Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

PL (Packing List)

A packing list is a document that provides the exporter, the freight forwarder, and the ultimate consignee with detailed information about the shipment.

What is PL (Packing List)?

A packing list is a document used in international trade. It provides the exporter, international freight forwarder, and ultimate consignee with information about the shipment, including how it's packed, the dimensions and weight of each package, and the marks and numbers that are noted on the outside of the boxes.

Key takeaways:

Packing List is an itemized list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated.

A Packing List is a document used for Customs declaration.

While not technically a required document for Customs, a packing list is helpful to include in your shipment as it makes the import/export process easier for both shippers and Customs.

It provides a count of the product that is being shipped.

It serves as proof of the inland Bill of Lading.

Important details to include in a packing list are:


Shipper and exporter contact information

Consignee contact information

The origin address of cargo

The destination address of cargo

Total number of packages within this shipment

A detailed description of each package

The volume and weight of each package

The volume and weight of the entire shipment

Commercial invoice number for this shipment

Who prepares the packing list:

A freight forwarder (e.g. Seabay Logistics) or C&F agent relies on this to prepare the bill of lading and the documentation required for customs clearance. The packing list is also a key reference document for the customs authority of the importing country while assessing an inbound shipment.