ETD and ETA In Shipping | Meaning, Differences

Maybe in the process of your sea freight from China to USA, you will encounter the two words of sea transportation ETD in shipping and ETA in shipping, maybe some people still do not know what is the meaning of sea transportation ETD? And what is the meaning of  ETA in shipping? So let’s take a look at the difference between ETD and ETA.

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The meaning of ETA in shipping and ETD in shipping

ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) is the estimated time of arrival of the goods at the destination.

ETD (Estimated Time of Delivery) is the estimated time of delivery of goods, generally refers to the goods from the local time of departure.


ETD in shipping


Differences between ETD and ETA in shipping

ETD and loading date (on board date) is slightly different, both may be in the same day, but some times may be a day later, because the goods loaded on the ship will sometimes be loaded for a longer period of time (larger distribution centers), or the ship just need to be maintained, so more than one day to stay, there will be a situation is not in the same day.

However, many people may still have a misunderstanding, that is, customs officers and production units of the cognitive differences between ETA, many customs officers will think that the goods arrive at the country’s port time is ETA, but this is not the goods into the final destination of the time.

1.ETD is usually used to describe the departure time of shipping, and can also be used to describe the time of goods from the port of shipment, generally refers to the time difference between the arrival of goods from the loading port or the departure of the ship from the port of loading.

ETA is used to describe the arrival time of the shipment or the expected time of arrival of the goods at the destination port.

2. The estimated values of ETD and ETA are usually calculated by the shipping company or shipping line, which will determine the estimated departure time and estimated arrival time according to the transportation speed of the cargo or ship as well as the routes and sailing plans made.

3. In the actual transportation process, due to the influence of weather conditions, sea conditions, political factors and many other uncontrollable factors, ETD and ETA may change, so it is necessary to continuously track and update.

4. ETD and ETA are very important for cargo owners or shippers, because accurate ETD and ETA in shipping can help them make relevant plans and arrangements, such as arranging transportation, filing/customs clearance, unloading, etc.

5. The calculation method and accuracy of ETD and ETA are also one of the standards to measure the business process of freight forwarders, shipping companies and ship transportation, therefore, the accuracy and assurance of the departure and arrival time in the transportation process is also one of the key factors in this industry.


ETD in shipping


ETD and ETA in relation to time zone and time difference

Since ocean transportation involves different countries or regions, it is necessary to pay attention to the relationship of ETD and ETA with time zones and time differences. Generally speaking, ETD and ETA in shipping are expressed according to the local time, i.e. the time at the place of origin port or airport is ETD, and the time at the place of destination port or airport is ETAin shipping.

For example:

A shipment from Shanghai, China (UTC+8) to Los Angeles, U.S.A. (UTC-8), its ETD is September 15, 2023, 9:00, and its ETA is September 25, 2023, 10:00. The ETD and ETA in shipping shown here are the times in different time zones, because Shanghai time is 16 hours faster than Los Angeles time.

If you want to convert to the same time zone, you need to consider the time difference. For example, to convert to Beijing time (UTC+8), the ETD will remain unchanged at 9:00 on September 15, 2023, while the ETA will need to be added 16 hours to become 2:00 on September 26, 2023.

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If you don’t want to just read these text interpretations, you can click on the video below to help you understand more quickly about ETA in shipping:

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