What is Carriage paid to (CPT)?

What is Carriage Paid To (CPT)?

In the complex world of international trade and supply chain management, various Incoterms play a crucial role in defining the responsibilities and costs between buyers and sellers. One such Incoterm is Carriage Paid To (CPT), which outlines the terms of transportation, delivery, and risk transfer in a transaction.

What is Carriage Paid To (CPT) ?

Carriage Paid To (CPT) stands as an international trade term signifying that the seller holds the responsibility of delivering the goods to a designated carrier or another party named by the seller. Throughout this process, all associated costs are covered by the seller. 

The seller bears the brunt of risks until the goods are successfully placed under the care of the designated party. This carrier could be an individual or organization accountable for transporting the goods by various means like sea, rail, or road. Alternatively, it could be an entity tasked with overseeing the transportation arrangements. 

The total CPT price might encompass additional expenses such as Terminal Handling Charges (THC) within its freight calculations.

Significance of Carriage Paid To (CPT) in the Supply Chain

CPT holds significant importance in the supply chain for several reasons:

Clarity in Responsibilities: CPT clearly defines the responsibilities of the seller and the buyer in terms of transportation costs, risk transfer, and delivery obligations. This clarity helps prevent misunderstandings and disputes.

Smooth Operations: By specifying the point of transfer of risk and costs, CPT streamlines the movement of goods from the seller to the buyer. This can lead to smoother supply chain operations and reduced disruptions.

Global Trade: CPT is recognized internationally and is applicable to various modes of transportation, making it suitable for a wide range of global trade scenarios.

An Example of Carriage Paid To (CPT)

Imagine a scenario where a company in Country A is selling electronics to a buyer in Country B using the CPT Incoterm. The goods are to be delivered to the buyer’s warehouse. In this case, the seller is responsible for arranging and paying for the transportation of the goods from Country A to the destination in Country B. The risk of loss or damage transfers to the buyer when the goods are handed over to the carrier in Country A. Any subsequent transportation costs, import duties, and taxes in Country B are the responsibility of the buyer.

Advantages of Carriage Paid To (CPT)

Clear Cost Allocation: CPT clearly defines which party is responsible for transportation costs up to the agreed destination, providing cost predictability.

Risk Management: The risk of loss or damage is transferred from the seller to the buyer at a defined point, allowing both parties to plan and manage risk accordingly.

International Applicability: CPT is recognized and understood globally, making it a suitable option for cross-border trade.

Disadvantages of Carriage Paid To (CPT):

Additional Costs: While the seller covers the main carriage costs, the buyer is responsible for costs beyond the agreed destination, such as import duties and local transportation.

Complexity: The logistics and administrative aspects of arranging transportation to an international destination can be complex and time-consuming.

Potential Disputes: If not clearly defined, issues regarding the handover point, responsibilities, or risk assumption can lead to disputes between the parties.


Carriage Paid To (CPT) is a significant Incoterm that plays a vital role in international trade and supply chain management. It outlines the responsibilities, costs, and risk transfer between the seller and the buyer, ensuring smooth operations and reduced misunderstandings. However, it’s essential for both parties to fully understand the implications of using CPT and to clearly define their obligations to avoid any potential issues.