Understanding what is a consignment


The term ‘consignment’ means cargo, load, or goods that are being shipped from one place to another using any mode of transport such as railways, trucks, commercial vehicles, ships, or aeroplanes. Irrespective of the way it is being shipped, the entire load will be referred to as the consignment. 

Thus, whenever you see a truck or a trailer carrying huge boxes/cartons on a highway, you see a consignment being shipped. 

Key Points:

  • Consignment is the goods that are being shipped from one place to another.

  • Consignments can be sent via roadways, railways, airways, or waterways.

  • Consignment can be inward or outward depending on whether one is receiving them or sending them.

  • Truck consignments form the backbone of the Indian economy since no business can survive without sending/receiving consignments.

Every business today needs to deal with consignment–either to receive their supply from their sellers or to send their products out to their buyers. Hence, any quantity of goods to be transported is a consignment.

For example, Mr. Mehta owns a paper mill from which he needs to send out his paper products weighing 18 tonnes to his buyers. He hires the transportation services offered by Mr. Chaddha to carry his products to the warehouses of his customers. The entire load is being shipped in a fleet of trucks, going across the country for delivery. In this case, the 18 tonnes of paper products are the truck consignment sent out for delivery.

A business owner may choose to deliver his consignment using any mode of transport. Depending on the quantity, budget, and distance, the business owner can opt for:

  • Commercial vehicles such as trucks, trailers, containers, tippers, and the like

  • Goods trains

  • Cargo ships, tankers, container ships, barges, and so on

  • Commercial or passenger airlines

For inter-city consignments, heavy or small commercial vehicles like trucks, mini-trucks, and containers among others can be used. Trucks are also preferred for national consignments, like Mr. Mehta who chose to ship his paper products across the country in trucks.  In the case of bulk goods, commercial trains are also opted for. International shipping of consignment requires transporting the goods using either waterways or airways.

Either of the parties involved in the transportation can opt to arrange for the delivery/pickup of the consignment. In the example above, Mr. Mehta hired Mr. Chaddha to deliver his products. Alternatively, any of his customers can take it upon himself to pick the consignment up from Mr. Mehta’s paper mill, having mutually agreed to this arrangement beforehand.

If you have a consignment to send out of your organization or are looking for a consignment for your transportation business, then you can reach out to Vahak, a one-stop platform for all things logistics. 


Ans. When a consignment is received, it is called an inward consignment. The goods are coming into your organization from your seller. The flow of the cargo is ‘in’ and hence the name inward.

Ans. When a consignment is going out of an organization to be delivered at someone’s place it is called outward consignment. So if you send cargo out to your customers, you are sending an outward consignment because the flow of the goods is ‘out’ of the organization.

Ans. There are various modes of transport that can be used to ship or transport consignments. On the basis of factors such as distance, quantity, and budget, the consignments can be shipped via trucks, trains, aeroplanes, or ships.

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