What´s a Bill of Lading in maritime transport?

26/02/20160 CommentsSEO SEO
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The Bill of Lading, also known as B/L plays a fundamental role in the maritime industry, specifically for the shipping industry. This document is proof of the cargo´s ownership and helps the shipper to process the load according to the contract drawn up between the carrier and the shipper. 3 to 5 original documents are usually issued by the carrier.

The B/L acts a receipt of the merchandise received by the captain and allows the consignee to claim the freight. Nowadays this process is regulated by the Hamburg Rules, adopted in 1978 by the United Nations Commission for the Unification of International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

This is the route for a BOL to follow: According to the firm Lilly and Associates the contents of a Bill of Lading are: -Name and signature of the carrier, ship´s captain or a legal representative. -Date (place, month and year) and special instruction for the carrier to ensure the delivery. -Vessel details (Name, nationality, TEU). -Port of load and unload. -Cargo conditions. -Type of cargo, number of shipping units, packaging details, weight, declared value, brand, size, and other details. -Consignee´s details. -Special rules and requirements when shipping hazardous materials. -Sometimes it can include the freight charges.

Example of a Bill of Lading:

There are also different types of Bill of Lading. The most popular are:
  • Straight B/L: Typically used when shipping to a costumer. The items have already been paid for.
  • To order B/L: The payment has not been made in advance.
  • To the bearer B/L: The bearer of the bill of lading is the owner of the cargo and there is no consignee name in the B/L.
According to carrier’s responsibility: -Port to port B/L: The same vessel that picked up the cargo will deliver it to its final destination. -Multimodal or combined B/L: Covers more than one mode of transfer, for example, ocean and road. Carrier has the responsibility from place of pick up, up to the return of the cargo. -Through B/L: There´s only one mode of cargo movement, but different legs. The carrier is responsible only for their leg of sea transport. Bill of Ladings can also be classified as Master, when issued by the shipping line or House, when issued by a NVOCC.To find out more about this and another interesting topics, visit our other entries. Thank you to our sources: http://www.cargax.com/bill-of-lading/http://www.shiplilly.com/es/blog/guia-de-documentos-de-conocimiento-de-embarque-para-principiantes/http://www.myseatime.com/blog/detail/different-types-of-bill-go-ladings
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