History of the Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading, is a legal document that has been in use since the 16th century in Spain. It serves as a contract between the shipper and the carrier. The BOL is widely used across various industries such as air carriers, railroads, etc.

This article focuses on shipments from the USA to foreign ports with a BOL. Although there are other types of BOL it is recognized as a contract of carriage worldwide.

The BOL contains information about the goods being transported, such as their quantity, quality, description, and the responsibilities of the parties involved, namely the shipper and the carrier. It outlines the terms and conditions of the cargo movement and is an essential document for international trade.

The process of using a bill of lading begins with the shipper delivering the cargo to the carrier’s port of loading.

Once the cargo is loaded, the vessel issues a dock receipt, which covers the amount and condition of the cargo. After loading, the shipping line will issue a BOL to the shipper or their representative.

When the vessel arrives at the port of discharge, the consignee is notified of the cargo’s arrival. In a typical transaction, the consignee presents the original BOL to claim the cargo.

In conclusion, the BOL is representing a contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier. It outlines the terms and conditions of the cargo movement, including the responsibilities of the parties involved. The BOL is used globally and plays a vital role in international trade.

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