An inland bill of lading is often the first transportation document issued for an international shipment. It may be prepared by the inland carrier or the shipper and then signed when the carrier takes possession or picks up the cargo.
The inland bill of lading is a contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier stating what goods are shipping, where they are going and where they started. It also serves as a receipt issued by the carrier once your shipment is picked up.
The inland bill of lading is not typically consigned to the foreign buyer of the goods. It is more typically consigned to the freight forwarder, warehouse, packaging company, another third party in the process or the international carrier. If it is not immediately consigned to the international carrier, the forwarder or other third party will need to consign it to the carrier once they are identified.
As an exporter, correctly filling out a bill of lading is important if you want to get paid on time. Why? Because it determines the shipment date, and payment date is often associated with shipment date. Financing, too, is often associated with shipment date, as banks often refer to pre-shipment financing or post-shipment financing. Plus, more than 10,000 shipping containers are lost annually. Without a correctly completed bill of lading, that could mean a major headache trying to get compensated for your loss.
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