A Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) is a very important legal document and contract created between the shipper and the freight company that is organizing the export and logistics of your shipment.  It is a document used in International Trade which gives your freight company all specific instructions relating to the export of your goods.  The freight company will use this information contained in the SLI to correctly arrange the transportation of your shipment and provide ports, customs and shipping lines with all relevant information.  A forwarding instruction is a similar document that will directly give the shipping line the details of the export shipment.

An example of a Universal Shipper's Letter of Instruction:

The SLI will contain information as below:

  • Shipper's Details (Exporter)
  • Consignee Details (Importer)
  • Notify Party (if Required)
  • Shipper’s Reference Number
  • Shipment Type
  • IncoTerm
  • Port of Loading / Port of Discharge
  • Vessel Name, Voyage Number
  • Container Number
  • Seal Number
  • ISPM Packing details
  • Country and State of Origin (product)
  • Value and currency of goods sold
  • Hazardous Cargo – if Yes, UN#, Class, Packing Group + relevant DG documentation
  • Letter of Credit details (if applicable)
  • Shipping Marks
  • Documentation Instructions
  • All product packaging details, Total Number of Packages, sizes, weight
  • Commodity / Nature of Goods
  • Special Instructions
  • Signed Declaration – Name, Signature, Date
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