EXW - Ex-works

What does EXW mean in shipping?

EXW means ex-works and it is one of the standardised Incoterms. With ex-works (EXW) all of the liability is placed on the buyer, as the seller is only taking the risk until the shipment passes out the doors of their facility. As soon as the cargo is out the seller's facility (for example, sitting on the warehouse ramp), the buyer is responsible. That means that even if the seller helps load the goods on the vehicle at the seller's facility (e.g. factory), it is at the buyer's risk. 

Why should I choose ex-works (EXW)?

Sellers of products sometimes indicate that their products are priced ex-works to show that no shipping is included. This is often used when making offers where the buyer wants to compare the prices of the products (e.g. heavy machinery) without the influence of shipping costs. 

When you choose ex-works, it means that the buyer (frequently the consignee) is responsible for everything, which might present practical issues if the buyer isn't particularly familiar with transport or customs conventions in the locale where the seller is based. If you would prefer the seller (frequently the shipper) to manage transport and customs at the origin, then you should consider using "free carrier" (FCA) or "free on board" (FOB). For containerised freight, FCA generally makes more sense than FOB, as this means responsibility switches at the point of loading the goods into the container. 

Where do I select ex-works (EXW) as an Incoterm?

When you're quoting a shipment, the ex-works Incoterm will be available if you've selected to use a "pick-up address"; i.e. Panalpina should organise the collection of the freight from an address you've specified.

EXW - Ex-works

If you have chosen "Panalpina Warehouse (CFS)", i.e. a container freight station, or an airport, for your "from" address, then you will not be able to choose ex-works (EXW) as the Incoterm for that shipment as you will deliver the freight to Panalpina. In this case, you will be able to choose "free carrier" (FCA), as liability can earliest change from the seller to the buyer upon handing over the goods to Panalpina, since you are transporting the goods from your facility.

Which transport modes can ex-works (EXW) be used with?

Ex-works (EXW) can be used with all transport modes, as the waypoint where risk changes from the seller to the buyer is not dependent on a particular type of transport infrastructure. This is in contrast to terms such as "free alongside ship" (FAS), which is only available for sea or inland waterway transport, as the name suggests.

Where can I find out about the different Incoterms?

You can visit our Incoterms explorer, where you can experiment with the different Incoterms and see how the different terms affect the split of liability and which Incoterms are compatible with which transport modes.