Table of Contents

Bill of Lading: Everything you need to know

bill of lading

What is a Bill of Lading?

  • Bill is a document that mentioned in cost or price of goods and services
  • Lade meaning is loading cargo onto to ship or other transportation modes.

A Bill of lading meaning is a recording of goods that are loaded to ship

  • It is an agreement between a carrier or transport company and the shipper.
  • B L issued by transportation or carrier company to the shipper

In the BL mentioned below things.

  • Terms of the contract of carriage
  • Shipper’s rights and obligations
  • Carrier’s rights and obligations

The appearance of Bill of lading-sample of the bill of lading?

Sample of Bill of lading;sourced by templatelab.com

What are the details included in B/L?

  • shipper’s/exporter’s details-name, address, and zip code.
  • consignee’s/importer’s details-name, address, and zip code.
  • freight forwarder’s details-name, address, and zip code.
  • incoterms
  • Bill of lading number
  • Carrier details-name, voyage number
  • freight charge terms
  • customer order information/shipment details-number of packages, weight, number of pallets, commodity description
  • carrier signature and date

Functions of Bill of Lading

1. Evidence of a contract of carriage

B/L is providing evidence of the contract.

Evidence of oral agreement between shipper and carrier

  • Get empty containers
  • Shipping instructions
  • Freight chargers
  • Collecting bill of lading
  • Booking has already been made by the shipper
  • Shipping instructions has given by a shipper
  • Empty containers need to collect by a shipper that is provided by the carrier

2. Receipt for the cargo

b/l is showing details of cargo quantity and condition of the cargo. It acts as a receipt of the cargo. Therefore consignee/buyer can demand the goods that are mentioned in B/L according to the right condition and right quantity when the cargo has loaded onto a ship.

Hague-Visby rules say that B/L provides two types of evidence as a receipt of cargo.

  • Prima facie evidence -for the shipper
  • Conclusive evidence – for the third party

3.  Document of title

B/L functions as a document of title. It means the legal right (the title) of the cargo can be passed from one party to another party by the endorsement of the B/L. We can simply say cargo ownership can be transferred from one party to another by B/L endorsement.

The meaning of endorsement is a written document on the original bill of lading in the consignee’s name, with the endorsement can transfer the right of shipment to another party.

The carrier is liable to release cargo at the destination port to the right owner of the B/L mentioned which is duly endorsed original B/L.

When B/L issuing time, the shipper is advised to a carrier for mentioning consignee.

  • Air transportation-Airway bill
  • Sea transportation- Ocean bill of lading

Is B/L a contract of carriage?

B/L is not a contract of carriage It is only for evidence of the contract.

B/L is signed by one party, so it is not a contract. If it is a contract needs to be signed by two parties(carrier and shipper). The shipper cannot sign by B/L because it is B/L is released after the ship sail.

Is B/L a transferable document?

Yes B/L can be transferred by endorsement. Then cargo ownership is also transferred.

What are the types of bills of lading?

Clean Bill of Lading

If there are not any clauses regarding cargo or package damages when cargo has been loaded to ship. It’s called a clean B/L.

What is a Claused bill of lading?

This type of Bill of lading contains remarks or notations about cargo or package damages.

Also called foul B/L or Dirty B/L

Types of the bill of lading according to operations

Received to shipment

  • This B/L type is issued by a carrier to the shipper. It is evidence of receiving goods to a carrier for transport, but cargo is not loaded to ship or carrier.
  • Its no evidence about the actual shipment. Because cargo is not loaded onto the named vessel.
  • After the cargo is loaded to ship, received for shipment b/l is automatically canceled. And shipped on board B/L is issued by a carrier to a shipper.
  • Generally used for short transit time shipment.

Shipped on board B/l

This is a general type of B/L. Shipped on board b/l is issued by the carrier to a shipper. It is evidence for the cargo has been received by a carrier and cargo has been loaded onto the relevant vessel.

This is issued after the vessel has sailed.

Comparison between shipped B/L and received for shipment B/L

Shipped B/LReceived for shipment B/L
Issued by the carrier after the goods are loaded and when the ship sails.Issued by the carrier when receiving goods for shipment. But not loaded to ship.
This is evidence of the shipmentNo evidence of actual shipment
Cargo is on board the vesselCargo is not loaded into the named ship or vessel
Valuable document in international trade. Which is involving carriers, shippers, and banks.Not acceptable in the transactions of international banks.
When loading cargo onto the ship, shipped b/l is issued by the carrier, which has a legal point of view in transit.When the cargo is actually loaded into a ship, received for shipment b/l is canceled due to issuing shipped b/l.

Switch Bill of Lading?

Issue a second set of B/L that mentions different shipper details or consignee details.

When the original B/L is lost, you can request a duplicate set of B/L from the carrier. The switch bill of lading is not that kind of duplicate B/L. In the switch B/L, there are a little bit different details than the original b/l.IT MAY BE CONSINGEE DETAILS CAHNGED OR SHIPPER DEQATILS CAHNGED.

Who can request Switch B/L?

A Bill of lading is a document of ownership(title). So the cargo owner can request a bill of lading. But he should have an original set of bills of lading. Requesters need to submit a full set of original B/L for processing Switch B/L.

Who can issue Switch B/L?

Switch B/L requests can be approved by the carrier, agent, or freight forwarder.

What is the Seaway bill?

Also known as a straight bill of lading, express release bill of lading.

What is Through Bill of lading?

Commonly known as through B/L. It is used when transportation of goods directly through domestic and international borders.

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