What is a Consignor/Consignee?

Part of the Freight Term Glossary


All shipments require the sender and receiver to assume the roles of consignor and consignee.


The consignor is the exporter of record for your shipment.

The consignor is usually one of the following:

  • The factory where your goods are manufactured.
  • The sourcing agent who serves as the main point of contact for your export and takes ownership of the export, including finding your factory and arranging necessary documentation.
  • The origin location if different from the factory (ie, the factory’s warehouse).


The consignee is the importer of record for your shipment. They are also responsible for paying duties and any additional freight charges.The consignee is usually one of the following:

  • You, AKA the buyer of the goods from overseas AKA the person who placed the booking.
  • Your client (if you represent someone who will serve as the final destination).

Note: If you are a US-based Importer shipping to a 3rd party like Amazon, or if your goods stop at an inspection service before they go to the final destination – these parties are NOT the consignee. The US-based importer is the consignee.

If you are shipping EXW or FOB, the consignee is responsible for freight charges once the consignor hands off to the forwarder.