Vessel sailing date vs Shipped on board Date – opinion sought

Dear readers, I had a question from one of the readers of this blog regarding the issue of vessel sailing date and shipped on board date, as below.. Would invite comments from all of you regarding same..

Please can I have your opinion on the below matter

For container shipments – Most Lines will date the bill of lading / shipped on board date as the sailing date – even if the containers are laden on board prior to that.

Case in question – the containers all 115 of them were loaded on board the vessel on the 8, 9 and 10th Feb.. the vessel sailed only the 11th Feb due to the port being wind bound

As the LC on hand has a LSD of the 10th Feb the b/l dated 11th would deem as a discrepancy – the Line in this case although the containers were on board will not date the bill of lading

“laden on Board the 10th” as their systems do not allow it ..

I have this issue often – the delay is due to lines schedules not being very accurate and consistently move out due to a host of reasons as there are in African Ports.

I am trying to prove to the line in terms of whatever law there might be that they are obligated to give me a shipped on board notation as the sailing date might even be a week later

I would appreciate any info you might be able to provide to substantiate this

Please also read

  • http://shippingandfreightresource.com/2012/05/16/should-the-shipped-on-board-date-and-bill-of-lading-date-be-the-same/
  • http://shippingandfreightresource.com/2012/08/01/clean-on-board-or-shipped-on-board-what-should-a-bill-of-lading-show/
  • http://shippingandfreightresource.com/2012/03/07/why-wont-a-shipping-line-pre-date-or-back-date-my-bill-of-lading/
  • http://shippingandfreightresource.com/2009/06/10/parts-of-a-bill-of-lading-part-4/

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Now that you have read it, why don't you share your views about it..

15 thoughts on “Vessel sailing date vs Shipped on board Date – opinion sought

  1. Zahid Hakim says:

    Completely agree what David has mentioned here, however putting forward a possible way of handling this issue. I don’t know if you may agree with me. Assuming vessel berthed on say, 8th and sailed on 10th. Shipped on board date required as per LC is 8th. What could be the potential threat if mention shipped on board dated 8th and print Bill of Lading only on 10th after vessel has sailed. By doing so, I feel you have not violated the norms and at the same time helped your customer meet his LC condition. Any comments are welcomed

  2. David says:

    The L/C stated LSD of February 10th. There may be good reason why the seller and the buyer contracted for this. It is not up to the shipping company to fabricate dates in order to pander to a shipper’s wishes.

    Because the ship did not sail until the 11fth, the shipping line issues a “Shipped on Board” bill of lading dated February 11th. Therefore, the terms of the L/C have not been met and as Siva says, the L/C needs to be amended. Don’t blame the shipping line, it is not their problem.

    Siva is absolutely correct that, “. . . laden on board is for liner’s record and bank’s will not accept it. They demand only shipped on board. so client has to amend the L/C stating the reason for sailing delay.”

    Obviously, there is a discrepancy in the L/C and so long as the parties agree to, it needs to be amended, or the bank not only will not but cannot pay on the L/C unless they want to stick their neck out and deem the discrepancy as minor. However, if the sailing date were an integral part of the contract of sale and thus the wording of the L/C, perhaps the discrepancy can be justification for the buyer backing out of the deal, and they just might want to do that if they had a good reason why the sailing date had to be by a certain date. If that is the case, perhaps the seller will think twice about entering into a contract of sale and L/C with such short terms.

    As to Arant’s comment, “Talk to higher -ups in shipping line for a solution. As this situation is beyond your control you can ask customer for amendment considering relations.” — This last sentence is unclear, but suggests that the shipping line, rather than the buyer and his bank should be consulted to resolve this dilemma. While some shipping lines may falsify documents, if it were ever discovered that the shipping line misrepresented a date, can you imagine the potential repercussions? “Talk to higher -ups”? . . . . how high should you expect to go to get someone at the shipping company to lie on a bill of lading?

    As Stan says, “As per internal instructions of several Container Lines the shipped on board date should be the same as vsl’s sailing date . . .” Anything less would be a misrepresentation and would result in a violation of the terms of the L/C, with the shipping company complicit in the fraud on the buyer and the buyer’s bank, perpetrated in order to, as Arant seems to imply, maintain a good business relationship with their seller customer. Not on my watch!

    Does somebody want to take a shot at disagreeing with this analysis and stating why they believe shipping companies can just randomly falsify dates if one goes to a “higher -up”?

  3. Greetings! Very useful advice within this article!

    It is the little changes which will make the largest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  4. siva says:

    first of all you must understand the terms received for shipment, laden on board and shipped(sailed) on board. received for shipment and shipped on board can be mentioned on BL and it will be accepted by banks if the L/C accepts so. laden on board is for liner’s record and bank’s will not accept it. they demand only shipped on board. so client has to amend the L/C stating the reason for sailing delay.

  5. Stan Odissey says:

    As per internal instructions of several Container Lines the shipped on board date should be the same as vsl’s sailing date and as for my opinion it’s correct. I think if container was loaded on board of the vessel but not sailed we cannot declare the fact that container shipped from POL. There might be a cases (just as example) when the vessel after cargo operations may be damaged and should be followed up in the dock. The carrier is discharging all loaded cargo back on terminal’s quay.
    Another case: If there is 2 day delays (due to bad weather conditions for exmpl) in vsl’s sailing after cargo ops completed so you can ask the line to issue original bill of lading with shipped on board date as loading date but it all depends on the relationship with the line.

  6. David Murray says:

    Prakash Nair says, “as an addendum to my earlier post … If the containers were in fact on-board the ship on the said date ( 8,9 and 10th), notwithstanding the Actual Time of Unberthing, you can demand a SOB Bill of lading on the basis of the actual loading dates of your boxes. The shipping lines are obliged to issue a document based on facts.”

    This is very enlightening, but Prakash, please state the authority upon which you base this opinions. . . . and to all other responders, please don’t only give your “opinions” . . . state the basis of your opinion, or your opinion is worth nothing. Sorry to be so blunt, but in my business (apart from my logistics company), we always quote the basis of our opinion. So far, in this forum, nobody has stated any authority for their position.

  7. Prakash Nair says:

    as an addendum to my earlier post … If the containers were in fact on-board the ship on the said date ( 8,9 and 10th), notwithstanding the Actual Time of Unberthing, you can demand a SOB Bill of lading on the basis of the actual loading dates of your boxes. The shipping lines are obliged to issue a document based on facts.

  8. Prakash Nair says:

    A shipped on board date is the date on which the container is physically passed over the rails and deposited on board the ship. On the contrary, a sailing date is the date on which the ship sailed ( abbrevated as ATB, Atual Time of Unberthing).

  9. Anant says:

    When containers are loaded on board the ship on 10th Feb , a Shipped on Board date BL can be given by line for 10th Feb. The sailing date can be 11th Feb. However many shipping lines do not allow their agents to oblige the customer. Talk to higher -ups in shipping line for a solution. As this situation is beyond your control you can ask customer for amendment considering relations. In case you are looking for a solution, write with details at anantsharma1@gmail.com

  10. S.B. says:

    May be it can be solved by using HBL.

    1. Hi SB, how would you solve it using HBL, pls can you elaborate for the benefit of all.. Thanks..

  11. arjun says:

    shipped on board date is the date when good/container loaded vessel and vesse sailing date is the when vessel begun her journey.
    so if the good loaded on 14 feb then ship on would be 14 feb and if vessel stoped for 2 days at port then sailed so the vesse sailing date would be 16th feb

  12. David Murray says:

    This may be a matter of the tail wagging the dog. Since this issue exists and can be reasonbaly anticipated, why not work it from the other end and in the future alter the terms of the L/C so as not to put the shipping line in this kind of bind . . . It is not the shipping line’s problem, it is a problem with the purchase and sale agreement and the terms of the L/C.