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What Are BLs?

Do you want to find out what are BLS? Are you in the business of importing and want to learn to more about BLS? Then, you need to read on. BLS stands for bill of lading. The meaning of bill is simply defined as a written or printed statement that covers the cost of services or goods that are to be delivered or have been delivered. Lade means putting cargo on a ship or any other type of goods carrier. Hence, the bill of lading is in the simplest of words a shipping record for goods traded on board. The document is used for establishing an agreement between the transportation company and a shipper for transporting goods. The records are issued by the transportation company to the shipper. The bill of lading is used for indicating the particular carrier that transports the goods to the final destination. The conditions of transporting the goods to the final destination are also stated in the bill of lading. Bills of lading are used for the transportation of goods by air, ocean, and land.

Importance of Bill of Lading

The bill of lading plays a vital role. The carrier does not require all the original documents to be submitted before the delivery. Therefore, in order to provide the exporter with some control over the originals until the payment has been made or the bill of exchange has been accepted, the bill of lading is necessary.

When it comes to making shipments, the bill of lading ensures that the freight or cargo is moved from one point to another. Firstly, it is a contract between the shipper and carrier for the transportation of goods. Secondly, it is also a receipt that issued to the shipper by the carrier. Thus, the bill of lading is a legal document which covers all of the crucial details between the carrier and shipper to process the shipment through various maritime countries. It also serves as an invoice. The carrier receives the original copy of the bill of lading and the copy of the same is given to the port authority.

Negotiable or Non-Negotiable Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is available in a negotiable and non-negotiable form.

Negotiable bill of lading: It is the most common form of bill of lading. This bill provides clear instructions for making the delivery of goods to anyone that has possession of the original bill of lading. It signifies control and title of the freight. For this type of bill, the receiver/ buyer or the agent needs to present the original bill for acquiring the goods at the discharge port. The freight would not get released if the original bill of lading is not presented.

Non-negotiable bill: A non-negotiable bill of lading specifically states the name of the receiver or specific consignee who would receive the goods delivered or shipped. But, it does not indicate the ownership of the freight. Upon confirmation of their identity, the receiver will be able to claim the goods.

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