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Shipping vs. Shipment: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on November 11, 2023
Shipping refers to the process of transporting goods, while shipment denotes the goods being transported.

Key Differences

Shipping is an action or process, involving the movement of goods from one location to another, typically by land, air, or sea. Shipment, however, refers to the actual group of goods or cargo that is being transported.
Shipping encompasses the entire process, including packing, loading, transporting, and unloading. Shipment specifically refers to the package or cargo that is sent from one place to another.
In shipping, the focus is on the logistics, methods, and means of transportation. In contrast, a shipment refers to the content, size, and nature of the goods being transported.
Shipping can involve various stages and processes, such as tracking, insurance, and customs clearance. Shipment is about the specific parcel or load, including its destination, sender, and receiver.
Shipping is often used in the context of the shipping industry or shipping services. Shipment, on the other hand, is used in the context of inventory, sales, and logistics planning.

Comparison Chart


Process of transporting goods
Goods being transported


Logistics, methods of transport
Package or cargo content


Industry, services, transportation
Inventory, sales, logistics


Various stages and processes
Specific parcel or load


In shipping services or industry
In context of sent goods

Shipping and Shipment Definitions


The process of moving goods from one place to another.
The company offers worldwide shipping.


A batch of goods sent from one place to another.
The shipment arrived at the port yesterday.


A charge for transporting goods.
The total cost includes shipping fees.


Goods sent by freight.
The shipment of electronics was delayed.


Sending goods to customers or destinations.
Online shopping has made shipping more common.


A package sent through a mail or courier service.
The customer is awaiting her shipment.


The industry involved in transporting goods.
He works in the shipping department.


Cargo transported in a single trip.
The next shipment is scheduled for Monday.


The logistics involved in transport.
Their shipping process is highly efficient.


The act of sending goods to a destination.
The shipment of the order was confirmed.


The act or business of transporting goods.


The act or an instance of shipping goods.


An amount charged for transporting goods.


A quantity of goods or cargo that are shipped together.


The body of ships belonging to one port, industry, or country, often referred to in aggregate tonnage.


A load of goods that is transported by any method (not just by ship)
We're expecting another shipment of oranges tomorrow.


The act of transporting goods
Shipment of hazardous waste on this route is strictly prohibited.


The act or process of shipping; as, he was engaged in the shipment of coal for London; an active shipment of wheat from the West.


That which is shipped.
The question is, whether the share of M. in the shipment is exempted from condemnation by reason of his neutral domicle.


Goods carried by a large vehicle


The act of sending off something


What is a shipment?

A shipment is a batch of goods being transported.

Does shipping include packaging?

Yes, shipping often includes packaging, along with transportation.

What is shipping?

Shipping is the process of transporting goods.

Can a shipment contain multiple items?

Yes, shipments can consist of multiple items or packages.

Does shipping include international transport?

Yes, shipping can be both domestic and international.

What information is needed for a shipment?

Details like the sender, receiver, and contents are needed.

Is tracking available for shipping?

Yes, most shipping services offer tracking of goods.

Are shipping costs based on weight?

Often, yes, shipping costs can depend on weight and distance.

How are shipping rates determined?

Rates are based on weight, volume, distance, and service type.

How is fragile cargo handled in shipping?

Special packaging and handling are used for fragile items.

Can a shipment be insured?

Yes, shipments can be insured against loss or damage.

What happens if a shipment is lost?

If insured, a claim can be filed; otherwise, the carrier may be responsible.

Can shipments be tracked in real-time?

Many shipping services offer real-time tracking.

Are there restrictions on what can be shipped?

Yes, certain items are prohibited or restricted in shipping.

Is a shipment always by truck?

No, shipments can be by truck, ship, plane, or train.

What is a shipping manifest?

It's a document listing the cargo, passengers, and crew of a ship or plane.

Can shipping be expedited?

Yes, many services offer expedited or express shipping options.

Do all shipments require customs clearance?

International shipments typically require customs clearance.

How long does a shipment take to deliver?

Delivery time varies based on distance, method, and service.

Can individuals send shipments?

Yes, individuals can send shipments through postal or courier services.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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