Straight bill of lading: Guide to its meaning and format

Straight bill of lading is a non-negotiable bill of lading that is used primarily when goods being delivered have already been paid for. In this blog, learn about its meaning and process.
straight bill of lading
Exporting goods beyond country borders requires a list of documents such as letters of credit, transport documents, bills of exchange, and so on – all of which help allow fair international commerce. One such important document is a Bill of Lading (BoL). It works as a proof of shipment. It states what products are being shipped, where is the shipment from (origin country) and what is the destination of the shipment (destination country).

To be successful as a global brand and avoid any challenges during international shipping, it is important to have all necessary export documentation in hand.

What is a straight bill of lading?

A straight bill of lading is typically used to describe a non-negotiable bill of lading. It is a contract in which a seller promises to ship goods to a specified location using a certain mode of transportation and assigns the bill to a specific consignee. It cannot be allocated to anybody except the “designated consignee” due to its non-negotiable character.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of a straight bill is that the consignee is identified when the bill is issued and cannot be altered later. As a result, approving the bill does not allow the shipper or consignee to transfer legal title and ownership of the goods to a third party.

What is the need for a straight bill of lading?

Straight bill of lading, also known as a ‘consignment bill of lading’, is used goods are being sent to a customer or importer who has already paid for the order. Since the original bill of lading is not required to receive goods, this bill covers products’ kind, amount and condition and can reduce demurrage and detention expenses.

What is included in a straight bill of lading?

Some of the contents in a straight bill of lading are:
• Name of the shipper
• Addresses of the shipper (consigner)
• Address of the receiver (consignee)
• Shipping dates
• Amount of the consignment
• Precise weight of the consignment
• Value of the consignment
• Freight classification

How does a straight bill of lading work?

A straight bill of lading is typically used to deliver products to customers who have already paid for an order. It is usually preferred in the event of gifts or contributions or other products that do not require payment, such as swaps or refunds.

In a straight BOL, the seller commits to using a certain mode of transportation to deliver goods to the destination. The bill is then allocated to a particular party, identified as the ‘designated consignee’. It cannot be allocated to anybody else since it is non-negotiable. This aids the proper delivery of goods.

What are the benefits of a straight bill of lading?

Some of the common benefits of a straight bill of lading are:
• Since the buyer or importer does not need to provide the original bill of lading, they can obtain goods straight from the carrier.
• This bill may result in elimination of demurrage and detention charges.
• It is highly useful to exporters and importers since payment is already done.
• It also reduces the transit time between the ports of loading and discharge is quick.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who will issue the Straight Bill of Lading?
The shipping company issues a Straight Bill of Lading or by agents concerned with placing goods on board the vessel and signed by the carrier.
When should a Straight Bill of Lading be used?
A Straight Bill of Lading is usually considered to make goods delivered to a specific consignee. It is generally used to deliver goods to customers who have already paid for them.
What is the difference between a Bill of Lading and a Straight Bill of Lading?
The difference between a Bill of Lading and a Straight Bill of Lading is that while the Bill of Lading can be negotiable, a Straight Bill of Lading is non-negotiable. It can be delivered only to a specific customer.
What is the difference between a Straight and Negotiable Bill of Lading?
A Negotiable Bill of Lading directs the carrier to deliver goods to any individual in possession of the original signed Negotiable Bill. A Straight Bill of Lading specifies a single consignee, recipient or buyer to whom the items must be transported.
Published on August 30, 2022.


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