Shipping Terms Glossary

Blind Shipping

Blind shipping is used to maintain anonymity between parties in a transaction. It allows for distance to be kept between the buyer and supplier.

What is blind shipping?

It is when the receiver or the shipper do not know the other party.

How does blind shipping work?

Bling shipping takes place when, for example, a factory receives an order from a retailer, and they send the goods directly to the customer, but with the retailer’s labels on it .

When both parties do not know each other,  it's called double-blind shipping .

How do these transactions take place?

Often, third parties control such shipments and ensure the goods move from origin to destination smoothly.

How does it work exactly? A quick example:

Simple Scenario Time:

Let’s say you are planning to ship 1 carton from Thailand to the US by air.

Retailer / Shipper: Adam sells customised color-changing mugs online and his supplier is in China.
Customer: Rachel lives in the US, and has just placed an order on Adam’s website.
Supplier: A manufacturer located in China.

In a normal situation, Adam would forward the order to the supplier, and the supplier would then ship it directly to the Rachel.

But that’s a problem.

Rachel could just order her future mugs directly from the supplier, or the supplier could just contact Rachel with other offers in the future.

With both situations, Adam loses his customer!

Only the freight forwarder and the shipper (Adam) know where the shipment origin and destination will be.

Blind shipping to the rescue!

To arrange a blind shipment, Adam would coordinate with his freight forwarder to remove the original Bill of Lading after the shipment clears Customs in the destination country, which in this case is the US.

This way, the supplier's information is now removed from the delivery process, and Rachel would never know.

But, the supplier still has the customer’s details.

In the future, the supplier can contact Rachel directly. In this case, a double-blind shipment would be best.

How would double-blind shipping work?

Adam would ask the freight forwarder to give the supplier an incorrect or fake address. This way, both the supplier and the customer do not know each other’s identity.

Is blind shipping the same as dropshipping?

Sort of. The key element is the anonymity of the supplier.

In blind shipping, the supplier still sends the product directly to the customer, but they hide their identity so that the customer does not know who they are.

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is when the sellers do not own inventory. So, when they get a new order, they forward it to their supplier, and the supplier ships the product to the customer directly.

Rajitha Reniguntla

Rajitha Reniguntla is a supply chain enthusiast from Hong Kong. With a curious mind, she's an avid learner carrying a knack for exploring and breaking down complex ideas. She loves to learn about new things and always aims to enhance the customer experience. Outside of work, she enjoys cycling, doodling and listening to podcasts!

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