What Is a Shipping Manifest in Trade?

Official transactions and documents are of great importance for commerce as well as in all areas of life. Especially in export, documents are essential for the smooth and accurate functioning of the process. An important concept that exporters should know is the shipping manifest. In this article, we will define the shipping manifest in detail.

A manifest is a list of items shipped from the supplier to the final customer. The shipping manifest is not just a summary of the goods transported. It is a transport document containing detailed invoices of the products transported by the carrier by air, land, or sea transport.

The shipping manifest has various details given to the customs authorities. These details are information such as consigner, consignee, and number. Also, this document contains detailed information about the means of transport such as route and identification. Moreover, details of passengers and crew are included in the shipping manifest. It is important to have passenger and crew details to present to the customs department or other authorities. The shipping service provider is responsible for issuing a shipping manifest.

What Is the Purpose of the Shipping Manifest?

The most basic purpose of listing goods is to verify the number of boxes shipped. So, some information about the package is essential. These are the number of items, the type of package, and the recipient and sender information. Thus, this document identifies the goods that will reach the buyer.

Types of Shipping Manifest

There are different types of shipping manifests depending on the types of goods.

Cargo Manifest

The cargo manifest gives all information about the cargo, excluding freight charges. Quantity, type, sender, and destination are among the details of the cargo manifest.

Sometimes the cargo manifest can be confused with the bill of lading. A cargo manifest is a comprehensive list of all the items in a shipment. It has multiple bills of lading and cargo information on them. However, bills of lading may not be consolidated lists. Operators can create separate bills of lading for each customer.

The cargo manifest is quite significant for both buyers and sellers. It can also serve as a bill of lading. The bill of lading is a legal document confirming the title of the goods at a given time. The bill of lading usually gives the same details as the cargo manifest. Therefore, sometimes the cargo manifest serves the purpose of the bill of lading. However, if shipments belong to more than one company, companies must have separate bills of lading. If these companies have some dangerous cargo, they should also prepare a dangerous cargo manifest.

Freight Manifest

The freight manifest gives all the information about the cargo, including the freight charges. Either the shipper or the consignee pays the fees in the manifest. In other words, the cargo manifest contains details such as quantity and address. On the other hand, the freight manifest also specifies the freight charges for each shipment.

Dangerous Cargo Manifest

The dangerous cargo manifest lists hazardous goods and materials (HAZMAT). These are items or materials that could pose a great risk to people, property, and the environment. The United Nations has defined dangerous goods. Hence, it is an international standard term. The sender must classify dangerous cargo and specify it in detail. If the shipper does not provide the correct details, it is not possible to load dangerous cargo.

Reefer Manifest

Reefer is a kind of container. It protects cargo that is sensitive to extreme temperatures and temperature fluctuations. A reefer manifest contains details on refrigerated containers. These containers will arrive at different consignees. This manifest contains details such as the temperature and humidity settings of the reefer containers.

Out-of-Gauge Manifest

Gauge means abnormally sized cargo. Out-of-gauge cargo does not fit into normal packaging. This type of cargo also includes protruding items that require special packaging. Thus, an out-of-gauge manifest has details of the gauge cargo. Information such as weights and dimensions are among these details.

Import General Manifest

The shipper or carrier prepares the import general manifest. It is a list with shipping details. These details contain the information requested by the customs department of the importing country.

Container Manifest

The container manifest shows the contents and loading order of a container. It also contains information about the point of origin and the point of destination.

How to Prepare a Shipping Manifest?

There are specific guidelines for shipping manifests. It will be useful to examine the examples before preparing the document. Besides, there are shipping manifest templates available. When preparing the manifesto, you should pay attention to all the details you need to include. These details are as follows:

  • Package quantity and type
  • Document number
  • Description of merchandise
  • Number of items
  • Recipient information
  • Means of transport
  • Route
  • Sender information

This information is used for invoices and verification. The responsible party must prepare the manifest on the same day as the creation of the shipment.

Manifest Corrector

The shipping manifest is locked 72 hours after the items depart from the port of loading. However, customers sometimes request changes in shipping details. Manifest corrector is the way to make these changes. It indicates if there are any changes to the original bill of lading.

The carrier agent prepares this document at the port of loading. He then forwards it to the agent at the destination port. This agent delivers the document to the customs authorities at the destination. Nevertheless, the carrier agent will demand a fee for this process.

Automated Cargo Manifest

Port customs in some countries, such as the USA and China, require manifests through the Automated Manifest System. The responsible party must enter the details into this system within the specified time periods. Otherwise, authorities impose large fines for non-compliance with the rules of this system. There may be cases where shippers do not display the correct quantities of their cargo to avoid charges. If there are errors in the records, the authorities can seize the cargo. Thus, it's best to work with trustworthy shippers.

Your Cargo Is Safe with Turkish Goods


Turkish Goods complies with international standards and rules in the shipment of goods. We take pride in delivering the goods to you in the best possible way. Turkish Goods is the perfect solution for a successful shipment. For detailed information about our services, you can click here and contact us.