Types of Bill of Lading

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CONTAINER BILL OF LADING

This type of BL indicates that the goods are carried in a container as one unit of cargo. The container in which the goods are locked-in are generally numbered in a systematic manner indicating ownership, type of container, size of container and identification number. This facilities quicker loading/unloading at the port and thus avoids congestion.

MASTER BILL OF LADING

The MBL is issued by the original carrier/steamer agent or shipping line to freight forwarders, who generally consolidate, giving details of the cargo to be carried by the liner.

HOUSE BILL OF LADING

The HBL is issued by the freight forwarders to the shipper, giving details of the consignment to be carried out to the destination country. The HBL is generally issued by Non Vessel Operating Container Carriers (NVOCCs).

EXPRESS BILL OF LADING

The EBL is a document required for the fast delivery of a consignment. The original Bill of Lading is not required in this case, which is surrendered at the load port.

COMBINED TRANSPORT BILL OF LADING

Also known as “Multimodal Trasport Document” a Combined Transport Bill of Lading is a BL issued bya shipping company or its agents who act as combined transport operators and carry the goods from start to finish.

The shipping company or its agents act as principal carriers (called contractual carriers) guaranteeing safe carriage of goods. Such a continuous liability is not available in the case of through BL. It is a negotiable document issued in sets subject to the we have the Multimodal Transportation of Goods Act, 1993 governing issurance of such documents.

CLEAN BILL OF LADING

A clean BL is one which does not bear to any suprimposed clause or notation that expressly declairs the defective condition of the goods or packing. In other words, a clean Bill of Lading is one which states that the goods have been “shipped in good order and condition”.

CLAUSED BILL OF LADING

Under this type of BL, certain superimposed clauses or reservation express declaring the defective nature of goods, their packing etc., are mentioned by the master of the vessel/steamer agent For example – “Gunny bags form “Drum leaking” etc.

ON-BOARD BILL OF LADING

This BL evidences goods having been loaded on board the specified vessel. Such a BL will have a notation “Shipped On Board” or words to that effect. In these cases, the date of issuance of the BL will be deemed to be the date of shipment.

RECEIVED FOR SHIPMENT BILL OF LADING

The BL merely acknowledges receipt of goods by the ship owners or their agents for shipment. Such a BL will contain a clause reading “Received in apparent good order and condition (or otherwise) for shipment by m.v. ………. or the next following vessel”. It is compulsory to mention the name of the actual vessel in case of change of vessel after completion of loading by putting the notation “On-Board” Such notation will be dated and authenticated by the shiping company. In such cases, the date on notation shall be deemed as date of shipment.

SHORT FORM BILL OF LADING

A BL normally evidences as underlying contract of carriage and hence should have the terms and conditions of carriage printed on it. In case of a Short Form BL, the contract of carriage may not be stated in full and merely states the name of the shipper, name of ship, date of shipment, etc. For full details, another document may be cited for being referred to. The total number of packages and description are also to be stated in the document.

LINER BILL OF LADING

This is issued by the shipping companies whi are members of conference lines having a scheduled and strictly-timed run,while the tramp steamer is a chartered ship prepared to carry anything anywhere without a regualar trip. A tramp steamer may deviate from the normal route and make unscheduled calls at various ports.

THROUGH BILL OF LADING

A BL, which is issued for the entire voyage covering both domastic and international trasport of export goods between specified points for specified charges, is called Through BL. This is used generally when the goods have to take more than one mode of transport. Since it does not specify that the goods are on-board the ship, it resembles a Received for shipment BL.

SWITCH BILL OF LADING

Often called “the trader’s second set” and intended to replace the first set of Bills of Lading issued. Usually used where a sellet / trader wishes to keep the name of his suppier i.e. shipper, secret from the ultimate buyer of the goods. Under this type of BL, only the name of the shipper and or consignee and or Notify Party can be changed. The normal BL has to be surrendered, but the BL number remains the same.

CHARTER PARTY BILL OF LADING

“Charter Party” is a contract between the ship owners and the hirer who may hire the vessel on a voyage basis or duration basis. The document containing the terms and conditions of this contract is known as the Charter Party. The shipper who has chartered the ship may agree to carry the goods of others in the ship and issue a BL for the purpose. Such parties are called Charter Parties and the BL is called Charter Party BL. This kind of BL is subject to the terms and conditions agreed upon by hirer of the ships / ship space and ship onwers. Generally, banks do not accept charter party BL as the ship owner may exercise lien over the goods in case charterers do not pay hire charges.

LASH BILL OF LADING

Under this type if BL, the operators state that the goods have been received and placed on board a barge, to be carried and ultimately placed on the mother vessel / “LASH” stands for Lighter Abroad Ships. Thus, it is the same as a Received for Shipment BL until it bears a clause stating that the barge is put on board the parent vessel. In South – East Asia, Lash barge operations have been withdrawn.

STALE BILL OF LADING

Every credit which calls for a transport document(s) should also stipulate a specified period of time after the date of shipment, during which presentation must be made in compliance with the terms and conditions of the credit. If no such period of time is stipulated, banks will not accept documents presented to them later than 21 days after the date of shipment. In any event, documents must be presented not later than the expiry date of the credit.

AIR WAY BILL

When goods are sent by air, the airline company or its authorised agent issues a waybill called air way bill. This is also known as an air consignment note, Air waybill is an acknowledgement or receipt given to the shipper. Unlike a Bill of Lading, it is not a document of title to goods. It establishes the terms between a shipper and an air transportation company and consignee for the transport of goods. In an air way bill, description of commodity, applicable air transportation charges, conditions, limitations of liability and shipping instruction are included. The air waybill covers both domestic and international flights transporting cargo to a specified destination. The air waybills is a non-negotiable document which serves as a receipt for the shipper evidencing that the carrier has accepted the goods listed and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified condition.