The main difference and content between ocean bill of lading and air waybill! Must be fine...

Sea Bill of Lading is often referred to simply as a bill of lading. The general process is that after the consignor hands over the goods to the carrier or ship, the carrier needs to issue a set of bills of lading to the consignor, which is what we call the sea bill of lading. It is a contractual certificate between the carrier and the shipper, and has the effect of a certificate of title in law.


A set of bills of lading may have more than 1 original, and it is common to have 1-3 originals. Any original copy can be used as proof of delivery. Therefore, the buyer should request the seller or consignor the complete set of original bills of lading.


After the consignor has delivered the goods, the bill of lading can be handed over to the consignee through the bank (documentary L/C or collection settlement) or directly to the consignee by mail.

The consignee should pay attention to the notifying party on the bill of lading. After the goods listed in the bill of lading arrive at port, the ship will notify the notifying party, and the notifying party will inform the consignee to pick up the goods at the port with the bill of lading. The time for the delivery person to receive the money depends on the method of settlement agreed upon by you. In the case of an irrevocable letter of credit, the bill of lading and other negotiated documents are delivered to the bank, and the bank can negotiate the payment to the consignor after the bank verifies that it is correct. If it is a forward letter of credit or other foreign exchange settlement methods, it needs to be analyzed in detail.


What do I need to fill in for the sea bill of lading?

1. The name, mark, number of packages or pieces, weight or volume of the goods, and the description of the dangerous nature when transporting dangerous goods.


2. The name and principal place of business of the carrier.


3. Name of the vessel.


4. The name of the shipper.


5. The name of the consignee.


6. The port of loading and the date of acceptance of the goods at the port of loading.


7. Port of unloading.


8. The multimodal bill of lading adds the place of receipt of goods and the location of document goods.


9. Date, place and number of copies of the bill of lading.


10. Payment of freight.


11. Carrier or its representatives.


Article 73 of China's Maritime Law also stipulates that the absence of one or more of the provisions of this paragraph in a bill of lading does not affect the nature of the bill of lading. The matters recorded on the front side of the bill of lading are prima facie in law.

Air waybill

Let's look at the air waybill again. Maybe everyone calls the air waybill an air bill of lading and the railway waybill a railway bill of lading, in fact, the air bill of lading and the railway bill of lading should not be called a bill of lading. Because strictly speaking, the bill of lading is unique to sea transportation, and only sea freight can be called a bill of lading.

Because the bill of lading has a very important feature: the "document of title" function. "Contract of carriage" and "cargo receipt" are common to air waybills, rail waybills and sea waybills, but "documents of interest" are unique to sea bills of lading.


Therefore, air and rail transport can only be called waybills, not bills of lading, and sea freight can be called bills of lading. In short, whether there is a property certificate and whether it can be transferred is the essential difference between "waybill" (air & rail transport) and "bill of lading" (sea freight). In other words, the nature of "waybill" and "bill of lading" is not the same.


An air waybill is similar to a rail waybill and refers to a contract of carriage between the carrier and the shipper. It is an important document of carriage of goods issued by the carrier or its agent, a contract of carriage between the parties, and its contents are binding on both parties. The air waybill is not transferable, and possession of the air waybill does not mean that title to the goods can be claimed. The consignee does not pick up the goods by means of an air waybill, but by the airline's notice of delivery.



An air waybill is an invoice by which the carrier reconciles the freight. The air waybill records the expenses borne by the consignee, the expenses payable to the carrier and the expenses payable to the agent, and specifies the type and amount of the costs, so it can be used as freight bills and invoices. Carriers often also use the carrier coupons in them as accounting documents.



The air waybill is one of the customs declaration documents. The air waybill is one of the customs declaration documents at the time of export. When the goods arrive at the destination airport for import declaration, the air waybill is also usually the basic document for customs inspection and release.



The air waybill can also be used as a certificate of insurance. The air waybill may also be used as a certificate of insurance if the carrier undertakes insurance or if the consignor requires the carrier to do the insurance.


The air waybill is the basis for the carrier's internal business. The air waybill accompanies the cargo and proves the identity of the cargo. The consignment note contains information about the sending, transshipment and delivery of the goods on the ticket, and the carrier will make corresponding arrangements for the carriage of the goods accordingly.


The original of the air waybill shall be in triplicate, each bearing the terms on the back, one of which shall be delivered to the consignor and shall be the basis for receipt of the goods by the carrier or its agent; The second copy is retained by the carrier as a proof of accounting; The last copy accompanies the goods and serves as the basis for verification of the goods when they arrive at the destination and are delivered to the consignee.


What do I need to fill in for an air waybill?

Air waybills are similar to sea waybills and have front and back clauses, and different airlines will have their own unique air waybill format. The difference is that shipping companies' sea bills of lading may vary widely, but the air waybills used by airlines mostly borrow from the standard format recommended by IATA, and there is not much difference. So we will only introduce this standard format here, also known as the neutral waybill.


However, air waybills also have much more content to fill in than sea bills of lading.


1. Departure station airport: It is necessary to fill in the three-character code of the departure station airport or city uniformly formulated by IATA, and this column should be consistent with column 11.


1A: The airline code compiled by IATA is uniform, such as the code of China's international airlines is 999;


1B: Waybill number.


2. Name and address of the consignor: fill in the name, address, country and contact information of the consignor.


3. Consignor account number: fill in only when necessary.


4. Name and address of the consignee: The name, address, country and contact information of the consignee should be filled in. Unlike sea waybills, since air waybills are non-negotiable, words such as "to order" must not appear.


5. Consignee account number: Fill in only when necessary as in the same column as 3.


6. The name and city of the carrier's agent


7. The agent's IATA code.


8. Agent account.


9. Departure airport and required route: The departure station here should be consistent with the one filled in column 1.


10. Payment information: This column is only filled in when using special payment methods.


11A(C, E).To: Fill in the IATA code of the first (<>nd and <>rd) transfer station airports respectively.


11B(D, F). Carrier (By): The carrier that is transported in paragraph <> (<> and <>), respectively.


12. Currency: Fill in the ISO currency code.


13. Charging code: indicates the payment method.


14. Freight and declared value fee (WT/VAL, weight charge/valuation charge):


There can be two situations at this point: prepaid (PPD) or collect (COLL collect). If prepaid fill in 14A with "*", otherwise fill in 14 days. It should be noted that the freight and declared value fee must be paid in the same way as the declared value fee in air cargo transportation and cannot be paid separately.


15. Other expenses: There are also two payment methods: prepayment and collect.


16. Declared value of transportation: Fill in the declared value required by the consignor for transportation in this column. If the shipper does not require a declaration of value, fill in "NVD (No value declared)".


17. Customs declaration value: The consignor fills in the declared value of the customs here, or fills in "NCV (No customs valuation)" to indicate that there is no declared value.


18. Destination airport: fill in the full name of the final destination airport.


19. Flight and date: fill in the flight and date of the cargo.


20. Insurance amount: only fill in when the airline provides insurance business and the customer also needs it.


21. Operation information: generally fill in the relevant precautions of the carrier for the handling of goods, such as "Shipper|s certification for live animals", etc.


22A--22L cargo freight and freight details.


22A. Number of Goods and Freight Component Point (No. of Pieces RCP, Rate Combination Point): Fill in the number of packages of the goods. For example, fill in "10" for 10 packs. When it is necessary to form a proportional tariff or add the tariff by segment, fill in the IATA code of the airport where the tariff is formed in this column.


22B. Gross weight: fill in the total gross weight of the goods.


22C, weight unit: kilograms (kg) or pounds (lb) can be selected.


22D, tariff level: There are 6 codes for different air freight rates, they are M (Minimum), C (Specific Commodity Rates), S (Surcharge, higher than the general cargo freight rate), R (Reduced, lower than the general cargo freight rate), N (Normal, the general cargo tariff applicable to goods under 45 kg), Q (Quantity, general cargo tariff applicable for goods over 45 kg).


22E. Commodity code: When using special tariffs, you need to fill in the commodity code in this column.


22F. Chargeable weight: This column is filled in with the billable weight according to which the airline calculates the freight, which can be the same or different from the gross weight of the cargo.


22G. Tariff: Fill in the applicable rate for the goods.


22H. Total freight: The value in this column should be the minimum freight value or the product of the value of the freight rate and the billable weight.


22I. Name and quantity of the goods, including size or volume: The size of the goods should be in centimeters or inches, and the dimensions should be based on the longest, widest and highest sides of the goods, respectively. Volume is the product of the above three sides in cubic centimeters or cubic inches.


22J. The total number of goods under the waybill.


22K. The total gross weight of the goods under the waybill.


22L, the total freight of the goods under the waybill.


23. Other costs: refers to other expenses other than shipping and declared value surcharges. Under the IATA rules, fees are indicated in three letters. The first two letters are the code of a certain fee, such as the waybill fee, which is expressed as AW (Air Waybill Fee). The third letter is C or A, which indicates that the fee is payable to the carrier or freight forwarder, respectively.


24-26. Record the freight, declared value fee and tax amount separately, and there are two ways to pay in advance and on arrival.


27-28. Record the total amount of other expenses to be paid separately with the freight forwarder and the carrier.


29. Various expenses that need to be paid in advance or on arrival.


30. The total amount of advance payment and receipt.


31. Signature of the consignor.


32. Time (date), place of signing, signature of the carrier or its agent.


33. Currency conversion and destination airport charge records.

The difference between sea bill of lading and air waybill


First, to sum up, in addition to the different concepts and different natures of the two, it is also mentioned that their roles are also different, which are mainly reflected in the following points:


Air waybill


1. It is a receipt to prove that the carrier or its agent receives the goods: after the shipper delivers the goods to the carrier for carriage, the carrier or its agent hands over the "shipper coupon" of the air waybill to the shipper as a receipt for receiving the goods to be carried.


2. As a certificate of the contract of carriage: The air waybill is the proof of the contract of carriage between the air shipper and the carrier, and is the basis for the rights and obligations between the air freight shipper and the carrier. Therefore, the air waybill must be signed by both parties before it can be valid.


3. As a freight bill: The air waybill can be used as a freight bill and invoice. Because it records the expenses that belong to the consignee (or consignor) and the expenses that belong to the agent, respectively. The carrier keeps the Originial-for the issuing Carrier as proof of freight collection.


4. Customs declaration certificate: When declaring after the air cargo arrives at the destination, the air waybill is usually the basic document for customs inspection and release.


Sea Bill of Lading


1. Receipt of goods. A bill of lading is a receipt issued by the carrier to the shipper confirming that the carrier has received the goods listed in the bill of lading and loaded them on board the vessel, or that the carrier has taken possession of the goods and loaded them on behalf of the vessel.


2. Certificate of transportation contract. It is a certificate of the contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier. The reason why the carrier carries the relevant goods for the shipper is because there is a certain relationship of rights and obligations between the carrier and the shipper, and the relationship between the rights and obligations of the two parties uses the bill of lading as the evidence of the contract of carriage.


3. Cargo right certificate. A bill of lading is a document of ownership of the goods. Whoever holds the bill of lading has the right to demand delivery of the goods from the carrier and has the right to possess and dispose of the goods, which represent the goods contained therein.



Second, the way the two are sent is not the same.


The air waybill will fly away with the plane and is part of a "random document". After the air cargo arrives at the port of destination, the consignee or its agent will have a process of "adjustment of bill", the so-called "order adjustment" is to go to the designated place to "transfer" the air waybill and other documents transported by the aircraft from the port of departure, and only after obtaining the "random documents" such as the air waybill can customs clearance begin.


The sea bill of lading will not be transported with the ship, the sea bill of lading can only be given to the consignor, and the consignor then flows to the consignee through "payment and settlement" and then the consignee's "payment redemption" (L/C letter of credit terms) or through international express delivery, etc., and the consignee handles customs clearance and pick-up procedures with the bill of lading. Of course, if the bill of lading is "electric discharge", there is no original bill of lading, and there is no need for express delivery.