A short guide to the vocabulary of an expedition


Although we have put all the tools at your disposal so that your shipments can take place in the best conditions (see our sheet – How to organize its shipment? to go further), it sometimes happens that we get lost in the international logistics terminology. Between the transport lexicon and the terms used by international customs, it is easy to get lost with all the terms used. With My Mail from France, it has never been easier to send parcels internationally at the best prices.

Do not panic, we provide you with a small summary of the vocabulary that you will probably encounter during your expedition to order taking to final delivery.

Volumetric weight, what is it?

When requesting a quote, you need to understand how carriers work to understand the price of your shipment. Let's take a look at what's going on:


  • Actual weight : This is simply the weight of your package. You put your shipment on a scale or bathroom scale and presto! voila, you have the real weight
  • Volumetric weight : This is a value that allows you toestimate what weight represents your volume. Indeed, if you want to send 50 kilos of goose feathers, this will represent a substantial volume and will necessarily take up space on the plane carrying your package. The volumetric weight makes it possible to integrate the dimensions in the calculation of the price of your order. The volumetric weight is calculated as follows: (height x width x length) / 5000. Let's take the example of a package with the following dimensions: 30/50/50. So we have (30*50*50)/5000=15kg. For a package with these dimensions your package has a volumetric weight of 15 kg.


It is important to understand these two concepts well because the estimate is made according to these values. Carriers take the highest value to determine the price of the order. If your parcel weighs 10 kilos but the volumetric weight is 15 kilos, then your parcel will be invoiced on the basis of 15 kilos. You can therefore add 5 kilos of actual weight to it at no additional cost.

Shipping documents

When you have paid for your order, you will receive the documents required for your shipment. What are these documents?

The waybill (sometimes called AWB for Air WayBill). It is the passport of your shipment. The document contains essential information for the delivery of your package. Information such as postal addresses, the names of the sender or the recipient are included. You can see a barcode there as well as a specific number the waybill was there. The barcode allows you to track the package, this barcode is scanned at each stage of your shipment and allows you to track your shipment precisely. The Waybill number will allow you to identify the package if you chat with us.

The Customs Invoice. This is the declaration of contents that will be used by customs during customs clearance. This invoice includes the information necessary for customs to estimate potential costs to be paid. Detail your articles well to avoid unnecessary complications (to go further – Declaration of goods for customs).

Practical advice : Never mark 0 euro for the value of a good. This is prohibited and may cause blockages.

The commercial invoice. You will need to attach a commercial invoice when it comes to a commercial transaction. If you are sending a package to a customer or if you have purchased a good that must be delivered to you, then you will need to provide the commercial invoice which will serve as the basis for customs to estimate potential costs during importation.

Customs vocabulary

Finally, we will discuss the customs vocabulary that you are likely to face.


Customs duties. These are taxes that are inherent in the importation of goods from a foreign country. These customs duties do not exist for shipments within the European Union. When going through customs, the carrier will be in charge of representing you for the payment of these customs fees. In the event that you have customs duties to pay, you will be contacted by the carrier who will ask you to pay said fees via an online payment link.

Clearance. This is customs clearance, customs clearance consists of paying customs duties as well as VAT so that your package passes this mandatory stage of delivery. We talk about export customs clearance when customs check that the contents of your package can be exported without customs formalities, in this case there are no fees to pay. However, for regulated goods, you may be asked for additional documents.

Customs codes or Incoterms (International Commercial Terms). These are the codes that allow you to categorize your goods in a normalized and internationally standardized customs category.

The customs intermediary or customs commissioner. This is the person who is in charge of intermediating between you and the customs services. With Mon Courrier de France, it will be the chosen carrier who will be responsible for being the customs commissioner, each carrier has a department which is in charge of customs clearance.

You are already armed to organize your expedition in an optimal way. The world of Customs is nevertheless vast and there are many exceptional cases. In any case, even if you feel a little lost with all this term, our teams are there to assist you and answer all your questions.

Thierry Cornic
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My son made me discover "mon courrier de france". First try, parcel arrived in 8 days in Taipei (including 4 days at the Taiwanese customs). With colissimo I had peaks ranging from 52 to 65 days with an average of 25 days over 3 years, not to mention a deplorable follow-up. Needless to say, I am very satisfied with this new service. A special mention for Mathias' reactivity.
Lisette Richard
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I am delighted to have known Mon courrier de France. I have just entrusted them with parcels for Japan. The delivery was made in 4 days. The tracking in real time is respected. The prices are very attractive. The people in charge are very friendly and always available. We feel that it is serious and square. I highly recommend this address.
Not Lily
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I only use Mon courrier de France, no more problems with the Post Office whose parcels take more than 4 weeks to arrive in Buenos Aires. With Mon courrier de France 4 days! With an ultra professional service and very reactive and kind people on line. Very competitive rates. Mon courrier de France = Absolutely top notch
EL messaoudi Aicha
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Serious and attentive staff. This is so rare these days. My removal boxes arrived in good condition and quickly.
Mary Heulin
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We used their services for our move from Vietnam to France. They were very reactive despite the time difference and the problems that can be encountered with the post office in Asia ... we sent our parcels in several stages and there were no problems. We received our parcels within 3-4 days. I recommend them with my eyes closed.
Severine Delfosse
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I recommend Mon courrier de France, thanks to them my sister who lives in Ecuador received her mail very quickly.
Audrey Delrieux
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Wonderful! Real people who respond VERY quickly to questions by email and also on the phone. I was able to send a huge parcel of Christmas presents to the USA which arrived in 4 days, at a very good price. Thank you for the service. I will use you again
William B.
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Great service! Package arrived in a few days in Taiwan from Paris. Mathieu is very accommodating, I had to change the pick-up time at home and it was done very quickly! I will be back for my future international shipments!
Matthias Guilbert
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Hats off to this quality service in the middle of the Christmas rush! The customer service is professional, available and efficient... And it's the best price on the market that I could find! I can't believe it! This company is a real nugget.
 Thank you my courrier de france.
Jeremy Gorszczyk
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Great service for sending parcels from the US to France! Mathieu was able to help us get our parcels to France at very competitive rates! We recommend him!
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