Through Bill of Lading – Definition

Cite this article as:"Through Bill of Lading – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated January 10, 2020, last accessed October 27, 2020,


Through Bill Of Lading Definition

Through Bill of Lading refers to a legal document that enables traders to transport goods within the borders of a country as well as international shipping. It permits business people to transfer their cargo through various distribution centers and using different transportation modes.

A Little More on What is a Through Bill Of Lading

A through bill of lading consists of Ocean Bill of Lading and Inland Bill of Lading. If the company decides to move the goods across the ocean, it will need the ocean bill of lading. If it chooses to transport the goods by air, it will require an inland bill of lading.

So, the company will require a through bill of lading depending on the means of transport it decides to use. The document is an essential requirement for those who wish to export goods. It serves as a carriage contract, cargo receipts, and sometimes as a title for the goods.

Generally, through bill of lading may be convenient when you want to transport your goods using door-to-door container shipments, including other means of transportation such as aircraft, ships, trucks, railcars, etc. Note that unlike a bill of lading that covers only a single element of the transport, a through bill of lading will include the entire process.

A through bill of lading can act as a title for the goods you wish to transport in the international market. The company in charge of transporting goods usually takes the responsibility or title of the products during the entire transportation process until they reach the destination.

Through Bill of Lading Specifications

A through bill of lading permits the shipping company to take the responsibility of goods on the move across borders. However, it has some agreed-upon details on how this is supposed to operate. Since it covers the whole shipping process, a through bill of lading gives the transporting firm several legal transportation rights.

For instance, it allows the transporting company to use multiple modes of transportation, legs of the journey, and through various countries. All these ensure that the transporting company provides complete logistics services.

It is essential to note the shipping company must have a through bill of lading to be able to transport the goods from the origin to destination. It acts as a legal certificate that authorizes the carrier to possess and transport particular products.

A Through Bill of Lading Benefits

A through bill of lading has the following benefits:

  • There is no complication as the customer deals with one company throughout the entire shipping process.
  • The customer also gets a cost breakdown that is easy to understand
  • There is low shipping cost involved when you use a through bill of lading

Through Bill of Lading Limitation

  • One major limitation of using a through bill of lading is that you will have no control over the goods on transit.
  • Secondly, since you are dealing with the only party, the process is likely to b slower, especially when there is a problem in the shipment process that you need to address.

Other Types of Bill of Lading 

A bill of lading is simply a contract between the person shipping the goods and the carrier or a transporting company used in international trade. International business people will require this document when shipping products. It acts as a receipt and as a contract between the two parties.

The bill of lading shows the transporting company owns the freight as per the description (cargo receipt). It also specifies the terms of delivery. One of the essential detail contained in the document is for the shipping company to ensure that it delivers the cargo to the consignee in perfect condition. Apart from through bill of lading, there are also other types of bill of lading that should know. They are as follows:

  • Clean bill of lading
  • Bearer bill of lading
  • Received for shipment bill of lading
  • Charter party bill of lading
  • Clauses bill of lading
  • Master bill of lading
  • Stale bill of lading
  • Container bill of lading
  • Order bill of lading
  • Surrender bill of lading
  • House bill of lading
  • Straight bill of lading

References for “Through Bill Of Lading

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