What does the bill of lading mean


What does the bill of lading mean?

What is a bill of lading? From the maritime transport point of view, it is the most important document, which should be with every cargo. The difference is that it is not a kind of contract of carriage, but a confirmation of cargo acceptance for a sea route. A bill of lading is also a declaration by the ocean carrier that, upon arrival, all possessions will be released at the shipper's port. In this type of document, you will find a lot of basic information that is not limited to the usual personal details. There is also information about the cargo, the container, the seal, and the number of goods transferred. Interestingly, there are several types of bills of lading and before issuing one you should make sure that it is the one you expect. This type of document is the basis in maritime transport, which regulates the issues between sender - maritime carrier - port - addressee. It is also proof in disputable situations and it is worth taking care of the proper filling of the declaration, which protects the interests of all parties. 


Maritime bill of lading - what can we find in it?

What should a well filled out bill of lading contain? First and foremost, basic data about the addressee and shipper that will allow both to be identified and the shipment to be delivered at the destination port. The bill of lading is not a form of contract per se, but it is proof that a contract was made, and in case of any problems or damage to your possessions you can file a claim and possible compensation. The sea waybill also contains details about the port, the carrier, and the ship. It gives you the right to dispose of the cargo that has arrived at the destination port. A well-filled paper will not only save time considerably but will also make the process of collecting the shipment from the container easier. It is a valuable paper that represents a particular cargo.

Bill of lading - what other data can be found there? This very important document for sea transport also contains essential information on the cargo. The shipper and receiver will also find out where their container will be, what number it will have, and moreover, they will learn about the seal number. At the receiving end, it will also know how many and what types of packages should be in the shipment. This is the kind of document that is indispensable in shipping and you should keep an eye on the issue of its correct filling. This will save us not only a lot of time when receiving the cargo, but also will be solid proof in case of a complaint about improper handling of the cargo.

Maritime waybill - what do we need it for?
Why is the maritime waybill so important in maritime transport? It is a security document that represents a right to the cargo and its disposal. It is not a contract of carriage in itself, but an important proof of its conclusion. It is a document that represents the legal relationship between the shipper and the carrier, as well as information for the destination port to whom to release the shipment. Interestingly, a bill of lading is transferable and the rights to the cargo can be assigned to another person. Then the other entity or individual will have full rights to the contents of the sea container. We will need the bill of lading every time we want to collect cargo from the port and we need to confirm our identity and ownership.

What is the purpose of this type of shipping document? The bill of lading as security has three basic tasks. It is:

  • Proof of receipt of goods at the port and by the ocean carrier;
  • registered, commissioned, or bearer certificate of disposal and full right to the whole content of cargo;
  • the most important confirmation of the conclusion of a contract between the parties, as well as certification of the agreed terms.

Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that the consignment note is properly drafted. It will clearly state our requirements, what the cargo contains, as well as the conditions that the sea carrier can provide. This is a very important document in case of disputes - it is worth keeping it for yourself and waiting until the carriage is fully completed.

Documents in maritime transport - who issues them?

Who do we have to ask for an important document in maritime transport? Every time it should be the carrier, that is, in the case of maritime transport terminology, the shipowner. It is in his and the shipper's interest to draw up a correct and clearly worded document that sets out the framework and conditions of carriage. It is important to give there the address details of the port and the parties involved in the contract. In addition, you need to well describe the cargo in terms of quantity, dimensions, as well as place of storage. This allows for a much faster pickup at the port, as well as an easier route in case of possible damage. A bill of lading is an important document in logistics, without which no carriage by sea can do without.

What kind of sea waybill can we get? Nowadays, shipowners use many types of bills of lading, which differ in several important details. We distinguish:

  • ordinary bill of lading - issued directly and applies to the carriage of cargo on one ship only;
  • Direct bill of lading - concerns carriage with transshipment in one or more ports with the help of more than one carrier;
  • combined bill of lading - issued by the shipowner who assumes the role of CTO carrier and bears full responsibility for the cargo even if several means of transport are used;
  • FIATA bill of lading - it is issued by a forwarder who assumes the role of MTO and bears full responsibility for damage or loss of the whole cargo.

How are documents important in maritime transport?

Are bills of lading really that important in shipping? Yes, it is an important document that, without being a contract anyway, regulates many issues in the carriage of cargo on ships. It not only gives you full rights to dispose of the entire contents of the container, but also greatly simplifies the formalities when receiving the shipment in port. It is worth taking care of the formalities each time, as well as accurately fill out the bill of lading - which is a confirmation of acceptance of cargo by the shipowner. It is also an important document in disputable situations, which allows not only to claim compensation for damage to the cargo, but also its loss. In logistics, well-drafted documentation is very powerful, and it is worth ensuring that it is kept correctly - this also applies to the clients of transport companies.