What is Bill of Lading?

Usually, to transport commodities from one place to another, there needs to be some form of formal documentation to show that these commodities are being transported by a company. This applies to cargo that is being transported via airplanes, ships, or trucks. The document that enables smooth shipping of commodities is called "Bill of Lading." 

The Bill of Lading is nothing but a formal document that is carried by a shipper. It includes all the details and necessary information about the goods that are being transported by the shipper. The Bill of Lading is a predetermined bill that shows the proof of the commodity that is being transferred to a predetermined destination. However, such documents need to be signed and authorized by the respective personals. 

Importance of Bill of Lading

The significance of the Bill of Lading proves to be crucial in the shipping industry. It’s no doubt that every shipper irrespective of the type of transportation they pursue, has a bill of lading. But the primary significance of a bill of lading is given below. 

•    Carrying the Bill of Lading is preferred over carrying the original documents. The bill of lading tends to act as a token that the original documents will be given by the exporter, once the payments are carried out. 
•    Also, it works as an informant from the carrier to the shipper, in guiding the shipper to its respective destination. Also, the terms and conditions of the transportation of goods from one place to another are mentioned. 
•    The Bill of Lading is a legal document that is used to pass several countries without any issue. It also provides all the necessary details and information on the cargo that is being shipped from one place to another. 
•    This document also provides the necessary information and insight over the permit of selling goods and other financial credit. 

Types of the bill of lading

Based on the usage and the purpose of using a bill of lading, the various types are as follows. 

•    Straight bill of lading
This form of a bill of lading is used when the financial transactions have already been made. The shipper provides it to the customer. 
•    Clean bill of lading
Clean bill of lading is the bill that is used by the shipping carrier, to provide a document of assurance that the package has been appropriately boarded and there isn't any damage that has occurred while boarding the cargo. 
•    To order bill of lading
This bill of lading is used when the payments are not carried out in advance. It's usually between the shipper and the customer. 
•    Shipped onboard bill of lading
This form of a bill of lading is handed out when the cargo arrives at the port, without any damage. Then, it's loaded onto the ship to be exported to the designated destination.  
•    Direct bill of lading
A direct bill of lading is used when the same form of transportation that picked up the cargo, will deliver the package to its designated location. 
•    Stale bill of lading
Usually, the cargo that needs to be transported over a short distance through the sea arrives way before the bill of lading has been generated. This bill of lading is called a stale bill of lading.
•    Inland bill of lading
This sort of bill of lading supports shipping carried through any form of transport except overseas. 
•    Ocean bill of lading
This form of a bill of lading allows the shipper to ship cargo nationally and internationally, via oceans. 
•    Through bill of lading
A shipper uses this form of a bill of lading when the cargo is transported to its respective destination by various types of transportation. And based on the destination, another bill of ladings is included. 
•    Claused bill of lading
If the received cargo is damaged, then this form of a bill of lading is issued. 

Hence, a bill of lading is crucial in the shipping industry as it has a lot of power in terms of shipping and gaining approval for transportation. Therefore, based on the usage and the type of shipment, respective bills of lading are issued.  

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