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HomeBill of LadingMultiple shippers in a bill of lading..??

Multiple shippers in a bill of lading..??

Multiple shippers in a bill of lading..??

This is a question raised by a reader.. I thought i would throw out this question to you my dear readers..

In my experience I have not seen more than 1 shipper listed on a bill of lading.. I have seen 2 Notify parties, but never more than 1 shipper in the shipper’s field..

Have any of you come across such listing..?? Do share if you have..

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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiar
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


  1. I have a cargo of about 26 Cum shipped in 40 feet container combining with other 2 more shippers by a cargo agent. I have my own B/L. Do I have to pay any de-stuffing charges and empty container movement charges at delivery point. will this be included in the invoices of loading/shipping?

  2. Buenos días.
    Mediante un Joint Venture entre dos empresas queremos realizar la compra de 2500 TM de Urea en términos CIF Ecuador. Sin embargo, para hacer la nacionalización del producto en Ecuador, en el BL debe venir un solo consignatario. Tienes algún consejo para poder cumplir con este requerimiento?

    • Hi Mauricio.. Google Translate says you are asking below question “Good morning. Through a Joint Venture between two companies we want to purchase 2500 MT of Urea in CIF Ecuador terms. However, to nationalize the product in Ecuador, only one consignee must appear in the BL. Do you have any advice to be able to comply with this requirement?”

      Customs in most countries do not allow multiple consignees on bill of lading as 1 sales contract usually can only have 1 buyer.. Even if there are multiple buyers, customs work with 1 customs code per customs entry..

      Why do you need multiple consignee’s on bill of lading..??

      If you reply, could you pls reply in English so its easier and there is no ambiguity.. Thanks..

  3. i need to add care of or on behalf of in the shipper to add 2 shippers . the question here , which shipping line add on behalf of or care of except CMA because it has high rats right now .
    i want to ship from Egypt to Angola

  4. I have 1 container coming from Italy to the UAE; I have requested 2 HBL under 1 consignee, but I only have 1 COO, 1 commercial invoice, and 1 packing list from company A, and I don’t have the documents for company B. Can the container be cleared by customs using only company A documents?

  5. i have a similar situation here when i need to ship 2 equipment owned by different party from country ABC can i have only 1 BL but issue 2 commercial invoice for each equipment ?

  6. Hi I have a query my consignee X has raised a Usance LC 180 days for me for a shipment , meanwhile once the shipment was ready the container was not full of goods so he is asking me to add more goods in the container and make a new invoice for those goods for which he will do advance TT , so is it possible for me to give two invoices for same consignee in one container with two bills with two different payment terms , also note the invoice with LC will be given to different bank for discounting purpose and the invoice with advance payment will be given to another bank for settling the inward ,

    Please share your thoughts !!!

    • Dear sir,
      I know it is long time since you asked your question but may be the answer will benefit another person.
      =*= first of all you can use one container with more than one invoice and issuing more than one Bill of Lading (B/L).
      =*= for LC Invoice and B/L you have to be sure that the LC allowing LCL because if it is FCL it will be a discrepancy in your documents.
      =*= There is no problem in dealing with more than one bank.

  7. Is it applicable & compliant to have multiple companies (several exporters) described in thw SHIPPER field in an HBL?
    This question considers exports from Brazil to many countries overseas.

    • We have a case as follows:
      End-User issued PO to our agent, our agent issued PO to us, and we issued the PO to our manufacturer.
      Our agent is selling EXW, and we are selling our agent EXW. Hence the collection will be done by end-user EX-Factory.
      1- COO –> will be issued by manufacturer, shipper being manufacturer, consigned to end-user’s freight forwarder.
      2- Packing List –> will be issued by manufacturer, shipper being manufacturer, consigned to end-user’s freight forwarder.
      3- Commercial Invoice –> Manufacturer will invoice us, we will invoice agent, and agent will invoice end-user.

      In this regards, the shipper’s name on the export documents will be Manufacturer on behalf of our company while clearing consignment for export. Meanwhile how will the import clearing take place ? i.e. based on which invoice? Supposedly my agent’s invoice to end-user is the clearing invoice, will the remaining documents (COO PL) initially prepared by shipper be compliant?

      Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

  8. Thank you for this post – I have a slightly different question though, something I have actually come across in the past. How about 1 shipper on AWB but 02 different invoicing parties? For example – one part of the shipment is sold directly by shipper to destination & another part of the same shipment is sold by shipper to a third party (third party then invoices to destination, so final invoice is issued after 2nd leg transaction occurs on high seas. Both parts are on the same AWB of course and buyer for both parts of the shipment is the same entity. Is this allowed?

  9. Sir We have shipment to Qatar from Australia Sydney port we have issued 6 bill of lading but we have issued 2 invoice and 2 certificate of origins, it possible to for customs clearance, and can negotiate the docs under LC

    • Yes, if the consignee is same.
      Also, if the consignee s are different, the shipper can issue separate invoices, but how can he split the COO? Customs will not accept copies for clearing.

  10. Dear Sir, I am Indian Based Merchant and I want to purchase a goods from Thailand and wants to sell UK buyer and the Destination port is Istanbul Turkey in this case how can handle the documentation. In this The original Supplier (A) in Thailand and Myself(B) in India and the buyer(C) in Uk.Here B donot want to disclose the contact of A to C how can we deal this case .Please guide me with your helpful and expert advice.

    • You must find out a company from Thailand who have exporting license and payment only to be made by telex transfer instead of LC. Buyer must send advance payment to your account only meantime you must have goods relation with exporter.

  11. Hello,
    we oftenly do shipment with two shippers name in a single BL ,with stating ‘on behalf of’ in shipper’s cell of BL.

    • Yes Correct, I too have noticed such practice. It is mostly practiced in a transaction where by the actual seller to a sale contract is different from the shipper in a contract of carriage (mostly the manufacturer). Such requirement occurs when the seller wants to show his name on B/L and want to convey the feeling that the shipment is done under his instructions only.

      This is as per my knowledge and understanding, but I would appreciate comment from other experts too.

      ~ Vashishth Joshi (Exim Counsel)

  12. I handle FLC/LCL consols as well but I do 1 MBL and several SUB HOUSES for each shipper, I am not sure 2 shippers on 1 HBL is compliant.. what if you need to file AES for both shippers?

  13. I am working with Trading company,India

    We got order from ABC,USA. contract was on FOB-Indian Port,
    but before shipment he asked us to consigned the shipment to XYZ,PERU and also his name with Shipper.

    so, the BL was made Shipper as :our c. name, address IN CARE OF ABC, USA

    But here Shipper will be consider as We (India) and not ABC, USA

    Dear Hariesh I would also like to see the BL with multiple shipper as you have received through mail by Mr.Waheed.

    • Dear Hariesh / Dear Arif, can you share the BL copy. I have such type work, so want to prepare my self with my shipping agent for easy understanding.

  14. Planning a shipment to Tanzania, please let me know, is it possible for this 1 shipment have 2 consignees and 2 consignors? Thank you.

  15. Dear All,
    GOOD DAY !


    • so cannot.consolidate per instance 2 indian suppliers on same b/l, the consignee beeing the same of course?


  16. HI, I work with 1 HBL with several shippers and only 1 consigne. This kind is called as FCL/LCL. NO problem for customs. on shipper’s cell is: SHIPPER 1 / SHIPPER 2. Address, you choose any addres of only 1 shippers.

    Yes, you will have 2 commercial invoices.
    Will make only 1 customs procees and only 1 document because is only 1 consignee with “1 importer number” // because is only 1 consignee.

    Also, you have to check with your local customs office, Customs’ policies are different between countries.

  17. Hi Sir,

    Thanks for your blog, it’s so helpful for me 🙂

    My question is : if we have 2 or more consignee what should we do? especially when we have a partial shipment!
    Coz in this case I found 2 BLs with the same Container numbers. I didn’t understand it!!

    Thanks in advance

  18. Hi Mannadiar,

    You are correct. I am working for a shipping agency for the last 30 years and never seen a B/L with multiple shipper. I would like to know if multiple shipper is shown on B/L who will be carrier of B/L and how the discharge port will handle such B/L.

    Chandrangathan KN

  19. Hi Vel, nothing can or needs to be done.. Since Y financed X, he would have insisted that he be the shipper on the bill of lading so he could take the original bills and keep with him as security till X paid him, so X cannot get release of the cargo without Y being paid..

    If you read my article you can see that anyone can be nominated on the bill of lading as a shipper..

  20. Hi this is Zahid Hakim and have been in this industry for about 26 years and have currently come across a similar issue. My company allows issuing MBL with multiple shipper showing as “ABC and Company
    On behalf of XYZ & Co” however additionally demands a PROXY letter from the party who joins this contract of carriage to state that they undertake and are jointly liable under the contract of carriage for any payment of whatsoever in nature levied upon the carrier or for transshipment expense for or in connection with the Goods and also for any payment or loss or damage of whatsoever nature (including without limitation fines and expenses) howsoever sustained or incurred by the Carrier in consequence of incorrect or insufficient marking, numbering, or addressing of packages or description of their contents, or for failure of the Merchant to procure all certificates to accompany the Goods, or to comply with regulations of any kind whatsoever imposed with respect to the Goods by authorities at the Ports and/or Places of Loading, transshipment, Discharge or Delivery. We and/or the Agents shall indemnify the Carrier against all payments, fines, expenses or losses arising or resulting from any cause whatsoever in connection with the Goods for which the Carrier is not responsible or breach or any other duties under the Contract of Carriage, Bill of lading and/or applicable law.
    I am sure this arrangement should be acceptable… Can I have your views please.

    • Mr. Zahid,

      I would like to have your expert advice on similar situation. In our case the supplier is one and is raising Invoice and other documents like COO, Packing list, QC etc as Billing in name of M/s. X and address and Shipping to M/s. Y and address. M/s. Y is holding material on behalf of M/s. X at the destination/shipping address.

      Now, the issue is we require in consignee Name & Address of M/s. Y (shipping address) along with mentioning of “on behalf of or a/c. of M/s. X” after the name and address in the consignee details.

      Please advice on the possibility of same and if yes how to convince the shipping line.

    • Dear Mr Lalitt,

      Not really clear, why you would need M/s X (who seem to be shipper) shown after consignee name and address, however from shipping lines perspective, this arrangement may not be possible for a simple reason that they have to submit manifest with customs declaring consignee who ideally should be from destination country. In your case, it’s M/s Y who is holding material at destination and will also be required to submit other relevant documents with customs declaring himself (i.e. M/s Y) as receiver of goods for paying custom duty etc.

    • Thanks Mr. Zahid for your reply.

      You are right the duty everything will be paid by Y and importer code of Y will be there. But the material cost is paid by X and is keeping the cargo with Y. For this customs require the consignee name of Y with one line mentioned after the address of Y “on a/c of X” or “on behalf of X” . This will ensure to proof the customs that this material imported by Y is on behalf of X.

      Manifest will be filed for Y as per the details mentiined in the consignee name In the BL.

      Looking forward for your reply.

    • Dear Mr. Zahid,

      I left out on one point that you understand that X is shipper. No X is buyer who is being billed from the shipper and material is being dispatched on instruction of X to Y. In commercial documents Billing name and address is in the name of X and Shpping address is in the name of Y. In the documents in shipping address “on a/c. of X” is mentioned after the Y name and address.

  21. When we have a house level consol or assembly shpt exporting from the US where there are multiple suppliers for 1 cnee, the export clearance must be done per individual supplier, but naturally because these shpts are cnee routed anyway and the suppliers are not the ones contracting the carriage (which is what the BL is), we issue the HBL as “Cnee” c/o ABC Forwarding USA.

  22. I can understand for notify but if a B/L shows two different consignee then to whom goods will be delivered.What if both the parties ask for consignment

    Can you please elaborate on this ?

  23. Hi Waleed, thanks for forwarding me the copy of the bill of lading showing 2 shippers in the shipper field in the bill of lading.. I feel it is a very big risk taken by the NVOCC operator that has issued this bill of lading, brazenly showing the word SHIPPERS and two names.. As said, this is the first time I have seen such a bill..

    When I mention risk, it would be in terms of who is the owner of the cargo and whose name does the customs documentation, commercial invoice, certificate of origin etc show..??

    Very strange..

  24. Hello There!

    I have a consignment coming from Italy to UAE. Our forwarder collected two shipments from two different suppliers, which were both to be shipped to us. So they put both the supplier’s as shippers in the HBL and us as the consignee. We have in the past moved shipments this way and never had any clearance issues in UAE. So the shipper section of our B/L is:

    1- Shipper abc
    2- Shipper xyz

  25. I’ve had several customers request this over the many years I’ve worked in this industry. In the past it was permissible however, in the last few years, it has become illegal per FMC regulations. (attached is reference to 46 CFR 530.8 and 9)

    Also, many carriers will not allow this addition to MBL’s simply because whom ever the contract between the carrier and their customer is (freight forwarder or NVOCC) is who will show as the shipper. Many customers who WANT to show multiple shippers on the HBL and MBL are using a freight forwarder and want to show: VARIOUS COMPANIES ON Behalf Of ….

  26. If several shippers for one bl so it can be considered as LCL shipment. In this case carrier’s representative (surveyor) should be presented during container stuffing.

  27. Shipper will be one only for one BL. Consignee / Notify can be multiple. As the original BL can be handed over to one single party and not multiple for bank transactions

  28. Hello Everybody,
    we had such experience, but we just asked our Forwarder to put its details in the “Shipper” field indicating:

    XXXXXX as Agent of the Shippers XXXXXXXX and ZZZZZZZZ

  29. As far as I am concerned, you can consign a shipment to only one party but you can have multiple notify parties as they are only being told of the shipment’s arrival. As far as shippers are concerned, how can more than one party ship a consignment? I feel it is not possible.

    • Hi Alexander, there might be cases where multiple shippers are shipping to a single consignee.. In such cases, it is normal to issue split bills of lading for the same container..

      The question posed by the reader about one bill with multiple shippers is not possible as far as i know, but i wanted to throw it out there for any other opinions..


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