Shipping Explained

Page last updated 19th April 2022

This course is not running in 2022

BIC Training Logo

Purpose of the Course
An understanding of international shipping is a vital skill for global book production and distribution professionals. Getting books printed is only half of the job – once they are made you need to deliver the books to your customers safely and cost effectively. 

Benefits of Attending
Taught by industry experts and including a port tour, this course will show delegates up-close the sheer scale of the shipping industry, providing an understanding of how it works, its terminology, the documentation required and how to manage the process effectively. Delegates will see the supply chain in action and gain an understanding of the relationships of those in it, learn to speak the language of the shipping industry, and find out what to ask in order to make sure their books are shipped using the most appropriate method.

As the number of people allowed on to the port is severely restricted, the number of delegates for this course is limited to 4 only. 

Course Level
This course is aimed at those who are or would like to be in book production, and those within publishing for whom shipping is a key part of their job role. It is aimed at those with little or no prior knowledge of shipping.

Course Outline
This course has a practical emphasis and will ensure that all theoretical elements are accompanied by a practical application. We take a thorough look at sea, air and road freight, assessing their pros and cons and their most appropriate usage. Delegates will learn about:

  • How shipping works
  • The methods available and how to choose the right one (sea, air, road or rail)
  • What the INCO terms mean
  • What needs to be considered when shipping standard and non-standard books
  • What documentation is required and (where appropriate) how to complete it
  • What can go wrong and what can be done if / when it does
  • The economics of shipping including how shipping costs are calculated

Read the full course outline here.

The Trainers
Sue Kelly, Publiship and Heather O‘Connell, Consultant. (Read about BIC Trainers, here).

Feedback for this Course
Read the feedback received from previous attendees of this course, here

Date & Frequency of this Course 
This course will be scheduled for 2023 ; for the latest updates, email or join the BIC Training Course mailing list here

To register your interest in attending this course on an unspecified date in future, please see the 'Registration' section, below.

Course Location
A UK port - TBC. 

Course Length
This is a full day course + travel. 

On the Day 
All of BIC’s full-day courses include refreshments and a full working lunch.

You will be required to complete a Port Pass application form prior to your arrival at the port and provide ID when you arrive. You may also be required to complete a letter of indemnity (if requested by the ship’s captain).

Dress Code
Please be aware that delegates may spend time on a container ship as part of this course, so we ask that you should please dress appropriately, i.e. flat shoes, no open-toe shoes / sandals.  

BIC Members £265 + VAT
Friends of BIC £310 + VAT
Non Members £355 + VAT

NB: Travel and accommodation costs are not included in the ticket price.

Discounted rates apply to BIC members only. Not sure if your organisation is a BIC member? Check our members list here.

Register your interest in attending this course here
For further information, please see the 'Frequency of this Course' section, above.

Once a date has been agreed for this course, registration will be carried out via Eventbrite. Payment on Eventbrite is accepted via VISA, Mastercard and American Express.

Alternative Payment Option: If you would prefer BIC to invoice your organisation directly, please contact Please note that this process will incur a £25.00 administration fee.

Read BIC's Course Cancellations & Refund Policy here.

Please note: This course may be postponed at short notice, as port tours are weather-dependent. BIC will endeavour to give delegates as much notice as possible if a postponement is necessary and will reschedule the course as soon as possible thereafter.