Shipping & Logistics Company in India

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Difference between shipping and delivery

We have come to use the terms shipping and delivery without paying much heed to them. In fact, in logistics the two terms have completely separate meaning and a more focused approach to handling of goods. It would only be proper that the two terms are looked at in much greater detail so as to understand what covers which aspect of the process and where the terms fail in their meanings. 

Shipping Vs Delivery: What each term means?

Let us try to understand the usage of the terms shipped and out for delivery as has been used in many in the logistics field for some time now. 

What Is Shipping?

Despite the very similar approach that the two terms have towards handling of goods or consignments, they are completely different from each other. 

Shipping date is the date and time that the consignment has left the premises of the factory or the supplier’s warehouse. If a seller of a product has given you a shipping date, then it means that the goods would have left his warehouse latest by the date and time denoted. 

Once the shipping date on a consignment of goods has past, then it means from then onwards, the goods are on the way or in transit. 

What Is Delivery?

When a goods has been marked as being delivered on a certain date, it means that the consignment would be delivered at the final destination on or before the date and time as specified on the bill copy. 

Often it is possible that the goods would have been loaded and unloaded at more than one instance on the way to the customer. But this is of no consequence to the buyer and it is not specified on the bill. But what matters to the buyer is that the material gets to him by the delivery date, specified at the time of purchase of the goods. 

Difference Between Shipping and Delivery

Shipping and delivery can be differentiated based on when the customer expects the item to arrive. Shipping refers to sending an item from one point to another, while delivery refers to when the customer expects to receive the item. 

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Shipping generally takes places after an order has been placed and before the order is shipped. Delivery, on the other hand, refers to when the customer expects to receive the product.

It is also common practice to have the delivery date after the shipping date on goods. This is in order to factor in the time of transportation of the goods. 

When a consignment has been declared as having being shipped, then it follows that the goods have to reach the end user before the delivery date and time. 

How Controllable Are Shipping and Delivery Times?

Often the time of shipping is controlled by the time taken to finish a product at the factory and is within the control of the manufacturer. Or often the process is well understood that it is possible to give out an exact time of shipping of finished product to the customer. 

When it comes to the delivery times, it is often subject to a lot of uncertainties. More so if the good part of the transportation is being done by road. Even the best of infrastructure has hold up times and time taken to transfer the goods from one carrier to another. Thus, it is seen that often the delivery times are at best an estimated time of arrival of goods at the receiver end. 

But over the years as people get used to transporting goods from one place to another, it is possible to give out a day by which the consignment can be expected to be delivered to the owner. Here sufficient spare times are added to the whole process of transporting of the goods so that people get what they ordered in time and within expected time limits. 

Tracking The Goods While Out for Delivery

Modern day logistics have grown to such sophistication that it is possible to tell where exactly a particular consignment happens to be at a given particular time. This is made possible by using some of the high precision trackers and systems that keep track of where each parcel is being taken to. 

One of the drawbacks of the shipping times is that it can be given out in advance but there is no telling what is happening before the time has elapsed. That is the customer does not get to know at what stage of manufacture that the product is undergoing at any given time. There is no telling exactly when the product would be available for despatch from the supplier warehouse. 


In the current day scenario where a lot of commerce has taken on the online route, it becomes necessary to transport consignments from one place to another to fulfil orders. It does help to understand the differences between the shipping date and time and the delivery date and time. Often the delivery times are a factor of the distance as well as the mode of transport of the goods.