A document issued for the shipper ( or the seller ) by the carrier or freight forwarder as a contract of transportation and receipt of cargo. This contract explains the conditions of transportation and act as a title by which the ownership and control of the goods can be transferred. The bill of lading is usually printed in 3 original signed documents and 3 copies. Bill of Lading ( B/L ) has more than one type as follows :
MASTER B/L : A bill of lading issued by the carrier or shipping line to a freight forwarder that contains that details of the whole lot ( which may be consolidated in more than one HOUSE B/L.
HOUSE B/L : A bill of lading issued by the freight forwarder or cargo agent when acting as a carrier to the actualy shipper ( or seller ). Terms and conditions usually are similar to the ones in the MASTER B/L.
CONGEN B/L : A form of bill of lading that is used for chartering and charterred vessels.
ORDER B/L : In this negotiable B/L the goods are consgined " to the order of " a certain consignee ( in most of the cases it is a bank of the buyer or consginee when a Letter of Credit ( L/C ) is created ).