Freight shipping companies are responsible for completing many tasks all at the same time. In order to fulfill the requirements of customs for international shipping, there are a plethora of forms and documents that must accurately be filled out, included, and filed appropriately. It does not take long for a large amount of paper files to pile up. As the amounts of these files grow, those in charge of managing shipping forms can easily become overwhelmed with trying to stay organized.

With computerized e-file software, all of this information can be stored in one place. This type of technology allows the user to keep an abundance of files in an easy to access program, right on their computer. When trying to stay on top of shipping document management, utilizing this type of service is not only going to be convenient, but it will also allow the company to run more efficiently.


Ocean Freight Shipping Documents and Forms

There are a large amount of ocean freight shipping documents that must be filled out for all shipping services. Both exporters and importers are responsible for ensuring that these documents are included and that they are filled out accurately. Some of the information that may be required for any one transaction includes:

  • Bill of Lading
  • Shippers Letter of Instruction
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Certificate of Origin or NAFTA Certificate of Origin
  • Inspection Certification
  • Dock or Warehouse Receipt
  • The Shipper’s Export Declaration or SED
  • Export License
  • Letter of Instruction
  • Packing List

The type and number of ocean freight shipping documents that must be presented is dependent on where the merchandise is coming from, and where it is going to. By keeping everything organized in an electronic file, there is a reduced chance for problems or issues that could delay or stop a shipment.


Dock and Warehouse Receipts

Dock and warehouse receipts are forms that are used to verify the ownership of the merchandise being stored, sent, or received. After an individual or company drops of their goods at a warehouse or dock, they are given a receipt. This document shows what has been deposited, where it is being stored, and all the other essential information related to that specific shipment. This receipt is then used to gain access to whatever is being stored there. In some instances, the receipt is transferred to the person that is going to pick up the shipment. They just have to show the receipt to the warehouse or dock, and the merchandise is released to them.

These receipts, if damaged or lost, can create a big problem when trying to retrieve whatever is in storage. By storing them electronically, there is virtually no risk of this problem occurring during the transfer of the document. This is a way to efficiently take care of managing shipping forms.


Importance of Proper Shipping Document Management

Efficient shipping document management is what every freight shipping company strives for. Not only does it improve the productivity of the business, it also relieves the headache and frustration that goes along with trying to keep all the documents organized.

Proper shipping documents are also important on a legal level. The government is responsible for recording and reporting the statistics that go along with international shipping. Because of the laws and regulations in place, they must have access to shipping documents. With proper management, the shipping company can produce these documents in a professional manner preventing any problems that may otherwise occur.


Benefits of Having the Correct Forms Available

No freight shipping company ever knows when a government official or customs agent is going to request to see any of the required freight shipping forms. When it happens, and the shipper is not prepared, there can be delays, suspensions, and even complete stops put on the shipment that is going out. This is going to cost the shipper money and create a problem with the business trying to ship their goods. With electronic software being utilized, such as through eFileCabinet, there is never any question where those documents are, and the ability to access any one of them upon request is guaranteed.

eFileCabinet is also beneficial because it can prevent a shipper from accruing fines associated with not having the proper information ready to go when it must be produced. An authorized employee can be notified when any of the freight shipping forms are being asked for, and he or she can go into the system and quickly pull it up for the agent or other official to review.

If you’re ready to get electronic software for your shipping company, you can try a free 15-minute demo by visiting the eFileCabinet website. Here, you will be walked through a step-by-step instruction of what features and benefits can be accessed by purchasing their service. As a freight shipping company, it is important to remain organized while handling the many freight shipping forms and other documents necessary to complete the job, and eFileCabinet can help.