What is a Bill of Lading (B/L)?
A Bill of lading is a contract between the owner and the carrier for the transportation of the goods. It is also a receipt issued by the carrier to the owner for goods received for transportation and an evidence of title in case of dispute. There are two types of bills of lading:
- The straight bill of lading which is non-negotiable.
- The negotiable or shipper's order bill of lading which can be bought, sold, or traded while goods are in transit and is used for many types of financing transactions.
The customer usually needs the original or a copy as proof of ownership to take possession of the goods.
What is a Manifest?
A manifest is a cargo declaration that must be signed by the carrier or the maritime agent who is responsible for the vessel and which includes the following information:
- Name and flag of the vessel
- Seaport of departure and sea port of arrival
- Nature of imported goods and the gross weight of each consignment.
- Numbers and measurements of packages or containers, or any other packing units and trademarks of such packages or containers.
What is a Freight Forwarder?
Often called “travel agent for freight”, a freight forwarder is an individual or a company who handles forwarding cargo from one overseas location to another, in a safe and efficient way, on behalf of an exporter, importer or another company or person, ensuring the best means of transport.
A freight forwarder has the expertise that allows him to make all the required arrangements to expedite the shipment and perform all related activities such as:
- Planning the most appropriate route for shipping;
- Preparing all required documents documents;
- Arranging for packing, warehousing and delivery of cargo;
- Arranging for cargo insurance;
- Making all necessary overseas communications;
What is a customs clearance agent?
A customs clearance agent is a person exercising the job of customs clearance and completing customs procedures for a third party (importers and exporters). A customs clearance agent acts as a mediator between the customs and the owner of the goods.