The ocean bill of lading serves as both a contract for carriage and a document of title for the cargo. The bill of lading identifies the parties on both ends of the shipment, as well as a description of the goods and routing instructions.
There are two categories of ocean bills of lading that reflect the terms and conditions of the sale of the goods.
The straight bill of lading is used when the shipment is consigned directly to the named consignee and no other party. Typically this type of consignment is used for open account or cash in advance transactions. The consignee can take possession of the goods at arrival by presenting a signed original bill of lading to the carrier.
An ocean bill of lading consigned “to order” or “to order of shipper” is negotiable once it is endorsed on the back by the shipper or their representative. The endorsed original bill of lading is usually sent to the bank in the buyer’s country and held until the transaction is satisfied under a document collection, cash against documents, or a letter of credit. Once the endorsed original bill of lading and other required documents are in the hands of the buyer, the buyer can transfer the bill of lading.
If you are tired of trying to assemble your export documents manually, we’d love to introduce you to an easier way. With Shipping Solutions, you can complete these documents five times faster. And they’ll be more accurate, too. Give it a try.