Understanding FedEx Carrier Commercial Invoices

Author: T Nguyen
March 02, 2012

Sometimes, there can be an overwhelming amount of forms to recognize and remember, when you are shipping items.  One of these forms is the FedEx commercial invoice when you ship packages internationally and will help clear the item through customs.  Here, we’ll better try to understand what the commercial invoice is and some tips on how to best fill it out.

Let's take a close look at the actual contents of a FedEx commercial invoice.  What it includes is the items being shipped, the cost of the freight, and the legality of whether or not the items are allowed to be sent internationally according to the port’s shipping standards.  Looking past just the freight cost, this commercial invoice will include the item’s weight, name, the shipper’s name and the final destination address.  Also included, much like any general shipping form, is a tracking number to help you track the package throughout it’s journey through the FedEx website in real time.

One positive aspect about the FedEx commercial invoice is that most of it will be already filled out by the staff.  They will double check the item’s weight and dimensions to ensure those have been entered correctly.  However, if you ship items on a fairly regular basis, you should have your own staff fill out the invoice and review it to save both time and make sure you don't incur any extra freight costs.  To do this, make sure your staff knows the correct boxes to fill out and understand what items your location’s government allows you to ship to their country.  Although items vary from country to country, some common prohibited items may include certain chemicals, drugs and foods both liquid and solid.

If you ship a fair amount of packages a month that reviewing and filling out such forms may cause quite a burden, you may consider using an invoice auditing service like Source Consulting.  Experienced parcel auditors will conduct a thorough audit of each individual shipment that appears on your carrier invoice, each of which can be a potential source of carrier billing errors and possible source of carrier refunds!

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