QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What Is A Cargo Manifest In Shipping? (2)


The Different Shipping Manifests

Freight Manifest

While the cargo manifest shows the name of the item, quantity and weight of each item, type of the item, and the name and address of the consignor and consignee, the freight manifest will also show the freight charges for each consignment on board the vessel. This is done for the collection of freight charges from the consignor at the port of origin or the consignee of the shipment from the port of discharge. The freight manifest may also be used for the calculation of freight commission, etc.

Hazardous Cargo Manifest

The hazardous cargo manifest lists all those goods or hazardous materials (HAZMAT) that are classified as hazardous cargo, carried onboard the ship. The details are as provided by the shipper following the correct hazardous cargo classification. Without the correct details, hazardous cargo will not be loaded onboard a vessel. This manifest has to be provided to the port and customs authorities, following the stipulated guidelines, before the vessel sails from the load port or reaches the port of discharge.

The hazardous cargo manifest would also show the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) codes of such goods, Medical First Aid Guide (MFAG) details, etc.

The IMDG code is a set of directives for the shipping of dangerous goods by a transport vessel. It is issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and updated once every two years. When hazardous materials are packed, the shipper has the responsibility of following the IMDG codes in packing that ensure its safety during the transport.

MFAG is a guide that is published by the World Health Organization (WHO) for handling accidents that involve dangerous goods, especially chemicals. It lists safety measures, first aid, and emergency procedures that are to be followed in the case of an accident where dangerous chemicals are involved.

Types of shipping Manifest

While onboard the cargo vessel, hazardous materials will follow a separate cargo stowage plan and handling instructions.

Examples of hazardous cargo are certain toxic or corrosive chemicals, compressed gases, radioactive materials, explosive materials, etc.

Reefer Manifest

A reefer or a refrigerated container is a shipping container that is used to transport cargo that is sensitive to extreme temperatures and temperature fluctuations.

Such cargo may consist of food items, pharmaceutical drugs, or sensitive electronic equipment that have to be stored and transported at specific temperatures and humidity levels.

A reefer normally operates using an internal refrigeration system or a genset. However, they may require external power during transportation over long distances.

A reefer manifest will have all the details of the refrigerated containers that are onboard the vessel for delivery to the different consignees at different destinations. The details would include the temperature settings, humidity settings, and other such requirements of the reefer containers onboard.

Out of Gauge Manifest

What is an Out of Gauge (OOG) cargo? An out of gauge cargo is cargo that cannot be packed in a box or does not conform to a square or rectangular packing. Also known as OOG cargo or AIL (Abnormal Indivisible Loads) such cargo may be abnormally shaped, sized, or have protrusions that require special packing and stacking requirements whether at storage or on the vessel. They do not fit into the normal shipping containers.

An out of gauge manifest will show the details of such cargo including its dimensions, weights, etc.

Examples for out of gauge cargo are blades of wind turbines, construction machinery, automobile trailers, etc.

Export Manifest and Import Manifest

Both the export and import manifest are the same as a cargo manifest. When it is submitted to the port customs at the time of the vessel’s sailing out of the port it is called an export manifest. The manifest that is provided to the port customs prior to or upon arrival of a vessel to the port is the import manifest. The requirement for the submission of these manifests varies from port to port. However, the most common requirement is to submit the export manifest to the port customs prior to the sailing of the vessel from the load port. For the import manifest, the general requirement is for it to be submitted to the port customs of the destination port when the vessel leaves the last foreign port of call prior to landing at the port of discharge.

Most of the port customs of the world are strict about the submission of cargo manifests. Failure to abide by the requirements may result in goods not being allowed to be loaded on the vessel or offloaded from it.

It is the carrier agent at the port of loading who usually prepares the cargo manifest. This agent may send a copy of the cargo manifest to his counterparts at the destination ports so that they may submit it to their respective port customs. Other than this, the consignees are informed of the arrival of their respective cargoes by the carrier’s agents at the discharge ports, upon receipt of the cargo manifest from the load port.

The cargo documentation can be said to be complete once the final cargo manifest is uploaded on the ocean carrier’s computer system. To avoid further changes to the cargo manifest, the vessel’s cargo system is locked after a certain period from the time of setting sail from the port of loading.

*To be concluded