“Delivery Order” (or D/O for short ) is one of the most important shipping trading terms you will hear when you are shipping something internationally as sea freight, just like the term “bill of lading,” especially around the time when your shipment arrives at the port of destination.
A Delivery Order is a shipping document issued by the carrier’s destination agent or office in exchange for the original bill of lading and related charges that must be paid to them. A copy of the surrender bill of lading (or a sea waybill) will do if the bill of lading has been surrendered at the origin. Get more information on the page about the surrender bill of lading. In some cases, they issue a sea waybill and in this case, too, a copy will do. Surrendering the bill of lading may take the form of a telex release.
A D/O is an instruction to release the cargo to the parties who have the legal right to receive it. Those parties include the actual consignee or a customs broker who appears as a “notify party” on the bill of lading.
By submitting the Delivery Order to the right party such as the carrier’s destination agent or office, the consignee can take the delivery of the cargo from the port warehouse or the bonded terminal / warehouse after it has cleared customs. In other words, one cannot take delivery of the cargo with just the permission of import from the customs office. A D/O is required as well.
A Delivery Order is issued by the carrier’s destination agent or the office, in other words, the “releasing agent” at the destination. Without this document the shipment cannot be released, even if it has cleared customs.
This means that while the consignee must arrange for clearance of the cargo through customs at the destination country, he also must make an arrangement of physically having the cargo released from the warehouse. In a sense a D/O plays a role of exchange ticket.
Workers at the bonded terminal or warehouse (Container Fright Station) must make sure that the process of customs clearance and D/O have both completed when releasing the cargo to the consignee or the nominated customs broker.
So, the carrier’s destination office or agent issues a Delivery Order. How can one start making this process?
This depends on who custom clear the shipment. i.e. will you be custom clearing the shipment yourself by going to the customs office or will you be using the services of some customs broker?
If you custom clear yourself, you need to submit the bill of lading to the carrier’s destination agent and also make a payment for the destination charges such as terminal, their handling, D/O charges or the alike. If you are using the services of some customs broker, they will take care of this on your behalf.