FOB Shipping Point vs Destination

what is fob shipping point

The point of FOB shipping point terms is to transfer the title to the goods to the buyer at the shipping point. Goods in transit should therefore be reported as a purchase and as inventory by the buyer, and as a sale and an increase in accounts receivable by the seller.

what is fob shipping point

The determination of who will be charged the freight costs is usually indicated in the terms of sale. If the Freight On Board is indicated as “FOB delivered,” the seller or shipper will be wholly responsible for all the costs involved in transporting the consignment. Where the FOB terms of sale are indicated as “FOB Origin,” the buyer is responsible for the costs involved in transporting the goods from the seller’s warehouse to the final destination. FOB is important for small business accounting because it sets the terms of the shipping agreement. FOB determines whether the buyer or the seller pays the shipping costs and who is responsible if the shipment is damaged, lost or stolen. FOB shipping point transfers the title of the shipment when the goods are placed at the shipping point. This is usually the seller’s loading dock, delivery truck, or postage office.

FOB Shipping Meaning

The earliest ICC guidelines were published in 1936, when the rail was still used – goods were passed over the rail by hand, not with a crane. The liability transferred as the cargo made it safely over the rail. Now with containers, it’s harder to know when items are damaged. Incoterms last included the term “passing the ship’s rail” before its 2010 publishing. In FOB shipping point agreements, the seller pays all transportation costs and fees to get the goods to the port of origin. Once the goods are at the point of origin and on the transportation vessel, the buyer is financially responsible for costs to transport the goods such as customs, taxes, and fees. With FOB Destination, the seller is responsible for transporting goods from the origin point to the shipping point.

Free on Board (FOB) Explained: Who’s Liable for What in Shipping? – Investopedia

Free on Board (FOB) Explained: Who’s Liable for What in Shipping?.

Posted: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 19:25:34 GMT [source]

Once the shipment passes the buyer’s port of destination, all liability will then shift from the seller to the buyer. Let us assume, Company A that is located in the Philippines buys Personal Protective Equipment from a supplier based in Taiwan, and the company signs an FOB shipping point agreement. If the assigned carrier damages the package during delivery, Company A assumes full responsibility and cannot demand reimbursement or replacement from the supplier.


When ordering items internationally, however, the options are different. At this point, decisions must be made concerning what means of transportation to use (third-party truck, train, and so on) and which service-provider to hire for the purpose. As a seller, one way to deal with this is estimating the cost and choosing the freight prepaid route, in which case the cost gets included in the purchase. The timing difference from shipping terms is typically just a few days and unlikely to affect periodic financial statements.

Errors on your bill of lading can often lead to shipping costs that you may not be responsible for, so with proper knowledge of these terms and shipping consulting, you can protect yourself from overspending. In the past, the FOB point determined when title transferred for goods.


Ideally, as a business owner, you need to know the FOB shipping meaning that we discussed above. For buyers, understanding what is FOB point and its impact can help them determine their legal rights and responsibility if the shipment gets damaged or lost while being shipped. Another term that is commonly confused to have the same meaning as FOB is CIF, also known as “cost insurance and freight”.

Does FOB Mean Free Shipping?

FOB stands for either “free on board” or “freight on board”. The term is used to designate ownership between the buyer and seller as goods are transported. FOB does not explicitly mean the transportation of goods is free.

FOB Shipping Point, Freight Prepaid – The seller pays for the entire shipping delivery, but the buyer assumes responsibility for the goods fob shipping from the Shipping Point. The risk transfer occurs at a different point when the goods are actually loaded onto the shipping vessel.