What is Door-to-Door, Door-to-Port, Port-to-Port, Port-to-Door

Navigate International Shipping with Ease

International shipping doesn’t have to be daunting. With a range of services like door-to-door, door-to-port, port-to-port, and port-to-door, freight forwarders cater to diverse shipping requirements. Get the lowdown on these options, including their strengths, weaknesses, and best-fit Incoterms.


Key Takeaways: Responsibilities in Shipping Services

Here’s a simplified breakdown of who handles what in each shipping service type, making it easier for you to understand and choose the right option for your needs:

Shipping Service Type

Pickup by

Main Carriage by

Delivery by

Recommended Incoterms


Seller’s Freight Forwarder

Seller’s Freight Forwarder

Seller’s Freight Forwarder

DAP (Delivered at Place)


Seller’s Freight Forwarder

Seller’s Freight Forwarder

Buyer at Destination Port



Seller at Origin Port

Shipping Carrier

Buyer at Destination Port

CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight)


Seller at Origin Port

Shipping Carrier

Buyer’s Freight Forwarder


Each row clearly outlines the roles different parties play in the shipping process, whether you’re sending goods door-to-door, door-to-port, port-to-port, or port-to-door. Plus, you’ll find the Incoterms that are best suited for each service type. Keep this table handy as a reference when planning your next shipment.

Exploring the Different Movement Types

Door-to-Door Shipping

Door-to-door shipping is the all-inclusive option. Freight forwarders handle everything from the seller’s doorstep to the buyer’s. This multi-modal service is pricier but scores high on convenience, saving you from managing separate logistics.


Door-to-Port Shipping

Door-to-port shipping strikes a balance. Your forwarder manages the pick-up and main transport leg. Once at the destination port, it’s over to the importer to handle onward transport. Ideal for exporters who can reach the port but prefer the importer to take over from there.


Port-to-Port Shipping

Port-to-port shipping is the cost-effective choice for the savvy shipper. It’s straightforward: cargo goes from origin port to destination port, with importers and exporters handling the rest. It’s the cheapest but demands a good grip on the shipping process.


Port-to-Door Shipping

Port-to-door service starts at the destination port, ending at the importer’s address. It’s a part-way handover, with the freight forwarder managing the final inland leg to the buyer.


Matching Movement Types with Incoterms


Knowing which Incoterms align with your shipping service can optimize your logistics and clarify responsibility during transport.


Door-to-Door Incoterm


For door-to-door, DAP (Delivered at Place) is your best bet, placing delivery responsibility squarely on the seller.


Door-to-Port Incoterm


When it comes to door-to-port, you’ve got options:

  • DPU (Delivered at Place Unloaded) keeps things straightforward, with the seller bearing the cost and risk.
  • CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To) splits the bill, transferring risk once the goods are unloaded.
  • CPT (Carriage Paid To) has the seller in charge until the port, much like door-to-port shipping itself.

Port-to-Port Incoterm


Port-to-port goes hand in hand with CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight), with the seller responsible right up to the destination port.


Port-to-Door Incoterm


For port-to-door journeys, consider:

  • CPT, where the seller’s job ends at the buyer’s chosen spot.
  • DDP (Delivered Duty Paid), ensuring the seller takes care of everything, including delivery to the buyer’s location.


Choose the right combination of service and Incoterm to keep your international shipping on track.


Some Words from
our Clients