The Freight Service 1

bill, lading, bills, foreign, copies, port and usually

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

17. The bill of bill of lading (B/L) is a receipt for the goods received on board a vessel and contains the terms of the contract of carriage. Usually it is signed by the master of the vessel acting as agent for the owner. A bill of lading is some times used in connection with a charter party, but as a rule is found only where a common carrier is used.

The document is of great importance because it conveys title to the goods shipped. Several copies, never less than three, are drawn up. Some of these are "negotiable," others are "non-negotiable." The negotiable copies, of which as a rule two are signed, are the only instruments by means of which the ownership of the goods can be transferred. They are the copies which must be sent to the foreign cus tomer and which must be attached to the "documen tary bills" discounted at the bank.

The banks will demand "a full set," tho one nego tiable bill is sufficient to obtain possession of the goods. On each negotiable copy the number of negotiable copies in existence is, therefore, indicated.

The non-negotiable copies of bills of lading do not give title to the goods, but are used for purposes of record. One copy is given to the captain who uses it to make out his "manifest." Another ',opy may be kept at the office of the exporting firm, while yet another may be forwarded to the foreign customer as a notice that the shipment has actually taken place. Sometimes consuls require copies of bills of lading for their files.

Many bills of lading are made out "to order," to which may be added a clause: "Notify Enrico dez," or whatever is the name of the consignee. Venezuela, Colombia and Costa Rica do not allow "to order" shipments.

Each charter issues its own bill of Jading, but all bills are much alike in appearance. The major part of the bill is made up of- "exceptions," by means of which any liability is disclaimed in case of disaster or other accidents resulting from causes other than "unseaworthiness." The "clean" bill of lading bears no additional excep tions other than those printed. When a shipment arrives in bad condition at the steamer's wharf the company will either refuse to handle it at all or else will issue a "foul" bill, which is a bill bearing a marginal note stating that the goods were received in damaged condition. Banks naturally do not look

with favor upon such bills as collateral.

"Minimum" bills of lading are the lowest sum for which a steamship company will issue a bill of lading. Usually this amount is $5.00. Small parcels may sometimes be shipped with "parcel receipts" issued against them. Samples are frequently handled that way. Many steamship lines do not handle parcels. The latter must then be sent by parcel post, express company, or freight forwarder.

Most railroad companies will issue "thru bills of lading" from points on their lines to the foreign port or even inland points. As far as shipments beyond the foreign port are concerned these can usually be more advantageously attended to by the foreign cus tomers or the exporters' agents.

18. routing of freight is not always the most economical, nor always possible. Even where direct connections exist it may be that sailings are so infrequent and roundabout that it is speedier and frequently less expensive to ship the goods to some European port for trans-shipment.

The Australian and South American services from England and the Continent compete with the direct lines from the United States. Many of the Baltic' ports and the ports of the Mediterranean are more easily reached by trans-shipment than by direct con nections.

The rates for these services are usually competitive. The real competition is felt in the service rendered. As a rule, trans-shipments should be avoided. They may result in delay in the port of reshipment and they increase the risk of breakage and damage in handling.

Where trans-shipment takes place in a foreign port the risk is borne by the shipper except in the case of gross negligence. This is covered by a clause in the ocean bill of lading.

19. Size of oversea tonnage which is actually cleared year by year in the American ports reaches an enormous figure. The following table gives the tonnage of vessels cleared and entered in foreign trade in the United States for the fiscal year ended June 30.

According to the annual report of the Department of Trade and Commerce of the Dominion of Canada, the tonnage of sea going vessels, exclusive of coasting vessels, cleared at and entered from Canadian ports, for the fiscal years ended March 31 was :

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6