A bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier (or his agent) to acknowledge that the carriage contract and cargoes are accepted by the carrier or get loaded, which is a document which makes sure that the carrier will deliver goods to the importer.
In a word, a bill of lading is a crucial document used in international trade to ensure that the exporters receive payment and the importers receive the merchandise.
And what if a bill of lading gets lost in the sending process?
Ben was a wall charger seller and recently he encountered that B/L in DHL’s truck got unintentionally burnt in the shipping process.
And after being notified by the transport company, Ben contacted the shipper immediately to get the solutions. And at that moment, there was no much time left for the cargoes to arrive and the consignee was waiting for Ben’s B/L to collect the wall chargers.
After getting the solutions, Ben informed the customer.
As the burnt B/L was a Master Bill of Lading, it’s far more complicated to reissue one more HB/L. (Supposing a HB/L is lost or wasted, we can communicate with the freight forwarder and reissue a B/L after issuing a letter of guarantee. )
1. We should publish the loss announcement of B/L on the local influential newspaper for continuous 3 days. (Select a domestic newspaper supposing the B/L was lost interiorly. Go seek a foreign newspaper if it’s lost beyond seas).
2. Issue the wall charger declaration for exportation as the shipowner needs to calculate the guarantee deposit according to the value.
3. Surrender the guarantee deposit (Usually twice as the value and it’ll be kept by the shipowner for one to three years which depends on the shipowner).
4. Issue a letter of guarantee.
After the customer was informed of the provided solutions by the carrier, he thought it was troublesome and very unbearable. As it was mentioned above, the guarantee deposit was twice as the value and the customer had a financial strain and it’s very incredible to spend this large quantity of money to reissue a B/L.
An idea occurred to Ben that he could counterfeit a B/L and mix the false with the genuine while the customer rejected to apply such a wrong idea owing to the extremely high risks.
In the end, Ben could only try to negotiate with the carrier and lower the quantity of guarantee deposit so as to make it affordable for the customer. At the beginning, the carrier rejected in stern and just words. But through Ben’s unceasing endeavour, the carrier tabled the proposal of reducing the guarantee deposit which finally got ratified.
It’s a small probability event for us to lose or damage the B/L. However, if we happen to encounter to this, we shouldn’t be panicked and shall not attempt to bluff it out with a fake B/L.