Here’s another basic question from a new entrant to shipping :
- Does the shipping company provides the OB/L number or does the freight forwarder provide it
- Is OB/L number given for a shipment or is it given per container
Before answering the question, let me jog your memory about what an Original Bill of Lading is and what it does..
An Original Bill of Lading is a Negotiable document which serves as an
- Evidence of Contract of Carriage
- Receipt of Goods and
- Document of Title
Now for the answers :
Answer to Question 1 : Bill of Lading Number – is a unique number allocated by the shipping line and is the main number used for the tracking of the status of the shipment..
The bill of lading number is generated and issued by the entity that is issuing the bill of lading – whether it is a shipping line or a freight forwarder..
For the same shipment, there can be two back to back bills of lading issued by the shipping line and by the freight forwarder or NVOCC..
The bill of lading issued by the shipping line is known as the Master Bill of Lading and the bill of lading issued by a registered freight forwarder or NVOCC is known as the House Bill of Lading..
You can read more about the difference between a Master Bill of Lading and House Bill of Lading here..
Answer to Question 2 : Depending upon the requirement of the client (exporter or shipper or forwarder), a bill of lading can be issued per shipment or per container..
There maybe cases where there is 1 container – 3 bills of lading (Part Bill of Lading) or 3 containers – 1 bill of lading..
The number of bill of lading for the shipment or container can be dictated by the contract, purchase order or letter of credit alongwith the type of bill of lading and the number of originals/copies to be issued..
Subbu – hope the above answer is clear to you..