Bill of Lading types of bill of lading contracts

‘The term charter-party is generally understood to be a corruption of the Latin words carta partita, the two parts of this and other instruments being usually written in former times on one: piece of parchment, which was afterwards divided by a straight line cut through some word or figure so that one part should fit and tally with the other as evidence of the original agreement and correspondence, and to prevent the fraudulent substitution of a fictitious instrument for the real deed of the parties.’
Lord Tenterden, Treatise of the Law relative to Merchant Ships and Seamen 5th ed., 1823

Types of Bills of Lading

There are many types of bills of lading one can meet in practice. Some of them listed below:

  • bearer bill of lading - A bill of lading, which does not identify a consignee but is merely marked 'to order'. When a bearer bill is transferred to a third party, constructive possession canbe transferred without the need for indorsement of the bill.
  • charterparty bill of lading - A bill of lading, which incorporates the terms of a charterparty.
  • charterer’s bill of lading - A bill of lading, issued by a charterer rather than a shipowner. Any implied or statutory contract that arises under this document will be with the charterer, rather than the shipowner.
  • claused bill of lading - A bill of lading that contains adverse remarks as to the apparent order and condition of the goods to which it refers, or a bill of lading which contains qualifications as to the weight or quantity of the goods loaded thereunder.
  • clean bill of lading - A bill of lading that notes the loading of goods in apparent good order and condition.
  • combined transport bill of lading - A bill of lading issued for carriage which will involve more thanone mode of transport, for example, road and sea carriage.
  • freight forwarder’s bill of lading - A bill of lading whereby the contractual carrier will be a freight forwarder, notwithstanding that this party will play no physical role inthe actual carriage of the goods.
  • freight prepaid bill of lading - A bill of lading marked in this manner will generally prevent the carrier from claiming freigjit from the bill of lading holder or from exercising a lien over its cargo.
  • liner bill of lading - A bill of lading under which the carrier is responsible for loading, stowing and discharging the cargo.
  • long form bill of lading - A form of bill of lading issued by the carrier setting forth all the terms of the contract of carriage.
  • multimodal or combined transport bill of lading - A through bill of lading which involves at least two different modes of transport, i.e. road, rail, air and sea.
  • named (nominate) bill of lading - A bill of lading providing for the delivery of the goods to a named person, without also specifying "to order or assigns".
  • ocean bill of lading - A bill of ladingunder which the carrier’s responsibilities for the cargo start with its loading and end with its discharge.
  • ocean through bill of lading - A "pure" ocean through bill of lading is a bill of lading whereby the issuer undertakes to be responsible for the carriage of goods by successive ocean carriers from the point of reception to final destination.
  • order bill of lading - A bill of lading which names a consignee, for example, 'to X or order'. The bill of lading must be indorsed by the consignee, by signing the reverse of the bill, when it transfers the document to a third party.
  • received for shipment bill of lading - A bill of lading which records receipt of the goods by the carrier at a time prior to that at which they are loaded onto the carrying vessel.
  • shipped bill of lading - A bill of lading which records receipt of the goods by the carrier at the time they are loaded onto the carrying vessel.
  • shipowner’s bill of lading - A bill of lading under which the shipowner is theсоntractual carrier.
  • short form bill of lading - A form of bill of lading (supra) issued by the carrier incorporating by reference the terms of the contract of carriage set forth in the carrier’s long form bill of lading.
  • spent bill of lading - A bill of lading which can no longer be used to transfer constructive possession in the goods which it represents, for example, where the person entitled to possession of those goods receives the bill of lading after it has actually taken delivery of the goods.
  • straight bill of lading - A bill of lading, which names a consignee but is not a document of title due to the absence of words such as 'to order'. Such a document is very similar to a waybill, save that delivery still has to be made against production of an original bill of lading.
  • through bill of lading - A bill of lading that is issued when the carriage will involve transshipment. Depending on the terms of the bill, the initial carrier may continue to be liable after transshipment.

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