What is a telex release..??

Image of a Telex Machine

This is the machine that gave the Telex Release its name.. The great TELEX Machine (similar to your BBM only much bigger and in many ways more capable)

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 :

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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



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35 comments on “What is a telex release..??

  1. Hello,
    I received 3 original copies of Bill of Lading from shipping agent, and I courier 2 of them to the consignee. Unfortunately, consignee misplace the two original Bill of Lading.
    Can I surrender the only one original Bill of Lading, in my hand, to the shipping agent at loading port and ask for the telex release?

    1. Hi Siaw, what type of bill of lading is it..?? Is it a “straight bill of lading” or a “negotiable bill of lading”..??

    2. Nirmala Dhanapal says:

      Hi Siaw, There are some procedures you need to follow with shipping agent. First inform to them that you customer were missed the OBL’s. I hope that shipping agent will require Written letter from customer to issue new Original bills or to accept Telex Release and might be penalty will involved. Shipping agency HO will involve and advise you for more info. Hope you understand.

    3. Hello Nirmala Dhanapal,
      Thank you and from what I understand, should any one of the three original Bill of Lading surrendered to the shipping agent, the balance of two is considered void.
      Therefore, the shipping agent at port of loading should able to do a telex release when receiving one original Bill of Lading from me.