CPT Incoterms: Navigating International Trade with Ease

Your Comprehensive Guide to Understanding CPT Incoterms

In the world of international trade, navigating the complexities of shipping can be a daunting task. From arranging transportation to managing documents, it’s a maze of processes. But fear not, for there’s a solution that can save you from this logistical labyrinth: Carriage Paid To (CPT) incoterms. At Ningqu, with over a decade of experience in China, we believe that CPT is the way to go. In this blog, we’ll shed light on the CPT incoterm and how it can be a game-changer in your trade contracts.

What is CPT Incoterms?

CPT stands for Carriage Paid To, an international shipping term introduced by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to simplify global trade. Under CPT, the seller takes on the responsibility of clearing the goods for export and delivering them to the carrier or a person nominated by the buyer. The seller bears all the risks until the items are loaded onto the shipment carrier, be it a ship or a truck.

When to Use CPT Incoterms?

CPT incoterms are gaining popularity for good reasons. They work best when you’re transporting goods overland from one location to another, making them an ideal choice for cross-border trade. With the seller assuming all the risks, it’s a win-win situation.

Buyer’s and Seller’s Responsibilities with CPT Incoterms

Seller’s Responsibilities:

  1. Handle Export Packaging: Prepare the products in export-friendly packaging.
  2. Loading Charges: Cover the loading charges of the shipment company when moving products from the warehouse.
  3. Delivery to Port: Manage all charges for transporting goods to the shipment port.
  4. Original Terminal Handling Charges: Pay the OTHC charges at the handling terminal.
  5. Loading and Freight Charges: Cover the freight charges and loading costs of the shipping company.
  6. Destination Terminal Handling Charges: Pay the DTHC charges when the items reach the destination terminal.

Buyer’s Responsibilities:

  1. Insurance: While not mandatory, buyers can opt for insurance and bear the associated costs.
  2. Delivery Charges to the Final Destination: Pay for moving products from the shipping port to the final destination warehouse.
  3. Unloading Charges: Cover the unloading charges of the truck.
  4. Import Duty and Fees: Handle the payment of import fees, duty, and other associated costs.

CPT incoterms offer a fast, easy, and cost-effective way to ship goods from China. If you have any questions or need assistance with your shipments, don’t hesitate to contact Ningqu.

Pros and Cons of CPT Incoterms

CPT incoterms place the responsibility on the seller until the goods reach their final destination, reducing transport risk for the buyer and simplifying the export process. However, buyers must handle insurance, while sellers take on various risks.


  • Reduces transport risk for the buyer.
  • Simplifies export requirements for the buyer.


  • Increased risk for the seller.
  • Buyer’s responsibility in case of multiple carriers.
  • Buyer’s responsibility for import documents and fees.

CPT Incoterms Risks

While CPT incoterms offer advantages, it’s crucial to understand the associated risks. Two key risks come into play:

Risk 1:

Accurate destination port location is crucial. The seller transfers all responsibility to the buyer once the shipment is loaded, and any inaccuracies can lead to problems.

Risk 2:

Risks are transferred as soon as the items are loaded onto the carriage. If the shipping method is sea or air freight, the buyer assumes these risks. Precise discussions on shipping methods and delivery points are essential.

CPT Incoterms Example

Imagine you’re a South Korean buyer purchasing small parcel shipments, such as glass bottles, from China. CPT incoterms are a perfect fit for this cross-border trade. With one carriage involved, typically by truck or air freight, the risks are transferred upon loading, making you responsible for the goods.

Learn more: Best 10 China Shipping Agents to Help You Ship from China

FAQs about CPT

  1. Does CPT incoterm include insurance?
    • No, CPT incoterms do not include insurance. Buyers must arrange and cover the costs.
  2. What is the difference between CIF and CPT?
    • While CIF and CPT are similar, CIF covers all means of transportation and freight methods, while CPT applies to containerized ocean freight.
  3. What is CPT pricing?
    • CPT pricing includes the total cost of delivering products to the selected destination, covering various expenses from manufacturing to delivery.
  4. What are the terms and conditions under the CPT contract?
    • The seller is responsible for arranging carriage to the named port, paying for product packaging, and handling transportation. The buyer is responsible for import documents, insurance, unloading costs, and transportation to their warehouse.

What’s Next

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has introduced a range of incoterms, each with its own set of responsibilities for sellers and buyers. With the Carriage-Paid-To term, the seller plays a significant role in ensuring a smooth trade process. If you have any questions or need guidance on international trade, feel free to contact us.

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