As advised in one of my very first articles – Article 2 – The Documents – a Bill of Lading – abbreviated to read B/L is a document that serves as a document of title, evidence of a contract of carriage and an evidence for receipt of goods by the carrier.. This is issued by the shipping line after ascertaining and confirming that :
- – the container(s) covered in the bill of lading are infact physically shipped on board the specific ship/voyage
- – the relevant freight and other charges have been paid by the shipper or his agent
- – the relevant authenicated docs – B/E and CDO have been submitted by the shipper or his agent
When, Where and under what circumstances is a Part Bill of Lading issued..??
There may occur cases where a seller has probably 2 or more buyers at the same port of discharge, or where the buyer is the same, but cargo/order numbers could be different.. In order to optimise the utilisation of the container, all the orders for the various buyers could be packed in the same container..
In such cases, depending on the terms of trade between the seller and buyer, individual bills of lading needs to be issued.. Since the container is the same, the bill of lading is split into “n” number of “parts”..
Example, if there are three bills of lading covering the cargo packed in a container number MANU1234567, three bills of lading SISA1234, SISA1234A, SISA1234B maybe issued whereby
- SISA1234 is the first part bill of lading,
- SISA1234A is the second part bill of lading and
- SISA1234B is the third part bill of lading
In order to ensure that each of the bills of lading are individual, yet linked to each other, it is very important that the body of the bill of lading denotes clearly that there are part bills issued.. It is usually done by endorsing the body of the bill as
- SISA1234 should be endorsed as Part 1/3 (indicating that this is the 1st part of 3 part bills)
- SISA1234A should be endorsed as Part 2/3 of bill of lading SISA1234 (linking it to the first bill)
- SISA1234B should be endorsed as Part 3/3 of bill of lading SISA1234 (linking it to the first bill)
SISA1234 being the primary bill will normally carry all the freight charges and the freight charges for all 3 bills has to be paid by one entity (either shipper or consignee)..