fob shipping

With Free on Board, the seller does have to load the goods on the buyer’s method of transport at the shipping point and may be responsible for them throughout the trip and to the final destination. Free on Board means the seller retains ownership and responsibility for the goods until they are loaded «on board» a shipping vessel. A Free on Board contract is much cheaper than a cost, insurance, and freight agreement. That’s because buyers have more control over the shipping logistics, including insurance and transport costs. Buyers are able to sign with the shipper of their choice and take as much coverage as they see fit to insure their shipments. The buyer assumes full responsibility for the goods as soon as they reach the destination port under a CIF agreement.

fob shipping

This is the point of primary transportation in which the buyer will now assume responsibility for the treadmills. The equipment manufacturer would not record a sale until delivery to the shipping point; it is at this point the manufacturer would record an entry for accounts receivable and reduce its inventory balance. When it comes to the point option, the seller assumes the transport costs and fees until the goods reach the port of origin. Since FOB shipping point transfers the title of the shipment of goods when the goods are placed at the shipping point, the legal title of those goods is transferred to the buyer. FOB shipping point is a further limitation or condition to FOB, as responsibility changes hands at the seller’s shipping dock.

FOB pricing —  what kind of costs are involved

Shipping orders and contracts often describe the time and place of delivery, payment, when the risk of loss shifts from the seller to the buyer, and which party pays the costs of freight and insurance. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find key insights into the nuts and bolts of FOB—from its basic meaning to its various designations like FOB shipping point and FOB destination. You’ll learn about freight prepaid options, when freight collect makes sense, and how these terms affect your bottom line and supply chain. Master the FOB terms, become savvy in international shipping, and take control of your shipping costs and responsibilities. It essentially indicates who is liable and responsible for goods if they are damaged, lost or destroyed during shipment.

  • While it is customary for the buyer to arrange insurance, this is often negotiated before confirming the sale.
  • The critical juncture in any FOB agreement is often the shipping point—whether it’s a loading dock, shipping port, or any originating port.
  • Doing any kind of international buying or selling means choosing the best way to ship goods.
  • Let’s say you’re in Dallas and purchase a bulk order of widgets from a San Francisco wholesaler.
  • The passing of risks occurs when the goods are loaded on board at the port of shipment.
  • When the voyage begins, the buyer then assumes full liability, including transport, insurance, and additional fees.

In the case of FOB, title possession and liability usually shift when the shipment leaves the point of origin. However, companies that ship goods in the United States must also follow the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Due to there being more than one set of rules, the parties in a contract must specify which governing laws they used for a shipment. Let’s say you’re in Dallas and purchase a bulk order of widgets from a San Francisco wholesaler. An «FOB San Francisco» shipment means you’re responsible for shipping them from San Francisco to Dallas and own the goods when the shipping company picks them up.


Another term that is commonly confused to have the same meaning as FOB is CIF, also known as “cost insurance and freight”. CIF is used by sellers to maintain primary ownership of their products until they are delivered to their destination. The seller also assumes all responsibility for the shipment of these goods, so they’ll cover the cost of insurance until the goods are in the buyer’s hands. Once the shipment passes the buyer’s port of destination, all liability will then shift from the seller to the buyer.

Domestic shipments within the United States or Canada often use a different meaning, specific to North America, which is inconsistent with the Incoterms standards. The difference is quite simple, FOB shipping involves the freight proceedings carried out by the buyer and FOB destination implies the agreed place of destination. Yet, as a part of discipline it can be agreed upon as a seller’s matter of concern till the port.

Overview: What is FOB in shipping?

FOB is a shipping term that stands for “free on board.” If a shipment is designated FOB (the seller’s location), then as soon as the shipment of goods leaves the seller’s warehouse, the seller records the sale as complete. The buyer owns the product en route to its warehouse and must pay any delivery charges. In North America, the term “FOB” is written in a sales agreement to determine when the liability and responsibility for the Nonprofit Accounting Best Practices and Essential Tips shipped cargo transfers from the seller to the buyer. When it is indicated as “FOB Origin,” it means that the transfer occurs at the seller’s shipping dock when the goods are safely on board the ship. Depending on the agreement, you may have to pay for part or all of the shipping and transport costs. Which may mean you’ll need to have a shipping company move the goods by sea or air from the seller’s country to your country.

fob shipping

Doing any kind of international buying or selling means choosing the best way to ship goods. If your business buys or sells overseas, you may be wondering about FOB, or “Free On Board” shipping. Assume a fitness equipment manufacturer receives an order for 20 treadmills from a newly opened gym across the country. Of the 11 different incoterms that are currently used in international freight, Free on Board (FOB) is the one that you will encounter most frequently. What is FOB shipping, how does it differ from other incoterms, and when should you use it? International shipments typically use «FOB» as defined by the Incoterms standards, where it always stands for «Free On Board».