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Subject: Trade and Transport terminology was: Re: [ubl] Minutes of PacificUBL TC call 28|29 November 2005

Your comments are very timely as we have been discussing this issue 
within the UBL Transportation Subcommittee at length and are trying to 
come to some satisfactory solution that follows the terminology proposed 
by UN/CEFACT (see attached document and diagram). 

Sue Probert wrote:

>By contrast the transport messages are documents exchanged between
>consignor, consignee and Carrier (or Transport Supplier)within the Supply
>Chain transport processes. The transport messages exchange consignment
>information rather than shipment information. A consignment of goods is the
>subject of a Transport Contract between the Transport Services Buyer (Buyer
>or Seller depending on the agreed Terms of Delivery) and the Transport
>Services Buyer.
>The relationship between shipments and consignments is very important. A
>consignment can be part of a shipment, a complete shipment or multiple
>shipments. The detailed level of transport documents are Goods Items which
>have common Customs or Transport related characteristics. Each goods item
>can consist of one or more line items.
As per the TBG3 guidelines we have taken Consignment to mean "A 
separately identifiable collection of goods items (available to be) 
transported from one consignor to one consignee via one or more modes of 
transport. One consignment = One transport contract document".

and Shipment to mean "An identifiable collection of one or more line 
items (available to be) transported together from the seller i.e. 
original shipper, to the buyer i.e. ultimate consignee. Note: A shipment 
can be transported in different consignments"

But we have a problem with the idea of Consignment as a contractual 
arrangement and Consignment as the physical units that are moved in one 
collection of goods items.  Isn't it the Shipment that is the logistical 
collection of goods items?  Just as there are cases where a Shipment can 
be transport different Consignments, there are cases where a Consignment 
(contractual) can be split for transportation into different Shipments  
(for economics or ease of logistics).  The diagram shows this but the 
definitions do not.

Perhaps in the terminology entries the Note: against Shipment should 
read "A Shipment can transport different Consigments" and another note 
on Consignment should say "A Consigment can be transported in different 

>As shipments are related to orders as described above, there is definable
>set of relationships between order, shipments and consignments and also
>between goods items and line items. These relationships and the identifiers
>of the different information layers e.g. consignment ref, shipment ref,
>order ref, line item no and goods item etc. are vitally important in order
>to provide automatic trace and track along the transport chain and also to
>provide Customs organisations with the new  security information which is
>required for the protection of goods in transit worldwide.
Following the above idea allows us to identify Shipments (the logistical 
details) with the contractual Consignment(and Goods Items)  and 
trade-view Orders (and Line Items) as well as Transport Equipment 
(critical to the new security requirements).

Next week we hope to finalize the TSC proposal to the UBL TC  so we 
welcome your views on this.

tim mcgrath
phone: +618 93352228  
postal: po box 1289   fremantle    western australia 6160

DOCUMENT ENGINEERING: Analyzing and Designing Documents for Business Informatics and Web Services

JPEG image

TBG3 definitions v2 jan05.doc

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