The Significance of Two Bills (of lading) in Freight Forwarding

  • March 12, 2020
  • Blog

Documents are crucial for the movement of consignment from one international destination to another, whether it’s an import or an export. The documents raised in a shipment orchestrate a long chain of actions and are required to ensure a hassle-free movement of consignments. Some documents relevant to shipping will be associated with insurance, some might have financial data, a few of them might relate to official exchange.  The most significant document in sea freight is the Bill of Lading, which quantifies the details of the cargo being shipped. But here also, it is vital to know whether it’s an HBL (House Bill of Lading) or MBL (Master Bill of Lading).
Let’s understand HBL & MBL

HBL (House Bill of Lading)

  • HBL is issued by the NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) or the freight forwarder to the buyer or seller of the consignment. It functions between the actual supplier and the actual receiver of the consignment.
  • The notify party could be anyone, maybe the same as the consignee, shipper, or a third party, or someone who is mentioned in the letter of credit.
  • The shipper listed on the HBL is usually the actual shipper or exporter and the consignee is the receiver or importer

MBL (Master Bill of Lading)

  • Master Bill of Lading (MBL), also known as the Ocean or Carrier Bill of Lading, is a transport document, mandatory for sea shipments.
  • MBL is issued by a carrier or shipping line, stating the terms and conditions of the carriage, as a result, the consignee is ensured of better protection in case the consignment is damaged or lost in transit.
  • The consignee will generally be the agent, NVOCC, or a freight forwarder

When are these documents issued?

The MBL is given out first from the Shipping Line or Carrier to the NVOCC or Freight Forwarder, then the NVOCC or Freight Forwarder produces their own HBL for their clients.

Difference between HBL and MBL

Issued by Freight forwarder. Shipping line or carrier.
Issued on On a pre-printed form of an actual carrier’s bill of lading.  On a pre-printed form of a freight forwarder company’s bill of lading.
Bill of lading number States actual carrier’s bill of lading number. States forwarder company’s bill of lading number.
Consignee Destination agent or NVOCC. Actual receiver/importer.

 20Cube Logistics auto-creates the bills of lading during the booking process in its smart portal MyHubPlus leading to improving efficiency and productivity of the business of the customer.