Meaning of Shipper

A shipper is a person who sends the cargo from the load port/point of origin.

What is Shipper?

In simple language, we can say that a “Shipper” is a sender of cargo under the contract of carriage. He is a person (including a company) who is responsible to arrange the consignment and initiating the shipment.

It is true that a Shipper, in most cases, is an exporter who is a trader or a manufacturer of the goods sold under the sales contract. However, it is not unusual in export trade to put the name of an agent or a forwarder in place of “Shipper” for various purposes.


1)            When an exporter moves cargo under a “House B/L”; the forwarder puts his name as a Shipper in “Master B/L” for procedural and technical hold over the shipment.

2)             When a company is not registered in the local market from where it intends to export the goods.

Shipper’s endorsement:

In the shipping industry, transport documents such as a bill of lading always find Shipper’s endorsement on its back. This conveys the transporter (carrier) that the goods are to be delivered to the person as endorsed by the Shipper or as per his instructions. It becomes even more important in a case where a B/L is a “to order” B/L as it becomes a negotiable document in the hands of the holder of such B/L.   

Can there be more than one Shipper in a B/L?

There can not be more than one Shipper in a bill of lading. However, there is a prevalent practice in merchant trade, especially in case of a third country shipment, wherein the seller and the shipper belong to different countries. This practice is followed where the seller wants his name to be reflected on the bill of lading despite not belonging to the same country from where the cargo gets shipped. 


“ABC Trading Company” of Dubai sells engineering machines to “XYZ Pvt. Ltd. in Kenya, but the machines are to be manufactured and shipped by “Machine Monk Ltd.” based in India.

Now, in this case, the ABC Trading Company may not have an issue declaring the original manufacturer to the buyer but wants to clearly convey the message that it is in a very good understanding with the manufacturer and that the manufacturer has shipped goods under their instructions.

In such types of B/L, you will usually find something like below mentioned as for the Shipper –

Machine Monk Ltd.
Full Address, Mumbai,
On Behalf of “ABC Trading Company” Dubai