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House Bill of Lading (HBL)

What is a House Bill of Lading?

A House Bill of Lading (HBL) is a transportation document issued by a freight forwarder or Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) to acknowledge receipt of goods for shipment. It serves as a contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier and includes details such as the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being transported. 

HBLs are essential for logistics professionals as they facilitate international trade by providing a reliable means of documenting and tracking shipments. HBLs also enable shippers to work with intermediaries to manage their logistics needs effectively.

Who can issue a House Bill of Lading?

Unlike a Master Bill of Lading (MBL) issued by the ocean carrier, a House Bill of Lading can be issued by a freight forwarder or NVOCC acting as a consolidator or intermediary between the shipper and the ocean carrier. These entities typically consolidate smaller shipments from multiple shippers into larger container loads for more efficient transportation. By issuing an HBL, the freight forwarder or NVOCC assumes responsibility for the cargo and arranges for its transportation from the origin to the destination port.

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