What Is TBA In Shipping?

TBA or To Be Announced is a common term used in shipping when the exact date of arrival or departure of the vessel is not yet final. It is a temporary arrangement between the carrier and shipping company until a definite schedule is finalized.

Shippers and shipping companies use TBA as there are various factors affecting the shipping industry, such as bad weather conditions, mechanical issues, and port congestion. These factors affect the schedule of vessels, causing delays and disruptions in the delivery of goods.

With TBA, the carrier may provide an estimated timeline for the shipping company. Vessels may be delayed due to various reasons, including bad weather conditions or government regulations to inspect the cargo before departure. The carrier may inform the shipping company of the expected arrival date of the vessel when the details are confirmed.

TBA is also used to avoid non-compliance with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) regulations. The FMC mandates that carriers must provide the date of arrival of the vessel to the port before the shipping company books the shipping space. However, in some cases, the carrier may not have that data available, and therefore they can provide TBA as an alternative.

Shipping companies may not know when the cargo will be picked up from the port or when it will arrive at the destination. This can cause significant problems, such as increasing inventory costs, customs issues, and possible damage to the cargo. To avoid such issues, shipping companies try to avoid TBA and work with a confirmed schedule.

In conclusion, TBA is a widely used term in the shipping industry. It is used temporarily until a definite schedule is confirmed. Using TBA avoids non-compliance with FMC regulations and allows carriers to provide an estimated timeline for the shipping company. However, shipping companies should try to avoid TBA to minimize risks and avoid unnecessary costs.

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