Through Bill of Lading
A through bill of lading means that the bill of lading covers the shipment from its origin all the way through to its destination including any inlands that may be required for the move. Through bills of lading can many times be issued from the freight forwarder who is handing the move, but an ocean carrier can also issue a through bill of lading for moves in the United States. This is not always the case in other countries since some countries consider inlands a separate move from the ocean portion even though it is with the same shipment. Having a through bill of lading can benefit the customer just as much as it benefits the service provider. Not only does the customer have just one company to deal with, but they will usually get a good break on the costs. Low shipping prices can alone be a great reason to use a through bill, but having one stop for any questions can be especially helpful if there are a lot of shipping containers moving at the same time. The drawback though is that the customer does not have as much control over the goods and with that one contact, the process could wind up being slower when there is a problem to address. If the ocean carrier also issued a through bill, there is even more chance of delays in information. While there can be issues when there are problems with a shipment, it is certainly easier and usually more cost effective for a customer to use a through bill of lading when available.