Delivered at Terminal

What is
Delivered at Terminal

Delivered at Terminal” is an outdated incoterm that requires the seller to deliver goods at the destination terminal and cover all costs and insurance until then. Clearing import and any additional charge is then the buyer’s responsibility.  

Understanding Delivered at Terminal (DAT)

Delivered at Terminal (DAT) is a critical term within the realm of international trade, particularly relevant to freight forwarding practices. Although it has been succeeded by newer terms under the 2020 Incoterms® rules, understanding DAT remains vital for professionals dealing with historical contracts or those in regions still adhering to these terms.

Scope of DAT

This term required the seller to cover all costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the terminal and unloading them. Risks and responsibilities included transport (by air, rail, road, or sea), customs clearance for export, loading at origin, and unloading at the destination terminal. Importantly, once the goods were unloaded at the destination terminal, the responsibility shifted to the buyer, who then had to handle all import duties, taxes, and further transportation and insurance from the terminal to the destination.

Operational Implications of DAT

For professionals in freight forwarding, understanding the operational scope of DAT was essential for managing logistics and ensuring compliance with contractual obligations. The key elements involved in DAT operations included:

  1. Coordination of Multimodal Transport: Successful implementation of DAT required effective coordination of various transportation modes—be it ocean, air, or land. Freight forwarders had to ensure seamless transitions between these modes to meet delivery obligations.
  1. Customs and Compliance: Ensuring compliance with both the export and import customs regulations was pivotal. While the seller handled export customs clearance, the buyer needed to be prepared for import customs processes, making it crucial for both parties to have competent customs brokers.
  1. Risk Management: The transfer of risks from the seller to the buyer at the destination terminal necessitated robust risk management strategies, including adequate insurance coverage up to the point of delivery at the terminal.

Financial Considerations

From a financial perspective, DAT could impact the cost structure of a transaction. Sellers needed to calculate the total costs up to the point of unloading at the destination terminal, including transportation and handling fees, to provide accurate quotations and maintain profitability.

Transition to DPU

In 2020, the International Chamber of Commerce replaced DAT with Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU) under the new Incoterms® rules. DPU extends the obligations of unloading the goods to the named place of destination, not just a terminal. This shift was made to clarify and expand the responsibilities of unloading, making the terms more flexible and applicable to a wider variety of locations.


While Delivered at Terminal is no longer in use under the current Incoterms®, its principles continue to influence contemporary freight practices, especially in contexts where older contractual terms still apply. Professionals must stay informed about such terms to navigate global trade effectively.

To stay ahead in the dynamic world of freight forwarding with Shipthis. Whether you're dealing with historical Incoterms like Delivered at Terminal (DAT) or adapting to newer standards such as Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU), Shipthis provides the resources and expertise you need.  

Contact us for essential insights and tools to enhance your shipping and logistics strategies. Explore Shipthis now and elevate your freight forwarding knowledge!

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