This was a question one of the readers of this blog asked..
An Express bill as it name implies is used mostly in “express” situations such as :
- when the shipper and consignee are part of the same group and there are no negotiations required between the two either directly or via bank for release of the cargo
- the shipment doesn’t involve any bank and the shipper doesn’t really need to submit original bill of lading to secure his payment
- when the shipper doesn’t have the time to print the original bills and courier the same to the consignee
- the shipper is a freight forwarder and he wants to issue a house bill of lading to his customers, hence he takes an express release or a waybill instead of original master bill of lading from the shipping line
Advantages of an Express Bill :
- the consignee doesn’t need to wait for or surrender an original bill of lading in order to secure release because if it is an Express bill, it is manifested as such – so cargo release is immediate
- shipper saves on courier or postage costs as he can send the copy of the Express bill by electronic means (email/fax)
- most useful for group companies who have offices at the pol and pod and among trusting business partners
- save on bill of lading stationery
Disadvantages of an Express Bill :
- it is not negotiable at a bank or any other institution and cannot be exchanged for money, it is just a receipt of cargo
- release is not as secure as an original bill of lading and there could be incidences of fraud
- from a liners perspective, the disport agent doesn’t need to look for any original bills or wait for any documentation in order to release the shipment, which in some cases is problematic if the load port for any reason wants to stop the release
If anyone has any other views, please feel free to share..