Every shipment, either simple or complex, essentially involves two primary parties: the consignor and the consignee. Today’s blog post will provide an explanation.

Who is the consignor?

Consignor is defined as the shipper, the entity sending or shipping goods to another party. Typically, the consignor retains ownership of the goods before receiving order payments.

For example, an individual consumer is buying a laptop on Amazon. Here the seller he places an order with is the consignor, delivering the laptop to the consumer’s place.

If you are an American Amazon FBA seller importing products from China, the product supplier you find is the consignor.

The supplier can be a factory or trading company. Usually, the supplier will engage their cooperative freight forwarder to arrange the shipment. And the forwarder will issue a bill of lading to the supplier, which represents the title or ownership of goods.

Consignee in shipping

Consignee is defined as the receiver of products. For example, any end-consumer is the consignee when shopping online. In export and import, the consignee can be the buyer or the third-party agent designated by the buyer to receive a shipment of goods at the destination port. Consignee info will be stated clearly in the B/L.

Consignee vs buyer

In most cases, the consignee is the buyer or importer. Of course, buyers can entrust a customs broker or freight forwarder as the designated consignee, who will take the B/L to handle customs clearance and pickup procedures.

Consignee vs notify party

Notify Party is the person who will be notified to pick up cargo when it arrives at the destination port. It can be the buyer or buyer’s agent. Usually, you’ll see “same as consignee”.

Can the consignee be the shipper?

Yes, the consignee can also be the shipper in certain situations. For example, the shipment is between two international branches of the same company.

Understand consignor vs consignee via example

Suppose a UK-based electronics retailer A orders a bulk shipment of Bluetooth headphones from a Chinese manufacturer B.

In this case, Chinese manufacturer B is the consignor. He owns Bluetooth headphones and is responsible for manufacturing, packaging, labeling, inspecting, and arranging the shipment to the designated port in the UK.

Electronics retailer A is the consignee. As the buyer of Bluetooth headphones, he will receive the products and sell them in local markets. If he doesn’t want to bother with the customs clearance process himself, he can also hire a freight broker to handle it and just wait for receiving goods at his retail outlets.

Here is a key point--cargo ownership--you need to note. 

Consignor is the supplier, the owner of the goods. Cargo ownership will be transferred to the buyer only after the supplier receives the order payment. If the buyer designates an agent as the consignee, the consignee does not have title to the goods but takes the B/L to deal with import customs clearance and take delivery of goods on behalf of the buyer.

Reading here, I hope you have a clear understanding of the consignor and consignee.

We are JingSourcing, a leading sourcing company in China since 2015. So far, we’ve helped 4000+ buyers source and ship products from China to the US, EU, and other regions. Based on long-term cooperative freight forwarders, we can ship your cargo at the best rate and in a flexible, smooth way.

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