are fed containers from outlying ports by smaller vessels for loading onto large container vessels.

    Shipping advice: as soon as the required information is available, the seller must advise certain specific details of the shipment.(But under the ECF's FCA contract sellers have just two calendar days to transmit advice of delivery).

    For a shipment on terms other than CIF (which the seller insures), the shipping advice enables the buyer to insure the shipment and either to make the necessary arrangements to receive it at the port of destination or (where the bill of lading allows such a choice) to declare an optional port of destination in time for the shipping company to arrange discharge there.

    A series of time-limits in ECC are designed to ensure that these objectives are met, and to give the buyer the freedom to procure a replacement parcel elsewhere if no shipment is forthcoming.

    The details to be included in the advice of shipment or delivery are listed in the ECF contracts. The buyer is entitled to receive such an advice, or an advice of delayed shipment/delivery, or an advice of force majeure. Failure to receive an advice theoretically entitles the buyer to take the drastic step of canceling the contract and claiming recompense for any loss suffered.

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