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Blind Shipment

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What is a Blind Shipment?

A blind shipment is used when a seller does not wish the customer to know who the original producer or seller is. This type of shipment is usually requested by a distributor who wants goods to be shipped directly from the producer to the customer but does not want the customer to have access to the supplier’s information. Blind shipments can also be used to conceal if a product or item was shipped from third party vendors.

To achieve the blind shipment, the third-party vendor’s information is removed from the shipping label and later replaced with the seller’s information, thus making the customer ‘blind’ to where their order is coming from.

Why do shippers or consignees choose to ship blind?

Blind shipments are requested by distributors who want their suppliers to drop-ship directly to their customers. In such cases, customers who order from this distributor assume that the product ships from the distributor, versus a third-party manufacturer or shipper. The distributor’s information may be left blank on the Bill of Lading. In other cases, the Bill of Lading will have the name of the distributor as the shipper. This keeps the customer from having direct access to the supplier and consequently buying directly from them rather than the distributor.

How do I make a Blind Shipment?

For a typical blind shipment, you should create two different Bills of Lading. The first will be used by the shipper when picking up the goods. The second will be used by the carrier at the time of delivery. If the shipper is the blind party, your first Bill of Lading will be indicated as the ‘blind’ or ‘dummy’ BOL, and the second one will be considered the ‘real’ BOL.

On the other hand, if the consignee is the blind party, then the first Bill of Lading will be considered as the ‘real’ BOL and the second will be considered as the ‘dummy’ or ‘blind’ BOL. Once the shipment has been picked up and is in transit, the carrier will switch the BOLs to make sure that the shipment goes to the correct destination.

** Most carriers request notification in the case that the shipment is blind so that they can make sure to switch the BOLs. Other carriers require documentation to confirm the process.

Do blind shipments have any restrictions?

Yes. Some carriers place restrictions on blind shipments to make sure that they bill correctly. In this case, carriers accept false names of businesses with incorrect addresses and phone numbers, however, the city and zip codes must always match with that of the actual business.

Other carriers only require that the zip code is correct when shipping the goods. Some other carriers allow for the entire address and contact information to be incorrect. All of this depends on the carrier, so it’s important to ask them whenever you’re booking your blind shipments.

What is a double-blind shipment?

During a Double-blind Shipment, the shipper is unaware of where a shipment will be delivered to and the consignee is unaware of the origin of the shipment. Essentially, both parties are ‘blind’ to the entire shipment process. This keeps the distributor from directly contacting a customer as well as the customer from contacting them.

Need help? Reach out to one of our experts to make sure you don’t miss any important documents in the import process.


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