Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Received for Shipment – questions

I received below questions relating to Received for Shipment notation from a reader.. Please be aware that although it is used colloquially worldwide,  technically there is no bill of lading called “Received for Shipment” B/L..

There is only a notation on a bill of lading known as Received for Shipment which means that the carrier has “received” the cargo at the port facility for loading onto a specific vessel or voyage.. This DOES NOT mean that the cargo has been shipped on board..

Q1) Will a bank accept a bill of lading with a Received for Shipment notation or does a bill of lading have to be reissued with a Shipped on Board notation..

A1) The purpose of notations like “Received for shipment”, “Shipped on Board” and “Clean on Board” on a bill of lading is to satisfy either the buyer or a bank that the cargo covered in the bill of lading has indeed been received or shipped..

Generally if a bank is involved, there might also be a Letter of Credit involved and the shipper of the cargo and the nominating bank will have to follow the instructions on the Letter of Credit and see what notation is required on the bill of lading..image for bill of lading stamps

It could be either of the above 3 notations, however, the Shipped on Board notation is the most popular.. Although some of the banks do insist on Clean on Board notation also.. Only if these conditions are satisfied, the documentary credit transaction maybe completed..

Q2) Is it normal that a received for shipment B/L shows the vessel name and voyage?

A2) Although this question might sound a bit bizarre to someone already in the industry, to a newcomer this would be a valid question..

The reader has asked this question because he is not clear which vessel/voyage a bill of lading with a Received for Shipment notation should show, because the cargo has not been loaded on any ship as yet..

The bill of lading should show the vessel/voyage for which the cargo was received by the carrier at the port of load or inland terminal or where the handover of cargo takes place from shipper to carrier..

There is also a possibility that the cargo might not be loaded on that particular vessel/voyage due to any number of reasons..

Which brings us to the third question..

Q3) Is there any problem if the vessel name on which cargo is loaded is not the one image for dont knowappearing on the Received for shipment B/L?

A3) When a bill of lading is issued with a Received for Shipment notation, as per the definition of the notation, it is clearly understood that the cargo may or may not have been loaded on the vessel mentioned on the bill of lading..

Generally a bill of lading with Received for Shipment notation is issued by the shipping line under all assumptions that the cargo will be loaded on the vessel/voyage for which it has been received..

So if a bill of lading with a Received for Shipment notation been requested by the shipper or consignee, they would also be aware of the possibility that the loading vessel/voyage might not be the same and they have to plan themselves accordingly..


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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. Dear Hari,
    Please advise if a line can release RFS BL without the Received for shipment endorsement & if so is it an trade violation.

    What can be the implications on carrier to release RFS BL without endorsement of RFS.

    Please clarify.


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