What are the main differences between the Bill of Lading and the Sea Waybill?

The Bill of Lading and the Sea Waybill are the two basic documents that guarantee maritime transport, both national and international. In many occasions they generate confusion in their use, however, each one fulfills very specific functions.

The Bill of Lading, in addition to serving as a contract of carriage and receipt of goods, has the usefulness of a document of title. For its part, the Sea Waybill is the evidence of the transport contract and the receipt of the goods, but it only serves as evidence. In this way the carrier is released with the delivery of the cargo to the person identified in the document.

All companies in the logistics sector, as is also the case with Stock Logistic, work day by day with these types of documents that guarantee the success and reliability of operations, regardless of the type of goods, their origin or destination.

Main characteristics of the Bill of Lading

  • The transport companies, or the captain of the ship, are responsible for issuing the Bill of Lading, or bill of lading in Spanish.
  • It serves as a receipt for the goods shipped on the ship and the state in which they are.
  • It proves the existence of a transport contract.
  • The property of the transported merchandise falls on the holder of the document, who will be the one who can pick up the merchandise in the port of destination.
  • It is negotiable and accepted in banks as a title of credit.

Sea Waybill

However, as indicated above, when a representative title covering the goods and incorporating the right to dispose of them is not necessary, then the bill of lading may be replaced by another type of document, which is the Sea Waybill. Some of the particularities are:

  • It is used when the shipper takes the decision to release his control over the cargo immediately:¬†that the goods can be delivered to the person identified in the document, without it having to submit any document to claim the cargo.
  • When the cargo is shipped, the shipper or sender receives this document for reference only. In this case neither the shipper nor the importer is obliged to deliver anything additional to the carrier, so the cargo is released as soon as it is available in port.
  • It is advisable to use a Sea Waybill when the shipper knows the consignee of the cargo well, in the event that the goods will not be traded during transportation or if it is paid to an account with approved credit.

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