Concise Shipping Vocab Guide: Bill of Lading

Shipping Vocabulary

Shipping Vocabulary: Bill of Lading

Every industry has its lingo. As one of the preferred providers of chandling services in Cape Town, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth, Coega, Durban and Richards Bay, the Link Ship Chandlers team speaks ‘shipping’ fluently. However, we also realise that the abbreviations and technical terms that form a part of our everyday vocabulary can be quite confusing for the novice.

As such, we’ve decided to compile concise vocab guides that pertain to certain aspects of the shipping trade. Today we start with a glossary of terms that have bearing on a Bill of Lading.

Bill of Lading (B/L): The Bill of Lading is a very important document in the freight chain. It’s main purposes include serving as evidence of a contract of carriage, receipt of goods and document of title to the good in question. In short, it is evidence of the contract of carriage between the carrier and shipper, who is being commissioned to carry out the transportation as per the agreement between the buyer and seller of the goods being carried.

SLAC (Shippers Load, Stow and Count): In the age of container shipping, the carrier no longer has the ability to check the contents of any given container for themselves (as would be the case on a break-bulk or bulk vessel). This term is used on the B/L to indemnify the carrier in the event that the contents of the container are different to that which is stated on the B/L once it reaches the buyer.

STC (Said to Contain): Another indemnifying term that states that the carrier did not check the contents of a given container, and that the information pertaining to its contents were provided and sworn to be true by the shipper.

Shipped on Board: Confirmation that the container has been loaded aboard the ship that is stated on the B/L.

Received for Shipment: Confirmation that the container has been received and is now under the control of the shipping line.

Freight Prepaid: Confirmation that the freight has been paid at the port from which it is shipped.

Freight Collect: Noting that the freight has to be paid at the arrival port.

So there you have it – a concise look at some of the most commonly-used terminology you are likely to encounter on a Bill of Lading. For more helpful tips and info from inside the Link Ship Chandlers camp, keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months. We always have our ear to the ground and take pride in sharing the latest shipping news as it becomes available.


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