A bill of lading – Part 2 – MBL vs. HBL

In my previous considerations I described a bill of lading as a document – there were no questions, comments – so, I think that a subject matter was described properly :)
Today I would like to focus on dividing bills of lading in relation to a kind of their issuer – that is a division for the Master Bill of Lading (MBL) and House Bill of Lading (HBL).
What are they?

Briefly, the Master Bill of Lading is a main document issued “physically” by a sea carrier (an owner of the ship or his agent). The House Bill of Lading (HBL) is a shipping document which exists “in parallel” to the MBL and is issued by the NVOCC (Non Vessel Operation Common Carrier).

As far as application the MBL in maritime carriages is obligatory, the HBL is issued in the special cases. This documents is mainly applied when a freight forwarding network is involved in transport of our goods, and it addresses the MBL among its branches, and on the HBL are put real details of the shipper and consignee. So, you meet the HBL while working with, e.g. DHL, Raben, Rohlig and many other so called global freight forwarders.

But not only :) With the HBL we will have to do also in the case of the LCL carriages. In what way? In one container can be put goods from many shippers addresses to many consignees. If you must “to produce” the MBLs to such a consignment it would be not only very expensive, and would also cause complications with its collection when, e.g. a part of the MBL would be lost – exactly the MBL issued for a so called part cargo. In order to avoid a situation in which the goods cannot be unloaded to the CFS warehouse just because of such a “loss” of the document both documents, the MBL + HBL, are used. There is definitely too much of them to describe all because a creative invention of the importers and exporters in this regard is basically unlimited :)

Now that we know what is the MBL and HBL, in the next post I will concentrate on dividing of the shipping documentation on the grounds of a kind of the carriage – FCL vs. LCL.

Please, feel invited to comment this post since despite a 20-year of practical experience you are certainly able to surprise me with something :)