Key Differences Between House Bill of Lading and Master Bill of Lading

There seems to be quite a confusion between the different types of bill of lading and their purpose.
To understand the different types of bill of lading, you must have a clear understanding of what a bill of lading is. Mainly used in the transportation industry, a bill of lading is a legal document that provides a detailed report of the cargo being moved or transported. Besides details, the bill of lading also contains the shipping dates and the costs involved.

House Bill of Lading

There are two types of bill of lading. These are house bill of lading, or HBL and master bill of lading, or MBL. A House Bill of Lading is a transportation contract which takes place between a customer and a forwarder. This legal document is issued by a freight or cargo forwarder to each exporter, for goods to be shipped or transported in a group. Hence, a HBL is also referred to as a groupage document or certificate.

Master Bill of Lading

The second type of bill of lading the master bill of lading, or MBL. Just like a house bill of lading, MBL is a transportation contract between a customer and a forwarder. However, unlike the HBL, the master bill of lading is issued by the shipping company or carriers. The document summarises the different quantities of cargo that is to be hauled for transport by the vessels or other modes of transport. The master bill of lading is also known as the ocean bill of lading.

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