What's an FOB? Or a CIF for that matter?
When shipping to or from an overseas country, you need to understand the proper purchase & freight terms dictating costs and responsibilities. After all, who likes dealing with unexpected costs, or worse, disasters associated with misunderstandings and incorrect interpretations? Obviously, nobody, but with international freight, you're dealing with other countries, which means different customs, different languages, and different expectations - all of which will impact your shipments.
In one of my recent posts, I outlined a project that we took on after the shipper painted himself into a corner by not having his basis covered before putting all of his belongings in a container heading for Germany. (read more about it HERE)
The point I always try to express is that we want to start off on the right foot, because there are things we can't control, like customs inspections, labor issues, or other political, economic, or environmental challenges - and I would rather help you navigate through those, rather than things that could have been avoided if a little more care were taken in the planning process.
Terms are so important when working with foreign entities where language and cultural barriers may exist, so I've put together something that will take the mystery out of the shipping process for those of you who are concerned about protecting your investment and knowing your responsibilities - Your 2010 Incoterms: