One of the important documents required during the export shipping process
is a Bill of Lading
– a contract between seller and carrier that acts as a receipt for transportation of goods. It acts as proof of shipment and discussed service by the carrier to the shipper. Among the various types of BOLs, a Through Bill of Lading is an important one.
What is a Through Bill of Lading?
A Through Bill of Lading is a type of BOL that allows a shipping company to move goods from the point of origin to the final destination. Unlike other BOLs, this type permits the carrier to pass the shipment via different modes of transportation as required by the cargo. The ‘through’ in Through Bill of Lading shows that it is an umbrella Bill of Lading that can comprise other individual bills of lading. While a Bill of Lading usually includes only one aspect of transportation of goods from the origin to the final destination, a Through Bill of Lading includes the complete process including domestic and international transport. It also includes the transportation details agreed upon by the seller and carrier, such as any specific processes or transport terms1.
How does a Through Bill of Lading work?
A Through Bill of Lading covers the entire shipping process for the exporter and provides legal permission to the carrier to move goods on behalf of him/her. For instance, if the movement of goods from the origin to the final destination includes local transport to an international airport followed by international transportation, the Through Bill of Lading will have an Inland Bill of Lading (used for domestic transport) and an Ocean Bill of Lading (used for ocean freight). The document is most suitable for cases where both domestic and international movement of goods is required.
What is the need for a Through Bill of Lading?
In most cases, cargo is not directly shipped internationally. It usually goes from a manufacturing unit to a local port or city and then is loaded onto the ship or sent to an airport. In such cases, a Through Bill of Lading is useful and best suited. As the goods are delivered using several modes of transportation and different distribution centers, a Through Bill of Lading is a comprehensive document that allows the carrier to transport the consignment without any hassle. It is essentially an all-in-one document needed to cover all aspects of transportation of goods. The bill ensures that the seller does not need to create separate bills for the same consignment to transport goods through various ports/centres.
Format and example of a Through Bill of Lading
The key feature of the Through Bill of Lading is that the carrier can enter into a single contract with the exporter to transport the shipment from its point of origin to the destination via various other modes. It is designed to simplify the shipping process for both parties.
Some of the details included in a Through Bill of Lading are:
• Carrier details
• Point of origin
• Mode(s) of transportation
• Terms and conditions
• Special instructions, if any
Depending on the mode of transportation, an appropriate BOL needs to be issued or obtained. Once you have obtained a Bill of Lading and other required documents for your export business, you can sell internationally from India using e-commerce.
Easy e-commerce exports with Amazon
As an e-commerce exports program, Amazon Global Selling
enables Indian sellers and MSMEs to take their products from India to international marketplaces across 200+ countries and territories. Without having to set up a physical store or warehouse abroad, Amazon’s simple registration process and hassle-free logistics support helps you reach global customers in a seamless manner.
Published on October 31, 2022.
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