Types of Bill of Lading

Types of Bill of Lading

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Types of Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading in a legal document, used between a shipper and a carrier that specifies the type, quantity and destination of the goods that is being carried. The bill is also used as a shipment receipt when the carrier delivers goods at the predetermined destination. This document accompanies the shipped goods, not taking into consideration the mode of transportation. An authorized representative from the carriers, shipper and receiver are necessitated to sign it.

The Bill of Lading also indicates the carrier through which the goods have been placed to reach their destination and the condition required to transport the shipment. Land, ocean and air are the means that are used to transport the bills of lading.

Purpose of Bills of Lading

The carrier does not require to submit all the originals before the delivery. The exporter has to retain control over the full set of the originals until the payment is effected or a bill of exchange is accepted or some other assurance for payment has been made. Therefore, a bill of lading is very important when making shipments. The bill acts as an agreement between a carrier and a shipper for the transportation of goods and on other conditions, it serves as a receipt that is issued by a carrier to the shipper.

Contents of Bill of Lading

  • Names and Addresses

In this section, the full names and addresses of both the shipper and the receiver should be mentioned so that it would be very easy to locate the document.

  • Purchase Orders or Special Reference Number

These numbers are considered important to the business in terms of freight that has to be released for pickup or accepted at delivery.

  • Special Instruction

Under this section, all the instructions for the carriers that are not for extra service requests like lift gate or delivery notification are taken down.

  • Date

The pickup date will be mentioned here that will be used as a reference to track the freight when shipping invoices are composed.

  • Description of Items

All shippers have to note the number of shipping units, the dimensions and weight, and the description about the material and its makeup.

  • Packaging Type

Items such as cartons, crates, pallets and drums that are used when shipping have to be noted.

  • NMFC Freight Class

Freight classes impacts the cost of the shipment. In general, freight shipments are broken down into 18 classes based on the weight, dimensions, density, storage capability, ease of handling, value and liability.

  • Department of Transportation hazardous Material Designation

Hazardous shipments have to be clearly mentioned and special rules and requirements are applicable while shipping.

Issuance of Bill of Lading

Bill of lading is a receipt issued by the Shipping Company or by the concerned agents for goods that are placed on Board of Vessel, signed by the carrier, issued for carrying the dame from Port of the Receipt to Port of Discharge. The said bill can be issued on Freight to Collect or on Prepaid Basis. Besides this, the Bill of Lading can also be issued by Freight Forwarders and Banks that accept it for transport/ negotiable instruments as per Article 30 of the UCPDC. Original Ocean Bill of lading consists a full set of 3/3 when the Letter of Credit calls for such presentation. All three Bills of Lading have to be marked Original and the second and third should not be marked as duplicate or triplicate.

Types of Bill of Lading

Given below are the types of Bill of Lading.

  • Clean Bill of Lading
  • Received for Shipment Bill of Lading
  • Through Bill of Lading
  • Claused Bill of Lading
  • Container Bill of Lading
  • House Bill of Lading
  • Master Bill of Lading
  • Charter Party Bill of Lading
  • Multimodal Transport Document/ Combined Transport Document
  • Forwarders Bill of Lading
  • Stale Bill of Lading
  • Short-term/ Blank Back Bill of Lading
  • Straight Bill of Lading
  • Order Bill of Lading
  • Bearer Bill of Lading
  • Surrender Bill of Lading

Clean Bill of Lading

Clean Bill of Lading is issued by the Shipping Company or by its agents without any declaration on the defective Constitution of the goods/ packages taken on Board/ stuffed in containers.

Received for Shipment Bill of Lading

Received Bill of Lading is a document that is issued by a carrier as evidence of receipt of goods for shipment. It is issued prior to the vessel loading and is therefore not an onboard bill of lading.

Through Bill of Lading

Through Bills of Lading are complex than most BOLS. The document permits the shipping carrier to pass the cargo through several modes of transportation or through several distribution centers. This bill includes an Inland Bill of Lading and an Ocean Bill of Lading depending on the destination.

Claused Bill of Lading

Claused Bill of Lading is issued when the cargo is damaged or when the quantity goes missing.

Container Bill of Lading

Container Bill of Lading is a document that gives information about goods that are delivered in a safe container or containers from one port to another.

House Bill of Lading

House Bill of Lading is a document generated by an Ocean Transport Intermediary freight forwarder or non-vessel operating company. The document is an acknowledgement of the receipt of goods that are shipped, issued to the suppliers when the cargo is received. This Bill of Lading is also known as Forwarders Bill of Lading.

Master Bill of Lading

Master Bill of Lading is a document that is created for shipping companies by their carriers as a receipt of transfer. The document specifies the terms that are required for transporting the freight, details of the consignor or the shipper, the consignee and the respective person who possess the goods.

Charter Party Bill of Lading

Charter Party Bill of Lading is an agreement between a charterer and a vessel owner. The document is issued by the charterer of the vessel to the shipper for the goods that are shipped on board the vessel.

Multi modal Transport Document/ Combined Transport Document

Multi Modal Transport Document or Combined Transport Document is a type of Through Bill of Lading the involves a minimum of two different modes of transport, land or ocean. However, the modes of transportation can be anything from freight boat to air.

Stale Bill of Lading

Stale Bill of Lading is presented for negotiation after 21 days from the date of shipment or any other date/ number of days stipulated in the documentary credit.

Short-term/ Blank Back Bill of Lading

Short term or Blank Back Bill of Lading is issued when the detailed terms and conditions of the carriage contract are not given on the body of the Bill of Lading or on the back of the Bill of Lading.

Straight Bill of Lading

Straight Bill of Lading indicates that the goods are consigned to a particular person and it is not negotiable free from the existing equities. This means that an endorsee acquires no better rights other than those that are held by the endorser. This bill is also called as a non-negotiable bill of lading. Whereas, from a banker’s perspective, this type of lading is not safe.

Order Bill of Lading

Order Bill of Lading is the bill that expresses words that make the bill negotiable. This explains that the delivery is to be made to the further order of the consignee using terms such as ‘delivery to A Limited or to order or assigns.

Bearer Bill of Lading

Bearer Bill of Lading is a bill that states that the delivery shall be made to whosoever holds the bill. These bills are specially created or it is an order bill that does not nominate the consignee in its original form or through an endorsement in blank. A bearer bill can be negotiated by physically delivering it.

Surrender Bill of Lading

Surrender Bill of Lading works under the term ‘import documentary credit’, where the bank releases documents on receipt from the negotiating bank. The importer does not make the payment to the bank until the maturity of the draft under the relative credit.


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