Carriage Paid To (CPT) Explained: What Does Carriage Paid To (CPT) Mean? 

Carriage Paid To (CPT) is a term used in international trade where the seller is responsible for all risks, including loss.

The risk transfer takes place at a separate time from the cost transfer, and two places are important for the CPT: the delivery location and the destination location. If the buyer and seller can’t agree on a specific location, the buyer has no say in where the items will be sent.


What Are Incoterms? 

The responsibilities of buyers and sellers in cross-border transactions are laid out in Incoterms, a collection of terms used in international business. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) made them in 1936, and they have been changed several times since then to keep up with changes in how business is done around the world.

Incoterms are a set of rules about how goods should be delivered, how risk should be shared, and how costs should be split between buyers and sellers.

By spelling out what each party has to do and who is responsible for what, they hope to avoid the misunderstandings and disagreements that often happen in international trade.

There are currently 11 Incoterms, each with a unique three-letter code. 

What Carriage Paid To (CPT) Mean In Shipping Terms?

“Carriage Paid To” (CPT) is a term used in international trade that means the seller sends the goods at their own cost to a carrier or someone else the seller chooses. As long as the products are not in the designated party’s care, the seller is responsible for all risks, including loss.

Under the terms of the contract of carriage, it is usually the seller’s responsibility to pay for all costs related to getting the goods to the destination point. Once the items have reached the place where they are to be delivered, most of the costs are passed from the seller to the buyer.

It’s crucial to understand that the risk transfer takes place at a separate time from the cost transfer. Two places are crucial under the CPT: the delivery location (where the risk is transferred) and the destination location, where the seller agrees to enter into a carriage contract.

In the contract of sale between the buyer and the seller, these two places should be made clear. When more than one carrier is involved and each one is responsible for a different part of the trip from delivery to destination, it is important to know where the delivery took place. The risk is thought to have passed once the items have been given to the first carrier at a location chosen by the seller alone. If the buyer and seller can’t agree on a specific location for delivery, the buyer has no say in where the items will be sent.

As this is the point at which the seller must contract and pay for shipping, both the seller and the buyer should be as clear as possible about this location in the contract of sale. 

Incoterms and Carriage Paid To (CPT)

What Is the Difference Between Carriage Paid To (CPT) and Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIF)?

Similar to CPT, Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) is only utilized when items are carried over waterways (ocean freight, inland waterways, etc.).

Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) also says that until the items are loaded onto the freight vessel, the seller is responsible for all risks and costs, including insurance. Contrarily, Carriage Paid To (CPT) covers all modes of transportation, and the seller is responsible for all costs and risks up until the items are handed off to a carrier.

What Is the Difference Between Carriage Paid To (CPT) and Delivery Duty Paid (DDP)?

With a Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) agreement, the seller is responsible for all risks and costs during the shipment’s journey to its final destination. On the other hand, a Carriage Paid To (CPT) agreement limits the seller’s responsibility to the time until the first carrier gets the shipment. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Carriage Paid To (CPT)

Whether CPT is good or bad for you depends on whether you are the buyer or the seller in a deal. CPT is good for the buyer because it greatly reduces the risk that comes with shipping goods. 

On the other hand, the seller is responsible for any loss or damage to the goods until they are in the hands of the carrier. This makes shipping goods riskier for the seller.

Still, CPT could be helpful for a seller because it could make a buyer more likely to buy. For instance, if a consumer wants to buy a product but is hesitant because of the hazards of shipping from a supplier far away, they might decide against it, or they might choose to buy from a provider who is nearby but not necessarily superior. 

If the supplier pays for all costs up until they reach the carrier, the customer may be more likely to make the purchase because the buyer’s risk is lower.

The buyer benefits from CPT because it gets rid of the hassle of paperwork and red tape. The seller would take care of all the legal steps needed to ship the goods, such as choosing a carrier, handling taxes and duties, and taking care of any other export-related steps.

Who Should Use Carriage Paid To (CPT)

According to the trade term “Carriage Paid To,” the seller is responsible for delivering the products to the carrier or freight forwarder that the customer has chosen and for paying the freight costs to transfer the items to the location that the buyer has chosen.

Because CPT is often used in international trade, it is important for both the buyer and the seller to understand what their responsibilities are under the rules.

Sellers that are in charge of shipping items to customers who are located abroad typically use CPT. Manufacturers, wholesalers, and other companies that conduct business worldwide may fall into this category. By using CPT, the seller will say that they will ship the items to the chosen carrier or freight forwarder and pay for the shipping costs.

When buying things from a seller in another country, buyers can also use CPT to say that they expect the seller to take care of shipping and pay the freight costs.

In the end, CPT is a tool that buyers and sellers use in international trade to figure out who is responsible for shipping goods to a certain place and paying the freight costs that go along with it. 

Which Incoterm is Best For Your Business?

If you want to know what your responsibilities are and avoid taking unnecessary risks, you should know the most common Incoterms used in international shipping contracts. But you can always ask Forceget for help if you’re still not sure what you need to start doing business around the world.

Forceget tells exporters and importers that because they are experts in international shipping, they should choose the Incoterm that works best for them.