In shipping, one of the most important documents is the BL or Bill of Lading, also known as bill of lading, but what do we understand when we talk about them? The Bill of Lading better known as BL is a document issued by the shipper that accredits the receipt or cargo on board the goods to be transported, under the conditions indicated.

Three originals and several non-negotiable copies are usually issued, it is necessary to present an original to remove the goods.

Therefore, whoever owns the Bill of Lading proves possession of the goods. This aspect is fundamental especially in documentary payment methods.


BILL OF LADING received for boarding

This type of document shows that the goods have been received by the carrier on the date indicated on the document, but not that it has been shipped. It is particularly suitable for the transport of containers or multimodal, since it is issued at the time the goods have been delivered to the first carrier or to the container terminal.


It is the document demonstrating the receipt of the goods on board the ship. That is, the goods are ready to be shipped. The test received on board may take the following forms:

  1.       The word "shipped either on board as above local vessel. "The signature and date of the BL are understood as that of the "on board". This form is the most common.
  2.       If "received in apparent good order and condition for transportation shipment" appears in the BL, at the place of the text of paragraph 1 then the mention on board must appear overprinted, dated and signed in such a way that the boarding date will be that of the on board instead of l BL.

BILL OF LADING to order (to the order)

When a BL is to order, the owner of the goods i.e. the holder of the BL can convert it: by endorsement, in nominative, put it to the order of another signature leave it with the signed endorsement blank (so that they are practically the bearer)

Knowledge of lading of order plays a very important role in international transactions, especially when it comes to letters of credit; Most letters of credit require a bill of lading on board that proves to the buyer the presence of the cargo on board the vessel.

BILL OF LADING to the bearer

When the BL is to the bearer i.e. the recipient is not indicated in the document, the HOLDER of the BL is considered to be all legal defects. Like the owner of the merchandise.

BILL OF LADING nominative

Nominative BLs are extended in the name of a particular person who may take care of the goods upon identification and presentation of one of the original BLs. These documents do not allow endorsement (transfer), but simply transfer of rights. It is therefore a little-used form as it is non-negotiable.

BILL OF LADING without transhipment (BL without transhipment)

When no transhipments are contemplated. In turn, in this case two modalities are distinguished:

  1.       Tan billshipment: If the whole route is done by sea.
  2.       Through bills: When sea transport is only part of the route (the other part can be via waterway) these Bls are used as an alternative to the combined BLs.


In BL house (BL issued by the transient) and he Sea Waybill) are non-negotiable documents that do not give rights to the goods.

Through Bill of Lading

A Through bill of lading is used when shipping is carried out by more than one carrier.

So one of the documents that can cover the entire shipment is the Through bill of lading

Sea Waybill

The holder of the Bill of Lading can negotiate the sale of the goods during the journey, especially if it is long, which will be of interest because during the journey a capital is frozen. If it is foreseen that the goods will not be sold during the journey, a document constituting title – value of the goods will not be required.

He Sea Waybill does not transmit ownership of the goods, it is proof of a maritime trade operation.


Leave a comment