ocean bill of lading (B/L)
(shipping) A receipt for the cargo and a contract for transportation between a shipper and the ocean carrier. It may also be used as an instrument of ownership (negotiable bill of lading) which can be bought, sold, or traded while the goods are in transit. To be used in this manner, it must be a negotiable “Order” Bill-of-Lading.
(a) A clean bill of lading is issued when the shipment is received in good order. If damaged or a shortage is noted, a clean bill of lading will not be issued.
(b) An on board bill of lading certifies that the cargo has been placed aboard the named vessel and is signed by the master of the vessel or his representative. In letter of credit transactions, an on board bill of lading is usually necessary for the shipper to obtain payment from the bank. When all bills of lading are processed, a ship’s manifest is prepared by the steamship line. This summarizes all cargo aboard the vessel by port of loading and discharge.
(c) An inland bill of lading (a waybill on rail or the “pro forma” bill of lading in trucking) is used to document the transportation of the goods between the port and the point of origin or destination. It should contain information such as marks, numbers, steamship line, and similar information to match with a dock receipt.
See bill of lading.