Shipper Letter of Instruction Template

When preparing your goods for shipping internationally or domestically, a crucial document that often gets overlooked is the shipper letter of instruction. This letter serves as a critical guide for the carrier or freight forwarder, providing explicit instructions on how to handle, ship, and deliver your valuable cargo. To ensure a smooth and successful shipping process, it’s essential to create a comprehensive and well-crafted shipper letter of instruction.

Crafting a shipper letter of instruction requires clarity, precision, and a thorough understanding of the shipping requirements. By providing detailed instructions, you can minimize the risk of errors, delays, or misunderstandings during the transit process. It’s advisable to use a structured template to ensure all necessary information is included and organized in a logical manner.

shipper letter of instruction template

Essential Elements of a Shipper Letter of Instruction Template

A comprehensive shipper letter of instruction template should include the following key elements:

  • Shipper and Consignee Information: Clearly state the names, addresses, and contact details of the shipper and the consignee (recipient) of the goods.
  • Shipment Details: Provide a detailed description of the goods being shipped, including quantity, weight, dimensions, and packaging type.
  • Shipping Instructions: Specify the preferred mode of shipping (air, sea, or land), the desired transit time, and any special handling requirements (e.g., temperature control, fragile items).
  • Documentation: List all required shipping documents, such as bills of lading, commercial invoices, packing lists, and certificates of origin.
  • Incoterms: Clearly define the Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) that apply to the shipment, which outline the responsibilities of the shipper and carrier.

Additional Considerations for a Comprehensive Shipper Letter of Instruction Template

In addition to the essential elements above, consider including the following in your shipper letter of instruction template:

  • Payment Terms: Specify the payment arrangements for the shipping charges, including the method of payment and the party responsible for the costs.
  • Insurance: Indicate whether insurance is required for the shipment and provide details of the insurance policy.
  • Customs Clearance: Provide any necessary information for customs clearance, such as tariff codes, country of origin, and value of the goods.
  • Contingency Plan: Outline any contingency plans or alternative arrangements in case of unexpected delays or emergencies during transit.
  • Authorization: Include a clear statement authorizing the carrier or freight forwarder to act on behalf of the shipper and execute the shipping instructions as detailed in the letter.


By utilizing a well-crafted shipper letter of instruction template, you empower carriers or freight forwarders with the necessary information to handle and transport your goods efficiently and securely. It provides a clear roadmap for the entire shipping process, minimizing the potential for errors and ensuring the smooth delivery of your cargo. Remember to customize the template to meet the specific requirements of your shipment and keep a copy for your records.

Finally, it’s highly recommended to seek professional guidance from experienced shipping companies or freight forwarders if you encounter any complexities or uncertainties in preparing your shipper letter of instruction. Their expertise can help you navigate the intricacies of international shipping and ensure your goods reach their destination safely and on time.

Eric Abdoel

About Eric Abdoel

Erick Abdul is a seasoned legal professional with a Bachelor of Laws degree from Padjajaran University, Bandung. With 5 years of diverse legal experience, he excels in areas such as divorce and business law.