A bill of lading is contract signed between the shipping party, the carrier, and the recipient of the goods being ferried. It is used to be given to the shippers in sea shipments once the vessel has departured.

Bill of lading is a very important document without which it would be impossible to carry out any transportation.

It has two versions: the order bill of lading and the straight bill of lading. The former mainly consigns the goods to a particular company for transportation. The latter gives the shipment to a particular company and restricts it to a given route.

The shipping industry also relies on it for a number of other applications as seen below.

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bill of lading


It Acts As a Document of Title

The bill is a legal document used in both the custom offices of the country of origin and the final destination of the goods. When used as a document of title it reflects the final destination and the recipient of the goods. All information is taken to be accurate as it must be authenticated by the Negotiable Instrument Act. Without it, there will be no clear destination of the goods.

Acts As Carriers Acknowledgement for Receipt of Goods

By the carrier duly signing and issuing the document, they are legally acknowledging having received the shipment. It then agrees to transport it to the foreign destinations as contained in the document. However, all the cargo requirements must be fully adhered to before the goods can be allowed on board.

It’s A Contract of Carriage

The document is used to show that the sea is the official means of ferrying the goods. It is normally categorized as a sea consignment which legalizes ships to be used as the official transport vessels.

A bill of lading is a mandatory document that gives the go ahead for the shipping company to undertake transportation. Its other applications are equally important as they reduce the need to have other unnecessary documents that would complicate and slow the shipment process.

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