Alibaba Trade Terms Demystified: Your Comprehensive Guide

Are Alibaba trade terms leaving you perplexed? No worries! We’ve got your back. In this informative guide, we’ll break down the complex world of international trade terms, making it as clear as day. Whether you’re a seasoned business pro or just starting your import-export journey, understanding these terms is crucial. So, let’s dive in and shed some light on the intricacies of Alibaba trade terms.

Basic 10 Alibaba Trade Terms

  1. EXW (Ex Works): Simplifying the Seller’s Role
    • Who bears the responsibilities?
    • Seller’s duty in ensuring safe delivery.
  2. FCA (Free Carrier): Seller’s Export Responsibilities
    • Export clearance and final delivery.
    • Buyer’s obligations.
  3. FAS (Free Alongside Ship): Ocean Freight Specifics
    • Seller’s role at the port dock.
    • Buyer’s overseas transit responsibilities.
  4. FOB (Free on Board): Seller’s Duties Until Port
    • Where seller’s obligations end.
    • Buyer’s documentation tasks.
  5. CFR (Cost and Freight): Sharing Costs and Risks
    • Seller’s role until the ship.
    • Buyer’s responsibilities beyond.
  6. CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight): A Full Package
    • Seller’s liability until import port.
    • Buyer’s role under CIF.
  7. CPT (Carriage Paid To): Shifting the Risk
    • Seller’s responsibility.
    • Buyer’s risk after delivery.
  8. CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To): Ensuring All Risks
    • Seller’s responsibilities.
    • Buyer’s responsibilities.
  9. DAT (Delivered at Terminal): Handover Point
    • Seller’s and buyer’s responsibilities.
  10. DAP (Delivered At Place): Final Destination
  11. DDP (Delivered Duty Paid): Maximum Seller’s Responsibility
    • Seller’s all-inclusive responsibilities.
    • Import duties and more.

Shipping Process

  1. Review the Shipping Regulations
    • Checking local and foreign regulations.
  2. Select the Suitable Shipping Methods
    • Pros and cons of different trade terms.
  3. Pick a Freight Forwarder
  4. Look for a Customs Broker
    • The role of customs brokers in the process.
  5. Gather Customs Information from Your Buyer
    • Navigating the customs paperwork.
  6. Get the Shipment Ready
    • Packing and size restrictions.
  7. Give the Order to the Freight Forwarder
    • Ensuring smooth handover.
  8. Follow up with Your Buyers
    • Customer feedback and satisfaction.


1. What are the advantages of working with freight forwarders?

  • Speed, convenience, and expertise.
  • Volume advantages and lower rates.

2. What are the most common Alibaba trade terms?

  • Applicable trade terms for various shipping modes.
  • The most common Alibaba trade terms.

3. How to decide the most suitable international trade term?

  • Balancing costs and responsibilities.
  • Trust, understanding, and shipping method.

4. What are the main differences between FOB and CIF?

  • Seller’s responsibilities in FOB.
  • CIF’s inclusive nature.

What’s Next

Now that you’ve unraveled the mysteries of Alibaba trade terms, you’re better equipped for your international business ventures. Whether you’re communicating with shipping companies, couriers, or your business partners, your newfound knowledge will set you on the path to success. Need more guidance? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Ningqu Sourcing for expert advice on international commercial terms and product sourcing.

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