BILL LADING PARAMETERS, A Freight’s Vital Sections!


Bill lading parameters

Our analysis about the bill lading parameters actually focuses on components of a bill of lading document that individuals aiming or already in the freight ecosystem should have a firm knowledge of. And also, the terms ‘bill lading’ in this post actually meant the ‘bill of lading’ – however, it will be used occasionally based on the fact that the search engine optimization purposes (SEO) are taken into account.

These parameters, which in some cases are abbreviated, are very vital in this sphere of global trade and its logistics. Note, it’s important these components are analyzed in detail until we are done with the bill of lading document. While in this post, our analysis would include the master bill of lading (MBL), house bill of lading (HBL), and lastly, the draft copy bill of lading, while the latter is used solely for logistics purposes.

I think the image of the bill of lading document used above will serve the purpose of our analysis, though, we thought to add maybe one or two more, but will no longer apply in this post. So, let’s skip that while we proceed.


This is practically a firm or an individual that sends freight. The freight originates from this person or firm, while on the bill of lading top left corner lies or bear the firm’s detail, such as the name, address, and other contact information.


This is the actual owner of the goods, while in some cases this section or column may be enclosed with a bank detail as the sponsor through which the goods were purchased. However, this is a section that requires the name of the consignee, home or company’s address, email, and phone contact. This section falls below the shipper’s column at the left-hand-side. The consignee’s name in this section (excluding shipment sponsored by a bank) is often contacted by the agent (liner or shipping company) at the port of unloading (destination) prior to the arrival of the vessel for cargo delivery purposes.

Meanwhile, it’s also expected of the consignee to have the original bill of lading or its telex copy which I will explain. For Telex Copy (copy non-negotiable) meant non-submission of the original bill of lading, this often occurs when the goods are transshipped, which in turn, will require ‘TELEX PAYMENT’ payable to the liner or shipping company at destination (port of unloading).

NOTE: Contact details of a shipping company at the port of destination may equally appear here, and this is only applicable for less than container load (LCL) shipments. The aim is to enable the shipping company with their logistics operation (documentation and retrieval process) of the container to their container freight station (CFS) or warehouse, carried out with the aid of their license known as ‘bond’ coupled with transshipment form, used only for foreign goods transfer.


This lies below the consignee section, and if the goods purchased were sponsored by a bank or any other financial institution, then the consignee’s detail will be enclosed in this column. Otherwise, this section only contains detailed information of a notified party (either a person or a firm) to be contacted prior to the arrival of the goods at the port of destination.

Lastly, is how you can practically differentiate a master bill of lading from a house bill of lading with their shipments in addition to other applicable factors.

The master bill of lading bears the name of the shipping line in its original form (the Liner’s default). While goods shipped with this type of bill of lading includes; Full container load (FCL), General or breakbulk, and roll-on roll-out shipments.

The house bill of lading document is also a vital one that one should be conversant with, this comes with a shipper or shipping company’s format that could be the principal to the agent at destination. Shipments here fall under less than container load (LCL), roll-on roll-out, and general cargoes.

This will be it, for now, we will continue with the analysis of Draft Copy or Verify Copy (master bill of lading for LCL) and other bill lading parameters in our next post.

  • I hope you found this article on bill lading parameters, helpful?

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.