A telex release is simply a message that is sent by the shipping line or agent at load port to their office or agent at discharge port advising that the shipper or exporter has surrendered one or all of the original bills of lading that have been issued to them, and that the cargo can be released to the consignee shown on the bill of lading without presentation of any original bills of lading..
This usually is requested only if the consignee is a direct consignee (not a bank or To Order)..
Why would the shipper or exporter request a telex release :
- the consignee at destination is a counterpart office of the shipper – example – if say DHL Global Forwarding is the shipper shown on the bill of lading and they are shipping some cargo to their office overseas, as there is no negotiation involved, they don’t require an original bill of lading at destination
- the shipper did not process his documentation in time and the ship that is carrying his cargo has already reached or reaching the destination and the original bills will not reach the consignee in time for them to clear before the expiry of free days
- some cases, an NVOCC operator might request for a telex release from the line so that they can issue their house bill of lading to their customer
Many of the shippers/exporters that follow the principle of No.1 above use “Express Release” instead of a Telex Release also..
PS : It is called a Telex Release because in the past, such release instruction to the discharge port was sent by Telex (see the machine in the picture).. Nowadays, it is sent by e-mail, but the name telex release stuck..
Image credit : http://www.samhallas.co.uk/museums/henlow/07b_creed_444.jpg