DEFINITION of 'Through Bill Of Lading'

A through bill of lading is a legal document that allows for the transportation of goods both within domestic borders and through international shipment. The through bill of lading is often required for the exporting of goods, as it serves as a cargo receipt, a carriage contract, as well as the title (sometimes) for the products.

BREAKING DOWN 'Through Bill Of Lading'

A through bill of lading is just one kind of bill of lading. A bill of lading is a between a shipper of a good and a transporter or carrier used in international trade.  It is required to ship goods, and acts as a receipt and contract. It shows that the carrier has received the freight as described—that's the cargo receipt. It also documents the terms of delivery, stipulating that the shipper must deliver that cargo to the cosignee in good condition—the carriage contract. The word lading is derived from the word loading, referring to the loading of goods onto a ship.

A bill of lading is perhaps the most important document in shipping. It legally details the type, quantity and destination of the goods being transported, how it's billed, and how the goods must be handled, and must accompany the shipped goods, signed by a representative of the shipper.

Through Bill of Lading, the Specifics

A through bill of lading has specific stipulations and conditions. A bill of lading will sometimes only cover one part, or one aspect of the shipping process. A through bill of lading is more involved. As noted above, a through bill of lading allows the transportation of goods both within domestic borders and through international shipment. The bill is often required in order to export goods, and serve as a legal certificate authorizing a party to be in possession of and transporting a particular good. This is because a through bill of lading allows for the shipping carrier to pass the cargo through several different modes of transportation, and several different distribution centers.

A transporter can move products both within a country and export them, often by air, with a through bill of lading. The through bill must contain an "inland bill of lading", which is the documentation required for domestic transportation. If the shipper wants to move the goods across the ocean, the "inland bill of lading" will not be suffice; the through bill of lading will require an "ocean bill of lading" will be required for any goods moving across the ocean.

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