DDU VS DDP Shipping: Best Comparison!

Shipping various goods and packages is itself a tedious task. And when it comes to several abbreviated codes and terms, it becomes more difficult. However, these terms are very important to know and understand since they ensure smoother and more comfortable shipping. Today we will be looking at DDU vs DDP shipping comparison.

DDU and DDP are such International Commercial Terms, also known as Incoterms, designed by the International Chamber of Commerce. These two contractual terms are the means to indicate different types of sales and shipping transactions. It helps the importer or exporter determine who is responsible for paying which costs.

These terms and several other codes and conditions are intended to make trade communications easy and comfortable between the parties operating globally. These standardized terms help avoid confusion arising from different terminologies of trades used in other countries or trade councils.

DDU VS DDP Shipping: Detailed Comparison

DDU and DDP are the most important trade terms that apply to all international shipping—business orders, personal gift packages, or commercial freight shipments. These terms are crucial in determining who is responsible for paying the import duties and taxes. So, it’s very important to understand these terms, their differences, and their advantages in advance.

And this article intends to do just that. Let’s go!

What is DDU?

The term DDU stands for Delivery Duty Unpaid. In this case, the recipient must settle all the import charges related to customs clearance, duties, and taxes to have their shipments delivered to their location. 

DDU VS DDP Shipping comparison
What is DDU?

For DDU shipping, the seller’s responsibility is limited to ensuring that the shipment reaches the recipient’s country’s drop-off location. The buyer will then have to take the financial responsibility to have their consignment released and delivered.

It is easier and cheaper for the sellers to use DDU shipping, but they must inform the recipient beforehand to avoid any customer dissatisfaction later. 

It mustn’t come as a surprise to the buyer that he is expected to pay certain charges from their end upon the arrival of their parcels. If the recipient refuses to pay after the goods’ arrival, then the seller will have to pay additional charges to have it returned to them.

Seller’s Responsibility

The seller must undertake certain key responsibilities in a DDU shipping service. They are:

  • Provide permits, licenses, and proper documentation required to ship the goods to the recipient’s location.
  • Make sure the package is delivered to the respective country.
  • Take financial responsibility for any damages, theft, or losses encountered by the shipment before it arrives at the delivery destination.
  • Ensure that the goods arrive exactly at the specified location.
  • Pay for the shipment charges like purchasing insurance for the cargo or the transport fees for labor or loading costs.
  • Inform the customer of the DDU service and the costs they are expected to incur upon the arrival of their parcels.
  • Keep the recipient updated about the package journey and delivery status.


Some advantages of using DDU shipping service are as follows:

  • Enables the buyer to assume more control over the shipping procedure.
  • Provides the recipient the chance to find easy access to cheaper shipping options available in his country, which the seller might be unaware of.
  • Lessens the seller’s workload as they can avoid the shipping affairs of a foreign country.
  • Allows the seller to save their money upfront as the buyer is more aware of their country’s shipping standards.
  • Enables the importer to track their goods the moment it reaches their country.
  • Allows the recipient to control the transportation, delivery, and finance, holding the seller back from controlling the buyer’s business practices.  

What is DDP?

The term DDP stands for Delivery Duty Paid. In this case, it is the sole responsibility of the seller to incur all the viable costs related to the shipment, including import taxes and customs duties, until the recipient receives the parcel.  

Know all about DDP shipping
What is DDP?

The seller assumes a more responsible role for DDP shipping as the term places maximum obligations on his shoulders. Not only does the seller need to meet all the shipping expenses, but they also take full responsibility for the shipment, including its storage, safety, insurance, and risk factors. 

DDP shipping services costs are higher as it involves charges to be paid upfront to the logistics provider. However, the seller can embed a part of these charges within the shipment fees or product prices before the recipient. Still, the shipper will be liable for any losses, theft, or damage encountered by the cargo before it is delivered to the customer.  

Seller’s Responsibility

The key responsibilities of the seller in the DDP shipping service are:

  • Ensure that any risk to cargo is financially covered right up to the delivery location.
  • Handle all the export procedures at the delivery location.
  • Follow all the required protocols and provide all the necessary documentation.
  • Take financial control of the custom costs and additional taxes at the shipment location.
  • Assume all transportation costs right from the packing areas and straight to the delivery location.
  • Establish contacts with carriage companies and organize the process of delivery with them.


Some advantages of using the DDP shipping service are as follows:

  • Builds a strong shipper-customer relationship while taking care of every little step of international shipping.
  • Guarantees that the shipping entity will handle everything related to the delivery of the shipment, including necessary documentation, quality maintenance, transportation, logistics, etc.
  • Ensures greater safety of the shipment, which is less liable to get damaged or lost in the transit since the shipper takes full responsibility.
  • Ascertains that the importer doesn’t have to worry about any unexpected costs when receiving the package since the financial agreements already get settled at the time of purchase.
  • It frees the shipper from bothering about unnecessary complications or shipping requirements after the cargo arrives at the destination country, as the goods arrive straight at the customer’s door.
  • Ensures full customer satisfaction as they don’t have to take any transportation or financial responsibility since the seller will cover everything.


International Shipping is getting more popular these days. However, certain rules and regulations are to be followed while undergoing such transactions. It is the responsibility of both the buyer and seller to be aware of the shipping practices as expected by the international codes. 

Since international shipments feature more complexities than domestic deliveries, it is advisable to understand the shipping procedures. Familiarising yourself with these important Incoterms will serve as a good beginning.

After seeing the DDU vs DDP shipping comparison, you can understand they come with different responsibilities and have their advantages and disadvantages. The seller and buyer must agree beforehand on which service they wish to choose. Planning surely is the key to ensuring that products get delivered and received with the greatest ease and high profits are earned in the process.

Avatar for Jaren Helms

Jaren worked for over a decade in the industry as a Package Handler. He started his career with FedEx but he later also worked with companies like USPS and Deutsche Post.

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