Port of Discharge

What is the port of discharge?

The port of discharge — sometimes called the port of unloading — is the port where the container or cargo is discharged by a shipper (i.e. where a ship or aircraft unloads its goods). At a port of discharge, a vessel will voluntarily offload part or all of its cargo to the respective consignee or recipient. The port of discharge may also be the port of destination, though this is not always the case for every importing shipment or shipping company.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between port of discharge and port of delivery?

    The port of discharge and the port of delivery are shipping terms that are commonly mentioned in the bills of lading, though there are some differences between the two. The port of discharge is the place where cargo is discharged by the carrier, whereas the port of delivery is the final destination of the container or cargo. While a port of discharge can be a sea port in a foreign country, a place of delivery is likely an inland location (away from the port of discharge).  

  • Can a port of discharge be changed?

    To change your port of discharge, a change of destination (COD) request should be directed at the shipping line. A COD asks to transport the container to a destination other than the one mentioned in the port of discharge or the delivery fields in the bill of lading. A COD is commonly used when the original buyer withdraws from the contract, and the seller finds a new or foreign buyer (while it’s still a transshipment). The COD is a very important request, and can create issues with the supply chain, freight rates, or international trade if not handled correctly.

  • What is a port of shipment?

    The port of shipment (or the port of loading) is where goods or cargo are physically placed on the ship. The incoterms for an international port of shipment provide necessary details about the exporters and importers, the demurrage, the customs clearance or tariffs, and more.