John Pipe International est 1961

What do the 11 Incoterms Mean?
All 11 Incoterms Explained

Understanding Incoterms is essential for international trade. These terms, defined by the International Chamber of Commerce, clarify responsibilities in freight forwarding, export packing, and logistics. This guide covers the 11 Incoterms, applicable across various transportation modes, offering a detailed understanding of each term.

What are the 11 Incoterms?

Want to learn more about a specific Incoterm? Click the relevant box below to be taken to a detailed guide.

Sea Freight-Specific Incoterms

Four Incoterms are specific to sea freight: FAS, FOB, CFR, and CIF. These terms precisely define seller and buyer responsibilities in sea freight forwarding:

  • FAS (Free Alongside Ship): Seller delivers goods at the named port of shipment.
  • FOB (Free On Board): Seller delivers when goods pass the ship’s rail at the named port.
  • CFR (Cost and Freight): Seller covers cost and freight to bring goods to the port of destination.
  • CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight): Seller pays for insurance and freight to the port of destination.
Learn more about sea Incoterms

Universal Incoterms for Sea, Land, and Air Freight:

Seven Incoterms apply to all modes of transportation: EXW, FCA, CIP, CPT, DDP, DAP, and DPU. These terms provide flexibility for businesses operating across different transport modes:

  • EXW (Ex Works): Seller makes goods available at their premises.
  • FCA (Free Carrier): Seller delivers goods to the carrier or another party nominated by the buyer.
  • CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To): Seller pays for carriage and insurance to the named destination.
  • CPT (Carriage Paid To): Seller pays for carriage to the named destination.
  • DDP (Delivered Duty Paid): Seller is responsible for delivering goods and paying all duties.
  • DAP (Delivered at Place): Seller delivers when goods are at the disposal of the buyer.
  • DPU (Delivered at Place Unloaded): Seller delivers to a named place, unloading the goods.
Learn more about universal Incoterms

Practical Application of Incoterms

Incoterms clarify responsibilities concerning loss risk, damage, customs duties, taxes, and insurance procurement. They are fundamental in international trade agreements.

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This guide is a valuable resource for understanding your role and responsibilities in international shipping, helping you navigate complex logistics scenarios.

Freight Forwarding

As a freight forwarding company, we act as a bridge between businesses and the world of logistics. We understand that shipping goods from one place to another can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with different modes of transportation, customs regulations, and documentation requirements. That’s where we come in.

Our dedicated team of experts works tirelessly to handle every aspect of the shipping process. We collaborate with our clients to understand their unique needs and tailor our services accordingly. Whether it’s arranging transportation, coordinating with carriers, or managing customs clearance, we take care of it all.

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Air Freight

When businesses choose our air freight services, they benefit from our extensive network of airline partners and industry connections. We work closely with major airlines and cargo carriers to ensure that our clients’ goods are transported swiftly and safely to their destinations.

Our comprehensive air freight services encompass various aspects, including documentation, customs clearance, and tracking. We take care of all the necessary paperwork, such as airway bills and customs forms, to ensure compliance with international regulations. Our dedicated staff handles customs procedures, ensuring smooth clearance and minimising any potential delays.

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Land Freight

One of the key advantages of land freight is its versatility and accessibility. We offer flexible solutions tailored to meet our clients’ specific needs. Whether it’s full truckload (FTL) or less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments, we optimise routes and consolidate cargo to maximise efficiency and minimise costs.

Our experienced team coordinates all aspects of land freight, from route planning to documentation and customs clearance. We handle the necessary paperwork, such as bills of lading and customs forms, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and requirements. Our expertise in customs procedures helps streamline the clearance process, reducing any potential delays.

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Sea Freight

Real-time tracking is an integral part of our sea freight services. We provide advanced tracking systems that allow our clients to monitor their shipments’ progress from departure to arrival. This visibility enables businesses to plan their operations efficiently and keep their customers informed about delivery schedules.

Additionally, we offer value-added services to complement our sea freight solutions. These include warehousing, distribution, and supply chain management. With strategically located warehouses and efficient inventory management, we help businesses optimize their logistics operations and ensure smooth transitions between transportation modes.

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Specialist Freight

When businesses choose our specialist freight services, they benefit from our expertise and experience in handling specific types of cargo or specialised transportation needs. Whether it’s oversized, hazardous, temperature-sensitive, high-value, or delicate goods, we have the knowledge and capabilities to ensure their safe and secure transportation.

Our extensive network of trusted carriers and logistics partners enables us to offer tailored solutions for specialised freight. We collaborate with industry experts and specialised carriers who have the necessary equipment, certifications, and experience to handle unique cargo requirements.

Read more about specialist freight

Our services: How we can help...

For sixty years, John Pipe International have been a diligent provider of export services. Based in the South of England, we are fully equipped to handle your export packing and freight needs. Whether you’re shipping overseas or packing dangerous items, our team are on hand to assist with the logistics of your project. With our MPAS certification, we are happy to assist with military and defence exports.

Management team

It takes a dedicated team to manage global logistics. The John Pipe International management team have years of experience and background knowledge. Find out more about the people who will manage your export project..

Jon Bradley

Jon Bradley


Jon joined us more than 25 years ago from a strong engineering and manufacturing background. His appreciation of machinery and processes can provide assurance to our customers from packaging design to delivery, linking all the different logistical elements to ensure goods are packed, handled and exported in the safest and most efficient way.

Nathan Kennedy

Nathan Kennedy

Managing Director

Nathan was approved by the MoD as a Military packaging designer in 2012, after qualifying as a Military packaging professional. Coupled with his Dangerous Goods in Transit qualification, Nathan can apply this knowledge and experience to ensure any goods are packed in tried and tested containers.

What are the 11 Incoterms and What Do They Mean? All 11 Incoterms Explained

Jon Felton


Jon is the Works Director for John Pipe International, based at the Hampshire branch. He has been a logistics professional for over 25 years and has held management positions in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. This has allowed him to build strong customer relationships and offer a comprehensive service package for packing and shipping to our clients.