What Is an Arrival Notice?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 January 2020
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Also known as a notice of arrival, an arrival notice is a notification that is prepared by a carrier or agent to let the recipient or consignee know that the shipment has arrived. Typically, the detail contained in this type of freight arrival notice will include a general description of the goods received, as well as information about the number of units that have arrived, and any charges that must be settled at the time of pickup. The exact structure of an arrival of notice will depend on the requirements put in place by the port where the goods are received and any laws or regulations that the port must comply with.

The purpose of an arrival of notice is to inform relevant parties that the goods have arrived at the port and are awaiting pickup. In some cases, the notice must be submitted in advance, allowing the port to assign berth locations to arriving vessels. When this is the case, the form is usually referred to as an advance notice of arrival (ANOA), and will require information on the vessel itself, including dimensions and the nature of the cargo that is carried. This in turn allows port authorities to grant permission to dock in an area where the goods can be unloaded safety and stored if necessary until the consignee or recipient arrives to claim the goods, pay any appropriate charges, and transport the goods from the port area.


Along with details regarding the size, weight, and number of units involved in the inbound shipment, an arrival notice may also require details such as the name of the vessel requesting berth at the port, the last port of call before arrival, and information regarding insurance coverage on the vessel itself. Other information may be requested on the arrival notice, such as the name of the vessel, the agency that is responsible for the vessel, and whether or not the vessel will need to load or unload at more than one berth, may be required. Information of this type aids the port in receiving the vessel in a timely manner and also will help in the assigning of one or more berths to manage the loading and unloading processes.

Using a freight arrival notice to notify relevant parties of the arrival of the carrier can aid in expediting the timely unloading of the goods, the claim of the goods by authorized parties, and allowing the carrier to take on additional freight for an outbound journey. By aiding recipients to know when the cargo is anticipated to arrive or that it is already in port, it is possible to claim and arrange the processing of the cargo quickly, allowing the new owner to take possession of the goods as soon as they have cleared customs. Since the laws and regulations that apply may vary from one country to another, becoming acquainted with how arrival notices are structured at each port and whether advance notices are required, will aid in planning for claiming and transporting goods from the port.


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