Bill of Lading for a Container

Phases of Transportation

Terminal Gate and Container Yard

Terminal Cross Section

Journey of a ContainerHow Container Shipping Works? 

Why to ship?

You are either a producer exporting goods or in need of imported goods for your production, or a trader involved in shipment.

How it begins?

Most of the time there is a sale of goods contract available, where the buyer and a seller agrees on some certain terms including the terms of the shipment.

This is usually standardized on a UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON CONTRACTS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS (CISG).

What are the important terms of a Sales Contract?

The key elements of a sales contract include the identification of parties, description of goods and services, delivery specifications, inspection period, payment details, and contingencies.  The two outstanding elemets would be delivery and payment from transportation point of view.

Delivery Specifications

Delivery of the goods and handing over of documents are specifically mentioned in CISG Convention, Article 31. This article brings two issues, the delivery specifications/terms and documents produced at delivery.

The delivery specifications include how/when/where Seller is to deliver the goods to the first carrier and what kind of documents may be received in return from the first carrier, with the option to define the title of the goods on such a document.

The delivery places and basic guidelines are defined clearly by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). These set of terms are called INCOTERMS (International Commercial Terms, Incoterms from DHL – 2020 pdf, Incoterms from Hecksher – 2010 ).

The received document well may be a forwarder’s receipt of goods sort of a document or form, or a bill of lading. Among all types of bills of lading, a container line’s bill of lading, would be a good sample to check the terms of the shipment.

The terms of a line bill of lading, standing alone, may prove to be the freight contract or there may be a contract of shipment where the bill of lading would be a by product of the freight agreement.

Payment Details

The payment may be cash or by credit. It may include freight charges, insurance expenses and alike. Exchange of money and goods usually organized by bankers of the parties and the basic form is called a letter of credit.

Would I need a letter of Credit?

Depending on your cash flow or the trust on your counter part, you may need creditors for security (or convenience) on the transactions during the swift change of title of goods.

How letter of credits work and Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary of Credits are well established by ICC and detailed information is easily attained searching the internet.

LETTERS OF CREDIT, THE UCP600 AND DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS, Client Guide by HFW
UCP 600 and Turkish Law Aspects, by Kesikli
UCP 600, Ultimate Guide

Who to call for a shipment

One can call a Container Line representative (directly) for transportation assistance, if only “port to port” service is needed or call a forwarding company customer service when micro-management for the shipment i.e. when you need door to door service is planned.

The documents produced will differ depending on who you work with and where the goods are delivered.

What are the terms of a bill of lading

Sample term in Turkish available at Arkas Line website.
Arkas Line B/L Terms and Conditions
Arkas Line B/L Şartlar ve Esaslar
Arkas Line Sample B/L
Hapag-Lloyd Sample B/L
PIL Ship B/L Terms

What are the instructions given by the Exporter

Typically, the exporter follows the instructions given by the line or a forwarder on how to fill out the details on the bill of lading. Sample set of instructions in Turkish is available at Arkas Denizcilik website.

What other forms are available for carriage of cargo

Land Transportation
CMR Mukavele Sözleşmesi, Resmi Gazete Metni
CMR CONVENTION in English and French
CMR FAQ

Air Transportation
Sample air waybill form

Forwarder’s Documents
FIATA Resources

What is the extend of a forwarder’s rights and responsibilities

Turkish Commercial Code defines the rights and responsibilities of a forwarder in the Code between articles 917 to 930 and reasoning is detailed by the lawmaker.

Where can I find detailed information, on demurrage, detention, charges

Maersk D&D Definitions

What sources would you recommend for acronyms and shipping terms

Transport, Shipping and Communication Terms – Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

BBC Shipping Chartering Guide

Where can I find some Law Dictionaries

The Essential Law Dictionary

Black’s Law 4th

Türk Hukuk Kurumu tarafından hazırlanmış olan  Lûgat

Genel Hukuk Terminolojisi, Tercüme Dairesi Başaknlığı

Hukuk Sözlüğü, Adalet Bakanlığı

Temel Terimler Sözlüğü, Avrupa Birliği Genel Sekreterliği

Where can I find container dimensions

Hapag-Lloyd Container Specifications

MSC Dry Cargo Solutions

CMA CGM Containers

Maersk Line Container Equipment

Maersk Line Special Cargo Container Specifications

Sample CSC Plate
Sample Services of a Surveyor

CTU CODE

Sample Dangerous Goods Handbook
UN No Search Tool

Anything in Turkish available like a short MEMO

Bill of Lading – MEMO

Konteyner tesliminde liman masraf kalemleri üzerine düşünceler

Shipping Documents – by Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı

Denizyolu Taşımacılığı ve Gemi Acenteliği İşlemleri – By İzmir DTO, C. Hürmen Suluvman

Gemi Acenteliği, Gemi Operasyon Eğitim Filmi
Gemi Acenteliği Eğitimi pdf

Identity of the Contracting Shipper and the Actual Shipper under Maritime Law and
Their Rights, Obligations and Liabilities
Deniz Ticaret Hukukunda Taşıtan ve Yükleten Kavramları,
Hakları, Borçları ve Sorumlulukları
Cüneyt Süzel, İstanbul, 2013

IMDG Code Amendment 40-20 Türkçe

Updated December 5, 2023 nk

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