Bill of Lading functions and items

Bill of Lading: functions and items

The bill of lading is a standardized international transport contract that contains the general declaration of the transported goods.

This document is an instrument used to verify the receipt and delivery of the merchandise transferred by a carrier. There, the relevant aspects of the load are specified so that there is proof of the transported material.

In this way, at the time of delivery, only the consignee of the bill of lading can claim ownership of the cargo. In this sense, it constitutes a binding document for the contracting parties.

Bill of lading functions

Some functions of the bill of lading, which make it so important in the transportation of merchandise, are the following

  • Receipt of merchandise: to receive the merchandise, the consignee must present this document. In this way, the carrier transfers responsibility for the cargo to its owner. Also, he has a signed legal document that declares that he has delivered the agreed order in full.
  • Ownership of the merchandise: the bill of lading serves as evidence for the consignee to show ownership of the cargo at its destination. It also allows the carrier to release the cargo to its legal owner according to the contract.
  • Endorsement of the carrier’s rate: this document also serves to establish the price of the carrier’s service in a legal document. That is the price of the freight. It also establishes the calculation method, for example, if the cost is by weight, volume, or transport units.

Items included

  • The information contained in a bill of lading must be duly detailed. In this sense, the objective is to avoid, as far as possible, a delay in the clearance of the cargo due to a customs inspection.
  • Therefore, the standard information found on the bill of lading is as follows:
  • Name, address, telephone, and email of the exporter, final recipient or consignee, and the notifier of the status of the shipment.
  • Mode of transport through which the goods will be transported to the port of loading.
  • The place where the shipping company takes possession of the cargo.
  • The name of the ship and the identification number of the voyage in which the cargo to be delivered to the consignee at the destination is transported.
  • Port in which the merchandise will be loaded at the origin.
  • Port of destination where the merchandise will arrive.
  • Unique reference number of the Bill of Lading.
  • Complete details of the freight forwarder and license number.
  • Point and country of origin of the merchandise.
  • Full details of the agent at the destination that will manage the release of the cargo. The terminal where the merchandise will be loaded onto the ship.
  • Shipping method.
  • Visible marks and indications on the external part of the load made in order to identify the goods.
  • Description of each package, including details of the type of merchandise, type of packaging, the quantity for each package, and the number of units in its smallest measure. Cargo handling instructions, if any, are also included in this field.
  • Complete list of surcharges and surcharges such as ocean freight.
  • Signature and stamp of the shipping company.

Singapore as a hub for global shipping

This year despite the global economic crisis as a result of the pandemic, Singapore remained as the world’s leading shipping hub.

Its geographical location, as well as the ecosystem of the shipping industry, seem to be some of the reasons that give Singapore for the seventh consecutive year the first place in the Development Index of the Xinhua-Baltic International Maritime Transport Center.

This index provides an independent ranking of the performance of the world’s largest cities offering port business and shipping services.

Considering that 90% of world trade moves in containers, there is no doubt that the shipping industry plays a fundamental role in the development of the global economy.

On the world port stage, most of the market players are in Asia.

Transit remains despite the Covid-19

The crisis caused by Covid-19 influenced all the seaports in the world, Singapore due to its proximity to China, was one of the first ports in which maritime traffic was affected.

However, the statistics reflect some stabilization during the Q1 of this 2020.

Overall, Singapore managed to operate with a total of 53.08 million tons, which is 2% more compared to the same period in 2019.

The increase in container goods reached 32.53 tons, representing a slight increase of 1.5% compared to 2019.

The Port of Singapore

Before Shanghai snatched the position from it, the Singapore port was between 2005 and 2010 the first in the ranking of the most important ports in the world.

The history of this port dates back to 1819, when it was built to compensate for the island’s lack of natural resources, allowing goods to enter it.

Nowadays, the port of Singapore offers connections to more than 600 ports in 123 countries on 6 continents, with 130,000 ships passing through its docks each year.

It is also the largest transshipment port in the world, hosting around 20% of the world’s containers.

Port authorities are working on the development of the Tuas Port, currently Singapore’s largest port project, with its first berths to be operational in 2021.

When the project is finished in 2040, the Tuas Port is expected to be the largest fully automated terminal in the world.

Advantages of Maritime Transport

Maritime transport is capable of offering more competitive prices adapted to each form of shipping.

It adapts to the requirements of practically all types of product through the adjustments of the ships and containers.Despite being a slower means of transport, it is also one of the most sustainable on the market.