Difference between pre-carriage and on-carriage

The difference between pre-carriage and on-carriage needs to be understood very clearly by the

  • exporter
  • importer
  • shipping line
  • forwarder
  • clearing agent
  • insurance and
  • everyone else involved

in order to ensure that the relevant roles, responsibilities, costs and risks are clearly defined..

A very basic differentiation would be

  • Pre-Carriage – Any inland movement BEFORE the container is delivered to the port/terminal
  • On-Carriage – Any inland movement AFTER the container is picked up from the port/terminal

To explain further :

Pre-Carriage – is the term given to any inland movement that takes place prior to the container being delivered to the port/terminal..

Example : Empty container is moved to Pretoria for packing and then moved by road or rail to Durban port..

If the pre-carriage is performed by the shipping line on behalf of the client, it is called Carrier Haulage and in such cases, the bill of lading will show place of receipt as Pretoria..

If the activity is performed by the client or their transporter, it is called Merchant Haulage and in such cases, the bill of lading will not show any place of receipt..

Image for Pre/On Carriage

On-Carriage – is the term given to any inland movement that takes place after the container is picked up from the port/terminal..

Example : Full container is discharged at Durban and then moved by rail or road to Pretoria for unpacking..

If this on-carriage is performed by the shipping line on behalf of the client, it is called Carrier Haulage and in such cases, the bill of lading will show place of delivery as Pretoria..

If the activity is performed by the client or their transporter, it is called Merchant Haulage and in such cases, the bill of lading will not show any place of delivery..

If you cast your mind back, I wrote a series of posts about Parts of a Bill of Lading and in Part 2 of that series, I explained about Pre-Carriage by,  Place of Receipt, On-Carriage by & Place of Delivery..

“Original article republished after crucial information update”


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10 comments on “Difference between pre-carriage and on-carriage

  1. Ashwin says:

    Thanks for the information

  2. mojgan says:

    Hi,can you explain how pre-carriage and on-carriage risks are covered by P&I Insurance ?

  3. SILVANA says:

    WHAT DOES POINT OF ORGIN REFER TO

    1. Manaadiar says:

      Hi Silvana, Point of Origin is the place where is available, ready to pack into the container.. If the carrier is doing the pre-carriage, then their responsibility will start from the Point of Origin..

  4. Charm says:

    Noted with many thanks your sharing information.
    Could you explain more detail about item “Precarriage by” on Bill of Lading?

    Thanks so much, awaiting for your feedback.

    1. Manaadiar says:

      Hi Charm, Pre-Carriage By on a bill of lading refers to a feeder vessel from a small port to a hub port where the container will be transhipped onto the mother vessel to perform the main ocean leg.. As an example you can say a shipment from Sharjah in the UAE to Durban in South Africa via Jebel Ali in the UAE.. The leg from Sharjah to Jebel Ali will be performed by a feeder vessel say vessel XYZ and the leg from Jebel Ali to Durban will be done by a mother vessel say ABC.. So the bill of lading issued by the carrier will show Pre-Carriage By XYZ and in the field Ocean Vessel, the name ABC will be shown as that is the main vessel that will transit the Indian Ocean to bring the cargo to Durban..

      Trust above is clear..