Home » Shipping vs. Delivery: Know the difference

Shipping vs. Delivery: Know the difference

“Shipping” and “delivery” are two commonly used terms especially in courier and ecommerce. People often assume that these two terms are similar when in reality, their meanings are completely different. Let’s quickly try to understand the difference between the two.

The definition of shipping is “the transport of goods by sea or some other means”. From an ecommerce point of view, when an order is shipped it just means that the item was packed and was handed over to a courier company and is on the way to the recipient. Every order that’s shipped via a private courier or speed post will have a tracking number through which one is able to know the real time status. In other words if you are an online shopper it just means that your item is on the way. Shipping is also sometimes called “dispatch” and the terms are often used interchangeably. 

The definition of delivery is “the process of transporting goods from a secure location to a predefined destination”. From a courier or ecommerce point of view, when we talk about delivery or when we say that an item is delivered, it means the delivery is complete, the package or box or whatever it maybe was handed over to the recipient. Technically the seller or the online store can now mark the order as delivered or complete. You’ve got the order and for you the purchase is complete.

Given below issome of the commonly used shipping terms. These terms are used both in international and domestic courier.

1.Order dateThe date on which the customer placed the order and completed the transaction
2.Estimated shipment dateThe estimated date on which a seller hands off a shipment to the carrier
3.Ship dateThe actual date a seller or retailer hands off a shipment to the carrier
4.Estimated delivery dateThe approximate date on which the order gets delivered to the customer
5.Delivery dateThe actual date on which the order got delivered
6Shipping speedThe amount of time it takes for an order to be delivered to the customer

Now let’s try to understand what all factors affect shipping and delivery dates.

Lead time: Also known as production time is the date between when an order is placed and when it gets shipped.

Cut-off time: This can be better explained with the help of an example. “Orders placed before 5 PM IST will be dispatched the next day”

Time-in-transit: The transit time depends on the distance. It’s the time taken for an order to reach the customer once it’s dispatched from the seller location.

Holidays & weather: This is self-explanatory. Public holidays and weather conditions can have an impact on the delivery times. 

Customs: While sending international courier you might need to add time in customs to your delivery schedule. Customs can be an unpredictable process, taking anywhere between few hours to few working days for orders to pass through. Therefore it’s a good idea to add buffer to avoid missed delivery dates.

Why do these days and terminologies matter?

Studies have shown that 45% of the customers abandon their shopping carts due to unsatisfactory delivery options while shopping online. Customers can easily get confused if crucial information like shipping dates and delivery dates are not provided or if the customers are unsure of the terminologies used. This is not only applicable to ecommerce companies but also to several other sectors like for example international courier.

This is why at Shipbuz we provide all the necessary information upfront be it cost, estimated delivery time or customs duties. That way we ensure that our customers are fully informed so that they can sit back and relax wherever they are while their packages get shipped out from India.


Shipbuz has the resources, commitment and global experience to make international courier from India consistently, fast reliable and affordable. We offer one of the best international courier service from India to USA and worldwide. Whether you are an individual wanting to send a personal package or small business with commercial shipping needs, we’ve got solutions for you. Choose from our range of services today.