I have had numerous enquiries from our valued customers who want to understand what a bill of lading is; without getting too technical? I will try to simplify the explanation for the benefit of those who just want to know.
What is Bill of lading?
The term bill of lading is derived from the combination of words “bill,” in the sense of a bill
for transporting goods, and "lade", the verb meaning “to load,” specifically, a cargo for shipping.
Bill of Lading (sometimes abbreviated as B/L or BOL) is a type of document that is used to acknowledge the receipt of a shipment of goods and gives title of that shipment to a specified party. A transportation company or carrier
typically issues this document to a shipper.
For example, if you (The shipper) ship a car through a freight forwarder like Savannah Freight Services-Ltd, Savannah Freight Services will forward your car to the shipping company. The shipping company will then transport your car (cargo), the shipping company will then issue a bill of lading with the details below.
DETAILS FOUND IN A BILL OF LADING.
In addition to acknowledging the receipt of goods, the document gives the following details:
Most shipping companies will not take responsibility for any goods loaded in a vehicle. Most bills of lading have this disclaimer:
"VESSEL NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCESSORIES AND / OR LOOSE ITEMS INCLUDING PERSONAL EFFECTS OF ANYKIND SAID TO BE STOWED IN OR ON VEHICLE"
BELOW IS A SAMPLE OF A TYPICAL BILL OF LADING.
Please feel free to contact us if you need any information on processing your Bill of Lading.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PRODUCE A BILL OF LADING WHEN SHIPPING A CAR FROM UK?
Bill of Lading is usually produced by the shipping company after departure of the cargo. Shipping companies usually produce a draft bill of lading as soon as the vessel departs. The Draft Bill of Lading is usually sent to the Freight Forwarder for verification of details and correction before the original bill of lading is despatched. Most common error on vehicle bill of lading is the vehicle chassis number and destination of vehicle. If these errors are noted early, the freight forwarder will communicate with the shipping company for correction.
In most cases; if the shipper chooses to receive the original bill of lading; the original bill of lading will be sent to the shipper ( owner of goods) before the goods arrive at port of discharge. If the shipper chooses not to receive the original bill of lading, a telex release will be done at the port of destination. It is not possible to have both a telex release and original bill of lading on the same cargo.
Sometimes delays occur if paperwork is not processed on time or if payment is not received on time. There are times when the freight forwarder and the shipper have done everything correctly, but still there are delays with telex release and issuing an original bill of lading. If this happens, it is always best to keep all parties informed.