What is DPU: Delivery at Place Unloaded

What is it?

Delivery at Place Unloaded (DPU) is an Incoterm, a standardized set of international trade rules published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). DPU represents an agreement between a buyer and a seller regarding the delivery of goods. In this context, the seller is responsible for delivering the goods to a specified destination, unloaded from the transportation vehicle.

How it helps?

Comprehensive Delivery Commitment: DPU offers a comprehensive delivery commitment, indicating that the seller is responsible not only for transporting the goods to a named place but also for unloading them at the destination.

Risk Management: It delineates the point at which the risk transfers from the seller to the buyer. Understanding this shift in responsibility is crucial for effective risk management in international trade transactions.

Simplified Logistics: DPU simplifies the logistics process by providing clarity on the delivery location and unloading responsibilities. This clarity is beneficial for both parties in efficiently planning and executing the transportation process.

Why is it needed?

Destination Flexibility: It is valuable when the buyer prefers the goods to be delivered to a specific destination other than their own premises, such as a distribution center or warehouse.

Risk Mitigation: By specifying that the seller is responsible for unloading the goods at the destination, DPU helps mitigate risks associated with potential damages during the unloading process.

Global Trade Standardization: DPU is part of a broader effort to standardize international trade practices. Using globally accepted Incoterms like DPU reduces misunderstandings and disputes, fostering smoother global transactions.


End-to-End Responsibility: It signifies a commitment from the seller to take responsibility for the entire logistics journey, including transportation and unloading. This end-to-end responsibility enhances transparency and accountability.

Flexibility in Destination: DPU provides flexibility in choosing the destination where the goods will be delivered. This flexibility is advantageous when the buyer has specific requirements regarding the delivery location.

Legal Clarity: It provides legal clarity by establishing a framework for the transaction. It defines the roles of the buyer and seller, reducing the potential for disputes and facilitating smoother cross-border trade.

Key Aspects of DPU – Delivery at Place Unloaded:

Delivery Location: It specifies a named place where the goods are to be delivered. This could be the buyer’s premises, a warehouse, or any other agreed-upon destination.

Unloading Responsibility: A distinctive feature of DPU is that it places the responsibility for unloading the goods on the seller. This includes the physical act of removing the goods from the transportation vehicle.

Risk Transfer: DPU delineates the point at which the risk associated with the goods shifts from the seller to the buyer. This is a critical aspect for risk management and insurance purposes.

Destination Flexibility: It allows for flexibility in choosing the destination, providing options beyond the buyer’s premises. This flexibility accommodates various business models and supply chain configurations.

Documentation Requirements: Proper documentation is essential in DPU transactions. This includes the necessary paperwork related to the delivery and unloading processes, such as the bill of lading and other relevant documents.

In summary, Delivery at Place Unloaded (DPU) is a pivotal Incoterm in international trade, offering a comprehensive delivery commitment, risk management benefits, and flexibility in destination choice. Its significance lies in providing end-to-end responsibility, destination flexibility, legal clarity, and contributing to global trade standardization. The key aspects of DPU include the specified delivery location, unloading responsibilities placed on the seller, risk transfer points, destination flexibility, and the importance of proper documentation. As an integral part of the Incoterms framework, DPU plays a crucial role in facilitating transparent and efficient global trade transactions with a focus on the delivery process and unloading at the chosen destination.