Curious to learn more about INCOTERMS? Read our handy guide to everything you need to know.


INCOTERMS were produced by the ICC (or International Chamber of Commerce) to replace some of the contractual words and phrases that are commonly used by different countries. Most commonly, you will find them used in trade agreements from the seller to the buyer.

Why Do We Need Them?

Some of the terms used in different countries will mean different things to different people. We think this is safe to say about most languages around the globe.

We can’t always expect everyone to understand exactly what we’re trying to say. That is especially true when the languages being used to communicate are very different. These INCOTERMS are there to break down those barriers. Their main purpose is to avoid any miscommunication that may arise when making a serious agreement.

INCOTERMS are used to explain carriage, insurance, and risk of loss terms. These words are globally accepted by countries and individual traders. As a global network of international partners, we see the value of using these terms daily.

Reducing The Risk

A defined language in a contract makes all of the difference. The main reason, and one we have seen along with tried and tested ourselves, is that it clearly reduces the risks at hand!

Are you wanting all parties to maintain their obligations? Most likely, you answered yes.

Language plays a major role in international trade and in order to ensure all parties know exactly what is expected, you will need to use the correct terminology. That is why we push for these terms. The best way to reap the benefits of using these terms in International Freight, Sea Freight or other transportation agreements is to include their definitions in your agreement.

INCOTERM Changes in 2020

INCOTERMS change every ten years. This is to make sure they cover everything they need to know. It is safe to say that all language develops overtime – as does this one.

The most important takeaway from this update is that the terms have been divided into four groups (C, D, E, F). They are sectioned based on fees, risks, responsibility for formalities, along with issues related to import and export.

Group C: Main Carriage Paid
Group D: Arrival Terms
Group E: Departure
Group F: Main Carriage Unpaid

If you would like to learn more about INCOTERMS then let us know. As experts in logistics and UK transport, we are always willing to share our knowledge and assist. Please contact us with any questions or for a quote.