• Delivery to FOB : FCL (or CY) terms


    Up to this point there is no difference between shipping FCL (full container load) (CY) or LCL (less than container load) (CFS), since it is always the shipper's responsibility and risk that the coffee arrives at the point and time contracted for, usually FOB a particular vessel. (For a more detailed explanation of the terms LCL and FCL, see 05.01.08) The following are the additional responsibilities and risks an exporter assumes when shipping FCL.

    • The shipper is responsible for selecting a suitable container. This is not limited to deciding whether a type of container is suitable in principle: each individual container must be suitable for the carriage of foodstuffs. As per the bill of lading only the shipper is responsible for selecting a suitable container, for controlling its condition, and for preparing it in every respect for the voyage.
    • The shipper is responsible for proper lining of the container, or for enveloping the coffee in a suitable form.
    • The shipper is responsible for loading the correct quantity. Only evidence that the container has been tampered with will absolve the exporter from having to make good any short weights. The shipper is responsible for what is loaded into the container, right until the doors are closed.
    • It is solely the task of the shipper to prepare the container for the carriage of goods. Any damage that cannot be proved to have occurred from external causes is for account of the shipper. In this context changes in weather or temperature are not an external cause.
    • The shipper is responsible for proper stowage and must request the carrier to 'stow away from heat, cool stow and sun/weather protected' or 'stow in protected places only/away from heat and radiation' (i.e. no outer or top position). The European Contract for Coffee also stipulates that shippers shall pass on all relevant shipping instructions received from buyers to the carrier.

    Remember, the burden of proof is always on the shipper, who has to show that everything was in good order when the container left their premises or was loaded. If there is any doubt, the shipper will be held responsible, regardless of any supervision certificates issued by any party at origin.

    Such certificates do not provide an ultimate safeguard because only the verifiable facts at destination count. This does not prevent shippers from employing trustworthy persons with good knowledge to control and verify what is being done - their simple presence may already be enough to avoid manipulations. But, unless expressly agreed, such inspectors or inspection companies seldom assume any financial liability arising from their work. (Some supervising agencies do provide loss cover. See 10.10.00).

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