What is Pre-Shipment Financing?

Pre-shipment financing, also known as pre-export financing or pre-shipment credit, is a type of short-term financing provided to exporters to finance the production, manufacturing, or procurement of goods before they are shipped to the buyer. This form of financing is designed to help exporters cover expenses incurred during the pre-shipment stage, such as raw material purchases, manufacturing costs, labor expenses, and packaging costs.


Here’s how pre-shipment financing typically works:

  1. Export Order: The exporter receives an export order from a buyer or customer for goods or products to be shipped internationally. The exporter may need to fulfill the order by producing or procuring the goods before they can be shipped to the buyer.
  2. Financing Request: The exporter applies for pre-shipment financing from a financial institution, such as a bank or trade finance provider. The financing request includes details of the export order, the amount of financing required, and the anticipated timeline for production and shipment.
  3. Credit Assessment: The financial institution assesses the creditworthiness of the exporter and evaluates the risk associated with the export transaction. This may involve reviewing the exporter’s financial statements, credit history, and export documentation, as well as assessing the creditworthiness of the buyer.
  4. Financing Approval: If the exporter meets the eligibility criteria and credit requirements, the financial institution approves the pre-shipment financing facility. The exporter may be granted a line of credit or a loan facility, allowing them to borrow funds up to a certain limit to cover pre-shipment expenses.
  5. Utilization of Funds: The exporter utilizes the funds provided by the pre-shipment financing facility to finance the production, manufacturing, or procurement of goods for export. This may include purchasing raw materials, hiring labor, paying for manufacturing costs, and covering other expenses related to preparing the goods for shipment.
  6. Export Documentation: The exporter prepares the necessary export documentation, such as commercial invoices, packing lists, and shipping documents, in accordance with the terms of the export order and any regulatory requirements.
  7. Shipment of Goods: Once the goods are ready for shipment, the exporter arranges for the transportation and delivery of the goods to the buyer’s location. The exporter may use the funds from the pre-shipment financing facility to pay for shipping costs and other expenses associated with the export process.
  8. Repayment: After the goods are shipped and the exporter receives payment from the buyer, the exporter repays the pre-shipment financing facility according to the terms agreed upon with the financial institution. This may involve repaying the loan principal along with any accrued interest or fees.


In summary, pre-shipment financing provides exporters with the necessary funds to finance the production, manufacturing, or procurement of goods before they are shipped to the buyer. By providing access to working capital during the pre-shipment stage, pre-shipment financing helps exporters fulfill export orders, manage cash flow, and seize opportunities for international trade.