Shipper’s Letter of Instruction

The Shipper's Letter of Instruction is an authorization document provided by the seller or exporter to the agent (commonly known as a freight forwarder) consigning the approval to export the goods contained in the vessels. This letter of instruction consist the details pertaining to the shipping terms. In addition, the SLI includes directions for the agents regarding handling, storing, loading and unloading the shipment effectively.

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Importance of Letter of Instruction

Delegation of Authority

The SLI enables the agent or freight forwarder to act on behalf of the exporter in order to deliver the goods. The freight forwarder handles all information regarding port, marine insurance, and duties.

Essential information on commodities of goods

The SLI covers all necessary details about the goods loaded in the cargo. In addition, the SLI also allows the freight forwarder to have an idea about the weight, destination, and origin of the shipment. In the absence of SLI, the freight forwarder cannot handle the shipment.

Efficiency and effectiveness

The SLI is undoubtedly an effective document. Its primary goal is to provide smoothness to the workflow. In addition, it passes all the shipping duties to the freight forwarder, reducing the Shipper's involvement in the processing of the order.

Filling of Letter of Instruction

The Letter of Instruction must be duly filled by the exporter guiding the freight forwarder in processing the order. After filling in the details, the exporter forwards it to the agent to process it in accordance with the details and terms mentioned in the SLI.

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Details to Fill In Shipper's Letter of Instruction

Listed below are the details which must be duly filled in by the exporter.

Shipper and Consignee

While drafting the Shipper's Letter of Instruction, the details of the exporter (Shipper) and importer (consignee) must be filled accurately.

Destination points

The starting point where the goods are supposed to be loaded, to the destination points where the goods need to be delivered, must be duly filled in the SLI.

Details of Goods

The exporter must fill out the details of goods, such as weight, packaging, and description, before sending it to the agent.

Details of Parties

The details of all the parties, including in the shipment process, such as ultimate consignee, intermediate consignee, forwarding agent, and license number, must be duly filled in the Shipper's letter of Instruction.

Case Study

Liabilities of Freight Forwarder

Generally, an employer is held vicariously liable for the act done by an employee in the course of the employment. However, in relation to the agent/independent contractor and principle, all the liabilities of wrongful acts belong to the contractor. Hence, the freight forwarder would be held liable for all the inconvenience caused to the exporter or the third party.

The necessity of SLI for Export

The Shipper's Letter of Instruction is an essential document granting power and permission for the freight forwarder in order to act as an agent in terms of exporting the goods. However, SLI is not a legally binding document which requires the agent to carry it while discharging his duties. Nevertheless, the dependency of SLI may differ as per the norms and rules of other countries.


The freight forwarder utilizes the information contained under the Shipper's Letter of Instruction for various purposes, such as locations from where the goods are leaving to the destination where they arrive. In addition, the Shipper's Letter of Instruction provides agents with an acquaintance of the dimension and weight of the cargo. Moreover, the Shipping's Letter of Instruction can also be regarded as a one-time power of attorney ensuring the exporter performs due diligence to the freight forwarder.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 28 April 2023

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Policybazaar for Business - Marine Insurance - Customer Reviews
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Based on 114 reviews
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Based on 114 reviews
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3.8 April 20, 2023
Great Experience
I recently purchased Marine insurance from Policybazaar for my shipping business and I must say I am thoroughly impressed with their service and coverage. From start to finish, the experience has been smooth and hassle-free.Thankyou.
4.3 April 03, 2023
Provides Comprehensive Protection
When it comes to coverage, Marine insurance that i bought from PolicyBazaar has exceeded my expectations. It provides comprehensive protection for my cargo and vessels during transit, ensuring I can focus on my business operations with peace of mind. Thankyou.
4.3 March 17, 2023
Excellent Services
I highly recommend Marine insurance from PolicyBazaar website to anyone in the shipping or logistics industry. Their user-friendly website, comprehensive coverage, and excellent customer service make them stand out from the competition. With Policybazaar, I feel confident in navigating the high seas, knowing that my business is well-protected. Thank you, Policybazaar.
4.3 February 28, 2023
User Friendly Interface
The website's user-friendly interface made it easy to compare different plans and find the perfect fit for my business needs.Thanks
4.3 February 11, 2023
Prompt Services
I appreciate the transparency and honesty with which Policybazaar handled my claims. They were prompt in processing my claim and their claim settlement process was hassle-free.Thanks PolicyBazaar.
3.8 February 10, 2023
Exceeds Expectations
I recently had the pleasure of purchsing marine insurance from Policy bazaar website and I must say it has been an outstnding experience from start to finish. I am thrilled to share my positive customer review, as this truly exceeded my expectations. Thanks PB.
3.8 January 31, 2023
Easy Navigation
The ease of navigating the Policy bazaar website and finding the right marine insurance policy was impressive. The website's user-friendly interface and intuitive design made it incredibly simple to compare various options, understand the coverage details and make an informed decision. I appreciated the transparency provided throughout the process. Thanks.
3.8 January 21, 2023
Excellent Support
The customer service provided by Policy bazaar was decent. Their team was responsive, knowledgeable and went above and beyond to assist me at every step. Their professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction were truly commendable.Thankyou.
4.3 January 11, 2023
Sanjeev Rathor
Efficient Process
When it came to claims processing, Policy bazaar demonstrated remarkable eficiency and effectivenes. I had an unfortunate incident during the coverage period and filing a claim was a breeze. The entire process was streamlined and their team guided me throuugh every necssary step, making it hassle-free. The promptness with which my claim was setled reflected their commitment to their customers' well-being and peace of mind. Thankyou.
3.8 January 01, 2023
Comprehensive Coverage
I must mention the comprehensive coverage provided by the marine insurance policy I purchasd through Policy bazaar. It offered me the necesary protection and peace of mind. Thankyou PolicyBazaar.