House Bill of Lading
The House Bill of Lading is a key document in shipping as it outlines all of the information regarding the shipment, including who is responsible for what, where the shipment is going, what is being shipped, and when it is being shipped. This document ensures that everyone involved in the shipping process is on the same page and that there is a clear understanding of the shipment. Having a House Bill of Lading can help to avoid any confusion or delays in the shipping process.
This document includes the name and address of both the supplier and the receiver, as well as information about the items being shipped. The House Bill of Lading also includes the value of the goods being shipped, the mode of transportation, and terms of shipment. This document is important because it provides a record of the transaction and can be used in case of any disputes.
The House Bill of Lading is a negotiable document, similar to any other negotiable Bill of Lading. This means that it can be used to fulfill the role of a bill of lading. However, care must be taken by the freight forwarder and the shipping agent when using the House Bill of Lading as a negotiable document, as there have been many cases of the House Bill of Lading and the Master Bill of Lading being used in the same way. This can cause problems because it means that for the same cargo, there can be two sets of Bill of Lading documents issued by two different authorities.
If cargo is shipped under a Negotiable status, the Original BL needs to be endorsed by the buyer (consignee) when being transferred to a third party (Freight Forwarder/NVOCC). The freight forwarder is responsible for the proper transfer and hand-over of the BL to the appropriate authority for delivery and possession of the cargo. The original BL should also be surrendered to the authority prior to releasing the consignee or agent. Failure to follow this process will lead to the carrier being responsible for the value of the cargo if the contract between shipper/consignee is not honored.
Using a non-negotiable House Bill of Lading is not a good practice when it comes to security/collateral (when issuing a Letter of Credit from a Bank or Financial Institution). A non-negotiable Bill of lading will not entitle any individual to take delivery unless marked as Shipper or Consignee on the document.
Purpose of a House Bill of Lading
A House Bill of Lading is a document that acknowledges that a carrier has received goods for shipment and states that the goods are in good condition. The House Bill of Lading also serves as a contract between the supplier and the carrier company, and it allows the carrier to be the legal custodian of the consignment if the recipient fails to provide the required documentation that entitles him to pick up the consignment at the destination. The House Bill of Lading is tracked using the Bill of Lading Number present on the document. If there is a problem with the shipment, it is between the supplier and the carrier company, and not between the specific ship/train/airplane that was carrying the cargo. The House Bill of Lading binds the carrier to release the goods only to the legal recipient. House Bill of Lading is important because it provides protection for both the supplier and the carrier.
House Bill of Lading issued under FCL vs. LCL
When shipping via FCL, there is only one House Bill of Lading issued for the entire shipment, with one seller and one buyer from each country. However, when shipping via LCL, there may be multiple House Bills of Lading issued for the same shipment, as each supplier has their own goods in the container. The House Bill of Lading provides essential information for both the sender and the receiver of the goods being shipped.
House Bill of Lading vs. Master Bill of Lading
A House Bill of Lading (HBOL) is a document that is used to list the details of what is being shipped, who is shipping it, who will receive it, and other important information. This document is also used to track and trace the shipment. The HBOL must be accurate and meet the buyer’s expectations.
- The shipper is responsible for ensuring that all information supplied in the HBOL is accurate. The shipper is the name and address of the person or company whose cargo is being shipped. The consignee is the name and address of the person or company who will be receiving the cargo. The notify party is the name and address of the person or company who should be notified when the shipment arrives at its destination.
- The pre-carriage by is the name of the vessel that will be used to transport the cargo from the inland port to the mainland port. The place of receipt is the location where the cargo will be handed over to the carrier. The port of loading is the location where the carrier will load the cargo onto the ocean vessel. The ocean vessel/voyage is the name of the vessel and voyage number that will be used for shipping. The port of discharge is the location where the cargo will be unloaded from the ocean vessel. The place of delivery is the location where the final delivery of the cargo will take place.
- The marks & numbers field is used to identify the packages that are being shipped. The number and kinds of packages field indicates the number of packages that are being shipped. The description of packages or goods field describes the contents of the shipment. The gross weight field is the total weight of the cargo, including packaging. The measurement field indicates the total volume of the cargo.
- The booking number and bill of lading number are unique numbers that are used to track and trace the shipment. The carrier’s agent is the name and address of the company that will be handling the shipment. Other information that may be included on the HBOL are the total number of containers and/or packages, freight & charges, date on board, date of issue, place of issue, and number of originals.
How to issue and create a House Bill of Lading?
You can usually get a House Bill of Lading from a groupage operator or freight forwarder. These parties usually have a contract with the shipping line, and they’ll issue the House Bill of Lading to their customers. The customer will then receive a Master Bill of lading from the shipping line. In some cases, the House Bill of Lading is used to hide the identity of the shipper or consignee from the shipping line. If you’re preparing a House Bill of Lading, be sure to take all necessary precautions to safeguard yourself from risk or fraud.