Transport documents in international trade

What are transport documents?

Transport documents are issued by a shipping line, air cargo carrier, trucking company, or freight forwarder that detail the terms of transport for cargo. The key transport document is the bill of lading.

The major transport documents are a Bill of lading, commercial invoice, packing list, Sea waybill, Air waybill, freight insurance, certificate of origin, and inspection certificate.

What are the 5 most common freight documents?

Bill of lading

Sea waybill

Consignment note (CMR)

Air waybill (AWB)

Rail consignment note (CIM)

What is the most important transportation document?

A Bill of lading is the most important transportation document.

A bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier to a shipper, signed by the captain, agent, or owner of the vessel to prove the receipt of the goods. A bill of lading also lists the terms and conditions of the contract between carriers and shippers, and the carrier’s obligation to deliver goods at the described port of destination to the lawful holder of the bill of lading.

A bill of lading is both a receipt of goods and a contract to deliver it as freight.

There are generally 3 kinds of bill of lading: Straight bill of lading, Shipper’s order bill of lading, and Blank endorsed negotiable bill of lading

  • A straight bill of lading
    • is non-negotiable
    • can not transfer by endorsement. consignee on the bill of lading is the entity to claim the freight.
    • A straight bill of lading is often used when paying for goods has already been made.
  • Shipper’s order bill of lading
    • is negotiable
    • this bill of lading can transfer to other parties.
    • the shipper can sell or trade the goods while the freight is in transit.
  • Blank endorsed a negotiable bill of lading
    • this bill of lading has been endorsed without naming an endorsed.
    • Whoever is in the possession of this bill of lading may claim possession of the goods.

Is a bill of exchange transport documents?

A bill of exchange is a transport document but not the kind of transport document you must have. A Bill of lading is a must-have transport document. A Bill of exchange is a legal document to binds the buyer to pay an agreed amount of money during certain days upon receipt of the goods.

There are more financial details on a bill of exchange than a bill of lading such as invoice amount, payment due date, bank information, etc, so the majority of people prefer a bill of lading on international trade, in case they need to resell the goods.

Is a packing list transport documents?

A packing list is one of the important transport documents. The packing list has the freight’s weight, size, and a detailed list of the goods in each package.

A packing list is a must-have document when clearing customs, inspecting the goods, calculating freight fees, etc.

What are the transport documents given by the shipping line?

A Bill of lading is one of the transport documents given by the shipping line. The ocean shipping line will issue a bill of lading to the shipper once they receive the goods on their vessel.

An air waybill is a form of a bill of lading issued by an airline for the air transportation of goods and is not negotiable.

What is proof of delivery documents?

Proof of delivery is a receipt to prove that the freight has been delivered to the assigned place. Providing proof of delivery (POD) is essential to the shipper and the buyer.

A proof of delivery normally should include the receiver’s address, the receiver’s name (either it is a warehouse or a residential place), the delivery date and time, receiver’s signature.

Most customers use 3rd party logistics companies to handle their transport of goods. They may request more documents to prove that their freight has been delivered. Besides delivery time and receiver’s signature, they may also request loading and unloading pictures, trailer number, copy of driver’s license, etc. if your customer has more requests you have to provide more backup as proof of delivery.

Is a delivery note proof of delivery?

A delivery note can be proof of delivery if the delivery note has basic information such as delivery time, and the receiver’s signature. But if your customer is very strict and has more detailed requests such as loading pictures, packing list, driver’s license, etc then a delivery note is not satisfied as proof of delivery.

What documents are requested as proof of delivery depending on what your customer asking? some customers only need delivery time and signature, some customers need a packet of documents and photos as proof of delivery.

What is the importance of transport documents?

Transport documents are essential in international trade. These documents are legitimate to detail shippers, transport companies, buyer’s rights, and obligations.

International trade can not be fulfilled without transport documents. The major function of transport documents is to make international trade proceed smoothly. make sure both the shipper and the buyer knows their obligation and right during the transport of goods.

The shipper has to ship the goods according to transport documents, and the buyer can claim the goods when they submit correct shipping documents.

Transport documents such as commercial invoice, packing list, certificate of origin are must needed at customs clearance.

Proper documentation saves both shippers and buyers time and money. Incorrect transport documents will cause delay of delivery, either the shipper or the buyer has to bear extra demurrage, delay fee.

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