Cost and Freight (CFR)

What is
Cost and Freight (CFR)

Cost and Freight” is a term used to describe a situation where the seller is obligated to cover the cost of transporting goods to the specified port of destination. This includes costs associated with freight, handling charges, and export documentation. The seller must contract for and pay the cost necessary to deliver the goods onboard the vessel. Once the goods are on board, the risk of loss or damage shifts from the seller to the buyer. The buyer, from this point forward, assumes responsibility for any risks and additional costs such as import duties, taxes, and delivery charges to the destination.

Responsibilities Under CFR

  1. Seller’s Obligations:
  • Contract of Carriage: The seller must arrange and pay for the carriage of goods to the port of destination.
  • Export Clearance: The seller is responsible for all costs related to the export of goods, including export duties, taxes, and customs clearance.
  • Delivery on Board: The seller must ensure the goods are delivered on board the vessel by the agreed date. They must also provide the buyer with the necessary shipping documents, including the bill of lading, which proves that the goods have been loaded onto the vessel.
  1. Buyer’s Obligations:
  • Import Clearance and Duties: The buyer is responsible for clearing the goods through customs at the destination port and paying any associated import duties and taxes.
  • Risk and Insurance: Once the goods are on board the vessel, the risk transfers to the buyer. It is advisable for the buyer to purchase marine insurance to cover potential losses or damages during transit.
  • Post-Arrival Costs: The buyer must arrange and pay for all costs associated with transporting the goods from the port of destination to their destination.

Advantages and Disadvantages of CFR

Advantages for the Seller:

  • Control Over Shipping: The seller can choose the shipping company and manage the shipping schedule, ensuring that the goods are transported according to their standards.
  • Simplified Process: By handling the shipping arrangements, the seller can streamline the export process and potentially benefit from bulk shipping rates.

Advantages for the Buyer:

  • Predictable Costs: The buyer can better anticipate the overall cost of the goods, as the shipping cost is included in the purchase price.
  • Reduced Initial Burden: The buyer is not responsible for arranging and paying for shipping from the seller’s location, simplifying the procurement process.

Disadvantages for the Seller:

  • Risk Transfer: Although the seller controls the initial shipping process, they must ensure the goods are safely loaded onto the vessel, as any damage or loss during this stage is their responsibility.
  • Limited Risk Control Post-Loading: Once the goods are on board, the seller has no control over risks during transit.

Disadvantages for the Buyer:

  • Risk and Insurance Costs: The buyer must bear the risk of loss or damage once the goods are on board and may incur additional costs for insurance coverage.
  • Unseen Handling: The buyer has no control over how the goods are handled during the initial stages of shipping, which may impact the condition of the goods upon arrival.

Practical Applications of CFR

In practice, CFR is commonly used for bulk commodities such as raw materials, agricultural products, and minerals. These goods often require specialized handling and transport arrangements that sellers are better positioned to manage. By using CFR, sellers can leverage their expertise and relationships with carriers to ensure efficient and cost-effective shipping.

For buyers, understanding the specifics of CFR is crucial for risk management and cost planning. Buyers must be prepared to take over responsibility at the point of loading and should have arrangements in place for insurance and onward transportation.


Cost and Freight (CFR) is a pivotal term in international trade, outlining the responsibilities and risks assumed by both buyers and sellers. By understanding the intricacies of CFR, parties can better navigate their roles in the transaction, ensuring smooth and efficient movement of goods across borders. Whether you are a seller looking to control your shipping process or a buyer seeking predictable costs, CFR offers a balanced approach to managing international freight.

Contact Shipthis today to discover how our advanced logistics platform can optimize your CFR transactions and enhance your supply chain efficiency.  

More Questions? or Let’s just connect!

Thank you! We will get back to you soon
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.