Monday, November 28, 2022

Bill of Lading

FMC questions definition of “merchant” in carrier bill of lading

This definition of the term "Merchant" has caught the attention of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) who is soliciting public comment as to
  1. How VOCCs apply the term “Merchant” in their bills of lading;
  2. Whether the definition, as applied, subjects third parties who are not in contractual privity with the carrier to joint or several liability; and
  3. Whether carriers have enforced the definition of merchant against third parties that have not consented to be bound by, or otherwise accept, the terms and conditions of the bill of lading.
I have shared my personal opinion on this.. Have a read and share yours..

How do I know the bill of lading issued is a House Bill or Master Bill..??

"How do I know the bill of lading issued is a House Bill of Lading or a Master Bill of Lading..?? Is it mentioned anywhere on the bill of lading that it is a House Bill or a Master Bill"

I really love such basic but curious questions because it rejuvenates the gray matter.. Let's explore this question..

MSC accelerates adoption of electronic Bill of lading (eBL) in India with WAVE

The Electronic version of the most powerful document in shipping - the Bill of Lading has been making news for quite a while..

I wrote earlier that 2020 will be remembered as the year that saw the beginning of the end for the paper “Bill of Lading” and the year in which the switch to “Electronic Bill of Lading” (eBL) began in earnest..

Carriers are pushing more and more for the adoption of the eBL in various regions of the world with the aim to improve documentation flow and avoid costly delays to customers..

MSC has just released a statement confirming that they will be accelerating the adoption of their eBL with the WAVE platform in India..

How do I verify if my goods were actually shipped..??

Over the years, I have received several questions from readers relating to a variety of topics on this resource..

Some of them are really valid questions especially if you consider that some of these questions may be from someone importing for the first time or someone exporting for the first time..

It makes you think of the issues that those entering international trade for the first time or shipping their first container would be facing in getting it completed successfully..

The business of shipping, freight and trade could all be a bit overwhelming as there are several processes to be followed and for those who are doing it for the first time, asking questions and finding the right answers is extremely important..

Here are some questions which I received from one of the readers of this resource, possibly, someone who is starting out new or someone experiencing some new problems with their shipments..

If a bill of lading is an evidence of contract of carriage, then what is a contract of carriage..??

A Bill of Lading is one of the most important documents in the shipping cycle and comes in different forms such as Negotiable or Order Bill of Lading, Seaway Bill of Lading or Express Bill of Lading and Straight Bill of Lading with further permutations and combinations such as Port to Port Bill of Lading, Combined Transport Bill of Lading or Multimodal Bill of Lading and Through Bill of Lading .. As most of you may know by now, a Bill of Lading has 3 basic purposes or roles..
  1. Evidence of Contract of Carriage;
  2. Receipt of Goods; and
  3. Document of Title to the goods
In its role as Evidence of Contract of Carriage, the emphasis is on the term "Evidence" because contrary to popular belief, a Bill of Lading is neither
  1. a contract between the Seller and the Buyer nor
  2. a contract of carriage between the Carrier and Shipper
So if the bill of lading is the evidence of the contract of carriage, then what is the contract of carriage..?? This is the question in the minds of many in the industry and I will try to shed some light on this issue here..

Carrier refuses to show commercial information on the bill of lading

Carrier refuses to show commercial and sales information relating to the cargo on the bill of lading.. Are they being pedantic or are they right..??

What is a letter of credit, how it works and who needs it..

Many of you would have come across the term Letter of Credit (L/C)..

If you are a shipping line, you would have heard this term from various customers asking you to expedite the draft bill of lading for checking by the bank or for the release of the bill of lading to be expedited because the shipment is under L/C..

If you a freight forwarder or agent, you may have been put under pressure by the BCO to get all the documents required by the L/C sent to them in time..

If you are a BCO, you may have been told by your bank that the documents submitted do not match the requirements of the L/C and some of the documentation may need to be redone..

So what exactly is a Letter of Credit, what is the need for a letter of credit, who issues it and how does it work..

Cargo release without Original Bill of Lading – COVID-19

The pandemic that is COVID-19 is sweeping the world, disrupting global trade patterns like never before.. When one part of the globe is starting to settle down, the other part starts or spikes..

No one has any real idea of how long it will take for the world to get back to normal and its after effects..

Shipping lines, importers, exporters, ports, terminals, Governments, all businesses, insurance companies have all been affected by the pandemic and continue to look for ways to make the business of shipping as easy as possible considering the severe constraints everyone is going through..

This issue is also putting some of the documentary issues and cargo releases under pressure and leaving the industry to face the unknown.. One such issue that is affecting business is the transmission and handling of Original Bills of Lading..

There are a few options that customers can exercise to secure release of cargo without Original Bill of Lading..

A collection of Bills of Lading

Here's something VERY INTERESTING for maritime historians, nostalgic seafarers, shipping documentation people and generally everyone interested in our wonderful industry.. Mr. Ahmet Aytoğan from Turkey is an avid collector of BILLS OF LADING.. Yes.. You heard right.. Bills of Lading (not sure if this hobby has a name yet like Philatelist etc......) He has been collecting bill of ladings for twenty three years now..............................

CargoX public blockchain Bill of Lading gets approval by International Group of P&I Clubs

CargoX, the provider of the CargoX blockchain document transfer (BDT) platform, announced that they been granted prestigious approval by the International Group of P&I Clubs. The release says that CargoX It has become the first and only approved provider to use the neutral, public blockchain Ethereum network for its platform. The International Group of P&I Clubs (the IG) is an unincorporated association of the 13 principal underwriting Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Associations (Clubs) and their Affiliated Associations and Reinsured Entity. Between them, they provide liability cover (protection and indemnity) for approximately 90% of the world's ocean-going tonnage. Of the world’s top 25 reinsurers, 22 were featured on the group’s program in 2019.

Electronic bill of lading – are you and your country ready for it..?? – Part 1

Global trade has been around for centuries in various forms, starting from the Silk roads to the current Digital economy/age and has come a long way bringing alongwith it many changes and advances..

After the 3rd Industrial Revolution brought the Internet into play, there has been no turning back for globalisation with global exports accounting for almost 25% of global GDP..

Digitalisation, which was very much in its infancy a few decades ago has become the new frontier of globalization.. Advances like Blockchain, IoT, Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have arrived in our industry as well and are here to stay, innovate and enhance global trade..

One of the digital advances that is catching on quite quick is an Electronic Bill of Lading..

Blockchain based bills of lading making rapid progress

Another one bites the dust.. By this I mean another company that is moving away from Paper Bill of Lading.. 🙂

It is inevitable that influential shippers and shipping lines are embracing tech one after the other.. Whether it is India’s first blockchain enabled Letter of Credit transaction, the first smart bill of lading issued using blockchain or the first blockchain based coffee exchange, technological innovations are here to stay in the shipping and freight industry..

G2 Ocean and Manuchar became the latest partnership to show that paper Bill of Lading is ready for retirement..  Together, they completed a successful pilot trial of CargoX’s blockchain-based Smart Bill of Lading Solution..

What is a Manifest Corrector and why is it required..??

A manifest is one of the key documents in the process of shipping..

A manifest lists all bills of lading issued for cargo loaded on a specific ship.. Kind of a summary if you wish..

A manifest lists the details of the cargo, the shipper, consignee, weight, measurement, packing.. There are different types of manifests:
  • Cargo Manifest – lists all information relating to the cargo excluding the freight charges..
  • Freight Manifest – lists all information relating to the cargo including the freight charges.. All charges as indicated in the manifest are either to be paid by the shipper or consignee..
  • Dangerous Cargo Manifest – a manifest that details the dangerous/hazardous cargoes on board the ship covering the Class, UN No., Description of Goods, EMS/MFAG etc..
  • Out of Gauge Manifest – a manifest that details the out of gauge (abnormal sized) cargoes on board the ship including the out of gauge details of the cargo.
  • Reefer Manifest - a manifest that details the reefer cargoes on board the ship including the temperature settings, humidity, which containers require monitoring on board - like cold treatment containers.
So what is a manifest correct and why is it required..??

This article explains what is a manifest corrector, its uses, where it can and cannot be used and how the process works..

NVOCC register created and minimum standards set for the issuance of NVOCC Bills of Lading

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) estimates from its work in verifying Bills of Lading that over 95% of all improperly issued Bills of Lading are issued by – yeah you guessed it – Non-Vessel Owning Common Carriers (NVOCCs)..

The IMB identifed that there is a prevalence of issuance of incorrect NVOCC bills of lading by the NVOCC which is then presented to banks and other stakeholders in the trading and finance chain, with the aim of defrauding the trade finance system, possibly for the purposes of multiple financing, money laundering, etc..

The IMB has developed a business solution to mitigate the effects of this problem..

Mandarin and Blockchain come together for Lunar New Year 2019

Previously we had reviewed how blockchain based smart bills of lading work in general and what smart bills of lading can do..

We also reported on news of shipping lines progressing to the next phase Blockchain initiatives..

Smart bills powered by blockchain seem to have arrived with more and more lines carrying out tests and succeeding in the same..

Pacific International Lines (“PIL”), the company founded by one of the Leaders and Visionaries in Shipping – Mr.Chang Yun Chung, became the latest shipping line to successfully use an electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) built on the IBM Blockchain Platform for the shipment and tracking of Mandarins (a type of Orange) from China to Singapore to coincide with the Lunar New Year celebrations..

What is a Switch Bill of Lading and when and why is it used..??

The world of shipping and freight is very dynamic and there may be several changes that happen during the course of a shipment or post shipment..

Destinations can change, cargo routing can change, cargo release parties can change, even important documents such as a Bill of Lading may be subjected to changes..

Some may be simple amendments, but in a lot of cases, the changes or requirements may be elaborate such that it necessitates the issuance of a Switch Bill of Lading..

Read here about what it means and when and where it is used..

ZIM Line progresses to next phase of its Blockchain initiative

The world of digitisation and technology is upon us and the shipping and freight industry has been playing catch up compared to the other industries..

In November 2017, ZIM Line announced that the first pilot of paperless Bills-of-Lading based on blockchain technology was completed in cooperation with Sparx Logistics and Wave Ltd.. The pioneering pilot, the first of its kind led by an ocean carrier, was concluded successfully as part of ZIM lines new platform along with a selection of their leading customers to test this solution for trade activities on multiple shipping lanes..

Following this successful pilot, ZIM line has been evaluating its platform in different trade lanes with more customers and is now ready to move to the next phase of its blockchain initiative..

Significance of Bill of Lading Clauses

Everyone involved in the shipping and freight industry would have come across various Bill of Lading clauses and stamps..

There are specific reasons why a Bill of Lading has clauses typed or stamped on them.. In this article we will discuss these clauses in relation to "containerized" shipments..

CargoX blockchain Smart B/L app is open for business and here’s what it can do..

You may have read my review about CargoX's blockchain based smart bill of lading where I explained how it works..

CargoX is an independent supplier of public-blockchain-based solutions for logistics looking to transport the global supply chain industry into the 21st century..

CargoX's Smart B/L™ is the first open, neutral blockchain platform in the shipping industry for real-world commercial use and it is now open for business..

Product Review : CargoX’s Blockchain based Smart Bill of Lading

CargoX Smart Bill of Lading based on Blockchain – how it works..   Smart Computers, Smart Phones, Smart Cars and now Smart Bill of lading..!!!! Shipping documentation...

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