Types of International Shipping

In international shipping, there is a clear distinction between the tramp and linear forms of shipping. Tramp trade is characterized by a lack of systematic transportation. Typically, for tramp shipping, a carrier is not connected to a permanent navigation area, ports of loading and unloading. The cost of such transportation is established by agreement of the parties and depends on the market of transport services.

The linear form of shipping is characterized by its regularity, the consolidation of ships to the sea lines. The implementation of traffic in such shipping involves the movement of ships between certain ports on a previously announced schedule, or with a certain established frequency.

Linear shipping requires solving a set of organizational and technical issues, such as opening regular shipping lines and assigning to them groups of specifically named vessels of the same type. Ships of the same type are those possessing the same characteristics with respect to the capacity, speed, equipment, age, required set of devices, availability of special facilities, etc. These are also issues related to the timely preparation of vessel schedules. Such schedules are usually developed for the quarter ahead and contain the necessary amount of information for the consignors to solve logistical tasks.

The main advantage of liner shipping is the regularity and speed of delivery of goods to destinations. It is characterized by the transportation of goods in small lots, the dispersion of cargo traffic between a significant number of ports, the presence of a large number of senders and recipients.

The two types of international shipping correspond to the main types of international delivery - charter delivery and bill of lading delivery.

Charter shipping is a form of transportation, which is characterized by two aspects, firstly, it is not regulated in international legal acts; secondly, they are inherent to tramp shipping. The main source of their regulation are the norms of national legislation. In addition, pro forms are widely used in charter shipping, which are developed by maritime shipping companies, as well as international maritime organizations. The norms of national legislation governing charter transportations are inherently dispositive. This aspect will give the parties the freedom to work out the terms of a contract.

Shipping that utilizes bill of lading is carried out on the basis of the contract, which is called the bill of lading. This type of transportation is governed by international legal sources. The norms of international conventions and agreements, the effect of which extends to transportation under a bill of lading, are mainly mandatory. Therefore, the parties must strictly comply with their requirements.

In addition to these two main forms of transportation of international shipping, there are also some other types of contracts, such as time charter and bareboat charter. These are agreements on the provision of a vessel with a crew or without a crew for a certain time for the carriage of goods, passengers, and for other purposes of merchant shipping.

DHL: Various Nuances of Work

The DHL started in the USA 45 years ago: three American entrepreneurs began to deliver international correspondence by air, and this service turned out to be in huge demand. Today, DHL operates in 220 countries around the world. In the case of express delivery, a parcel arrives at an addressee a day after it was sent.

In all countries, DHL Express interacts with customers in a specific pattern. They have an international standard, and it is important for them to comply with it at any service station. Delivery is generally a very structured business. If everything wasn’t laid out to all the employees of all the departments in advance, then the process will turn into complete chaos.

Customers and Products

DHL mainly works with corporate clients. If an electric motor broke on some large conveyor and it needs to be urgently changed, then the companies turn to DHL, asking to deliver a spare part from one factory to another. Individuals, as a rule, make purchases in online stores - this is not exactly DHL’s profile, but DHL works with these clients from time to time. 

When it comes to regular clients that don’t own a business, DHL usually delivers clothes and electronics, the latter implies a harder process of transportation and delivery since they need to be specially certified. Enterprises deliver spare parts, some missing components, consulting companies deliver documents. Often DHL delivers product samples so that, before making a large order, a client can test a product. A large volume of DHL’s cargoes is biological samples, for example, blood, which is transported as part of drug testing.


Customs legislation varies from country to country, but the principles of customs work are the same in almost every single country in the world. Of course, there are different groups of goods, there are special customs rules, different types of duties – an entire book can be written about it. A cargo simply has to be registered on the basis of the legislation of the countries from which it is being exported and where it arrives.

DHL Express has all the needed information about customs procedures in each country. The company has information about each cargo that they ship or receive, they give customs inspectors everything they need. As for most of the goods that DHL delivers, it takes only about an hour to get them out from customs.

Transportation difficulties

There are many difficulties in any business, and they arise everywhere, this also applies to delivery services. The work of an airport, tornadoes, floods, storms, volcanic eruptions, dispatchers' strikes - all this can lead to flight delays, and sometimes, to a complete cessation of flights. In addition, there are difficult regions and countries - Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. And this is not to mention the most basic of issues such as traffic jams, the human factor or some very remote address. That is why it is so important to work by standards and have some kind of backup option in everything that a delivery service does.


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