Home > Freight Glossary > Shipper's Letter of Instruction

Why is the Shipper's Letter of Instruction important?

The Shipper's Letter of Instruction (SLI) is a vital document in shipping transactions as it provides detailed instructions from the shipper to various parties involved in the shipping process. It ensures clear communication and helps streamline operations, reducing the risk of errors or misunderstandings.

Who uses the SLI?

The SLI is utilized by the shipper, who is the party responsible for sending goods, to communicate instructions to freight forwarders, carriers, customs brokers, and other entities involved in the shipping process. It serves as a comprehensive guide, ensuring that all parties understand their roles and responsibilities.

What should an SLI include?

The Shipper's Letter of Instruction should include essential details such as:

  • Contact information of the shipper and consignee
  • Description of the goods being shipped
  • Shipping method, mode of transport, and routing instructions
  • Packaging and labeling requirements
  • Customs clearance instructions and documentation
  • Special handling or delivery instructions
  • Insurance coverage details
  • Any additional terms or conditions relevant to the shipment

SLI for exportation

In the context of exportation, the SLI plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with export regulations and facilitating the smooth movement of goods across borders. It provides documentation required by customs authorities and helps expedite customs clearance processes.

The Shipper's Letter of Instruction is a standardized document that can be obtained in various formats, including a shipper letter of instruction form or template. These templates are readily available online and can be customized to suit specific shipping requirements. Additionally, the SLI can be transmitted electronically or provided in hard copy format, depending on the preferences of the shipper and the requirements of the shipping transaction.