Bill of Lading, B/L for short, is the most important shipping document in international trade. The bill of lading works as a receipt of freight services. It is a contract between a freight carrier and shipper and a document of title.
The contract between a shipper and the freight carrier is established when the shipper or their agent made a booking with the carrier to carry the cargo from A to B. And the B/L is the evidence.
Types of bill of lading:
- Straight bill of lading: The straight bill of lading is specified to the particular party and the specified party cannot re-assign it to anyone else.The party only has to take the delivery of the cargo and the cargo cannot be sold by transferring the bill of lading to another party’s name.
- Order bill of lading: It is a negotiable bill of lading. Unlike straight bill of lading, it can be transferred by endorsement and delivery of the bill. Generally, goods which have not been paid-for in advance are shipped under order bill of lading.
- Bearer bill of lading: The bearer bill of lading is the one in which the bearer is the owner of the cargo and their is no consignee named in the bill of lading. This kind of bill of lading is rarely found as there are huge risks involved in the misuse of this kind of bill of ladings.
- Through bill of lading: A through bill of lading is a legal document that allows for the transportation of goods both within domestic borders and through international shipment. A single bill of lading covering receipt of the cargo at the point of origin for delivery to the ultimate consignee, using two or more modes of transportation.