Thursday, December 1, 2022

Questions and Answers

The debate surrounding container ocean spot freight rates vs contract rates rages on stronger than ever as the decline in spot rates continues unchecked.. Despite aggressive blank sailings by many carriers on several routes, the decline...
Even though there are distinct differences between demurrage, detention and port charges, many are still oblivious to these differences and there have been several questions on this blog relating to these charges..

Let me explain how demurrage, detention and port charges work..

Carriers not to blame for port congestions – Executive Insights with Stephen Nothdurft – VP of HMM, Midwest

Executive Insights is a series by Shipping and Freight Resource that provides useful insights and thoughtful analysis on what is happening in the maritime,...

Does demurrage and detention apply to LCL shipments..??

Does a shipping line charge demurrage and detention for LCL shipments the same way they charge for FCL shipments..??

Biggest problems facing customers in container shipments

Disruption, Innovation, Big Data, IoT, SaaS, Digital freight forwarders, Blockchain.. No its not a Thesaurus test..

These are just some of the big fancy words thrown around in the market and media currently in relation to shipping and freight..

These tools are all (or should be) designed to assist the customer, whether you are a buyer, seller, trader, forwarder, NVOCC or shipping line to conduct their business smoothly and efficiently..

Yet with all these advances, innovations, digitization etc customers still have problems with container shipments on a daily basis.. Whether it is with a shipping line, with a forwarder, with customs, with port, with hauliers etc etc etc, there are still many problems on a daily basis..

So my question today is, in spite of such advances in technology, communication, operations, trade documentation and accessibility why are many customers still facing problems with container shipments..??

How many original bills of lading must I surrender to get release of cargo..??

How many original bills of lading must I surrender to get release of cargo..?? This question popped up on my comments and emails quite a few times since the beginning of this year and therefore I decided to write this short note to answer it..

Letter of Credit requires IMO Number to be shown on Bill of Lading

A case study on the obligations of a shipping line in terms of clauses/notations to be mentioned in a bill of lading.. Based on a real life question from a reader..

Checking of Bill of Lading against Customs documents

Why does a shipping line or agent check or have to check a Bill of Lading against customs documents.. What are they checking for and what should they be checking for..??

Which is the most important function of a bill of lading and why..??

A Bill of Lading (B/L) is one of the most commonly used commercial documents in the history of shipping and freight.. This document is issued in one form or the other for all shipments whether container, bulk, break bulk, RoRo or in other forms of carriage..

A Bill of Lading has 3 basic functions.. But which is the most important function of the bill of lading..??

Seal number discrepancy between manifest and container – what to do..!!

There are cases where a container maybe discharged with a seal number that is different from what has been manifested and shown in the bill of lading..

Seal number discrepancy between manifest and container happens more times than you can imagine and this happens all over the world..

How and why does this seal number discrepancy happen and what steps should a consignee take when it happens..??

The impact of congestion and capacity on businesses and what to expect?

Port Congestion, equipment and space capacity crunch are impacting businesses with supply chains and consumers heavily impacted..

In a webinar, Rachel Premack, Senior Investigations Reporter at Business Insider, Michael J Gordon, Senior FMC Advisor (retd), and Adam Compain, SVP of Global Growth at project44 discuss how rising freight prices have set off a domino effect, manifesting across supply chains through port congestion, drayage holdups, dropping inventories, inflation and lengthening lead times..

They reference insights from a market survey of over 200 supply chain professionals and talk through a possible timeline to a freight market cool down, when it can potentially happen and the circumstances that will lead us there..

Executive Insights – Philip Teoh – Lawyer and Maritime Arbitrator

Executive Insights is a series by Shipping and Freight Resource that provides insights and thoughtful analysis about the industry..

This series features selected individuals from the industry and is aimed at enriching the knowledge of the readers with what is happening in the shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, and supply chain industry..

Executive Insights also gives you a chance to pick the brains of these industry veterans, leaders, and enablers..

In this edition of Executive Insights, we caught up with Philip Teoh - Lawyer and Maritime Arbitrator, on aspects of International Convention of Carriages and other maritime matters..

Executive Insights – Jan Hoffmann, Chief of Trade Logistics – UNCTAD

Executive Insights is a series by Shipping and Freight Resource that provides insights and thoughtful analysis about the industry..

This series features selected individuals from the industry and is aimed at enriching the knowledge of the readers with what is happening in the shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, and supply chain industry..

Executive Insights also gives you a chance to pick the brains of these industry veterans, leaders, and enablers..

In this edition of Executive Insights, we caught up with Jan Hoffmann Chief, Trade Logistics Branch of UNCTAD, on what drives Trade Logistics and how UNCTAD is enabling trade and helping various countries achieve their full potential..

Liability of a fraudulent freight forwarder – a live case study

Even as the world of shipping and trade continues to battle with exceptionally high freight rates, cargo rollovers, container and space shortages, fraudulent freight forwarders and their scams seems to be raging on..

Below is a live case study from the USA which I received from a reader, which I am opening up to my readers to comment on..

Help, shipping line won’t pre-date or back date my bill of lading

Pre-Dating or Back Dating is when the shipper requests the shipping line to show the Shipped on Board date on the bill of lading as a date before the actual sailing of the vessel (example : the vessel actually sails on the 2nd of March but shipper wants the line to show the shipped on board date on the bill of lading as 28th of February)..

Why would a shipper want his bill of lading to be pre-dated or back dated and why would a shipping line reject this request..??

ERP Software and its utilisation in the Ports & Shipping Industry

Dear readers, as you all know, Shipping and Freight Resource is a niche educational resource created, developed and maintained for the purpose of learning and for the sharing of information related to Shipping, Freight, Maritime, Logistics and Trade..

Apart from providing quality content and news relating to shipping and freight industry, this site is also about assisting those in need within the industry with their queries, questions and doubts..

I received a request from a Masters student asking for some general assistance to answer two industry related questions..

Your assistance will be appreciated..

Pre-Carriage, Carriage and On-Carriage explained

This article explains and clarifies the difference between Pre-Carriage, Carriage and On-Carriage and how these come together to provide the full spectrum of services to the customer..

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..

What is GRI (General Rate Increase) in shipping and what is its implication..??

General Rate Increase (GRI) - a term liked by the shipping lines and loathed by the trading community.. This article explains what GRI means to people on either side of the fence and how it affects the trade..

Shipping your first container..?? Here are some tips to help you

In anything that we do in life, the first time is a scary thought - first time on a bike, first time driving a car, first time swimming, first date, first kiss .................... etc..

So why should shipping your first container be any different..??

It could be a scary thought if you are a first-time exporter or importing for the first time, but like everything else, if done and handled correctly, shipping your first container can be a good experience as well..

Here are some tips to assist you in shipping your first container..

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..

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