What Is A Seaway Bill? Usage And Distinguish with BOL

If you are shipping cargo by sea frequently, you may often hear the term sea waybill. Like the bill of lading, the seaway bill also plays a key role during ocean shipping.

This article explains in detail the meaning of the sea waybill and the difference between the bill of lading and telex release, as well as the matters needing attention when using the sea waybill.

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What is a seaway bill in shipping?

The sea waybill is issued by the shipping company to transport the goods to the port of destination, and the designated consignee picks up the goods. This means that when the goods arrive at the destination port, the consignee does not need to show the sea waybill, but only needs to prove his identity or receive a reminder to pick up the goods.

The front content of the sea waybill is basically the same as that of the bill of lading, but it is printed with the words “non-negotiable”. Some sea waybills have the contents of the cargo owner’s definition clause, the carrier’s responsibilities and obligations, and disclaimer clauses on the back.

When would I use a Sea Waybill instead of a Bill of Lading?

The sea waybill is a more important document in shipping. In which case is it suitable to use the sea waybill? When you encounter the following situations, you can consider using the sea waybill.

1. The businesses between partners who have been in business for a long time, have full trust, and have a close relationship.

2. Household personal items without financial risk, samples of commercial value.

3. In the case of short-distance shipping, the goods often arrive first and the bill of lading does not arrive, so a sea waybill should be used.

4. During the delivery, the cargo is safe not to be traded.

Advantages and disadvantages of using sea waybill

Advantages of using sea waybill

The sea waybill only involves three parties: the shipper, the carrier, and the consignee. Simplified operation process and it is conducive to the transfer of goods.

The sea waybill is a security certificate; it has no transferability and can avoid the consequences of lost documents and forged bills of lading.

In a timely and cost-effective manner, the consignee does not need to present a sea waybill to pick up the goods, which not only solves the common problem of the short-distance sea freight arrival but the bill of lading does not arrive but also avoids the demurrage fee and storage fee caused by delayed delivery.

Disadvantages of using sea waybill

As the consignee, the importer is not the contracting party of the transportation contract and has no contractual relationship with the carrier. If the exporter makes a written request to the carrier to change the consignee after receiving the goods, the original consignee has no right to sue.

For the export shipper, the goods under the shipping documents are often delivered but the order has not yet arrived. The importer has already taken delivery of the goods. If the import consignee refuses to pay or delays payment for the goods, the exporter will have the goods and pay the danger of losing both.

Sea waybill vs. bill of lading vs. telex release

What is the bill of lading?

The bill of lading means issued by the ship owner or its agent to prove that the goods have been received, and the consignee has the right to take the goods away by virtue of this written certificate. It is the proof of contract between the carrier and the shipper and has the effect of a title certificate in law.

What is the difference between a seaway bill and a bill of lading?

1. Different functions: sea waybill only has two functions: cargo receipt and transportation contract, it is not a certificate of title. The bill of lading has the function of a certificate of title.

2. The characteristics are different: the sea waybill is not negotiable, while the order bill of lading and the bearer bill of lading are negotiable.

cargo ship filled with containers preparing to dock at the port

What is the Telex release BL?

Telex release bill of lading is the abbreviation of telex/telecom release, which means that the shipping company or its agent at the port of departure sends and informs the shipping company or its agent at the destination port of the bill of lading information through electronic information, allowing the shipment of the goods to be received by the shipper. The consignor shall exchange the order to pick up the goods with the identity certificate or the telex bill of lading.

What is the difference between a seaway bill and a telex release?

1. Consequences of the carrier’s staggered delivery of goods: If a sea waybill is selected, the carrier must be responsible for the staggered delivery of goods. The telex bill of lading is not required.

2. In concept, the sea waybill can change the consignee, but the telex-release bill cannot

3. The scope of application is different, the bill of lading can be applied to any consignor and consignee, while the sea waybill is generally issued only when the consignee and consignee are a company or a mutual agency relationship, and is mostly used between freight forwarders.

Many countries do not accept sea waybills and telex bills of lading, but only the original bill of lading, because when choosing, it is necessary to be clear about the relevant regulations of the exporting country to avoid serious consequences due to unclearness.

Airsupply is such a professional freight forwarding company that is familiar with the transportation regulations of various countries. If you want to transport goods to Europe or North America, but you are not clear about the transportation process and precautions, we can give professional advice to help you reduce transportation risks. Come inquire now!

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