What is Original B/L, Surrendered B/L and Sea Waybill? Explained about the difference of Each B/L for logistics.
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Please listen to the contents.

Today, I clearly talk about Types of B/L in International Logistics.

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Please check the movie if you have time.

About Role of B/L

B/L is an important document in International Logistics, and an importer must obtain B/L for picking up a cargo. Then B/L is exchanged for D/O. The importer picks up the cargo with the D/O.

Note that B/L is not the only requirement to pick up a cargo. B/L has to be exchanged to D/O, for picking up a cargo.

Explain the Role and Flow of B/L with Animation Movie

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The basic role of B/L is explained in blow video!

Type of B/L

Now, let’s look at Types of B/L. The main 3 types are as follows:

・Original B/L
・Surrendered B/L
・Sea Waybill

Let’s take a look at it one by one.

About Original B/L

First, Original B/L.

Original B/L is issued in 3 copies. It comes in a set of 3. You may have the 3 copies in 2 deliveries to avoid loss risk as a business custom.

Original B/L, as the name implies, is original. An importer must have Original document, not a copy to pick up a cargo.

Original B/L Flow

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Let’s take a look at Original B/L flow.

Original B/L Flow

1. When a vessel leaves a port, Original B/L is issued
2. Original B/L is sent to the Shipper by the export side forwarder.
3. The Shipper sends the Original documents of B/L to the Consignee by courier such as DHL or FedEx.
4. Once the vessel arrives at a port, the import side forwarder issues D/O.
5. Getting Original B/L, the Consignee exchanges it for D/O.

About Surrendered B/L

Next, Surrendered B/L.

Surrendered B/L is also commercially referred to as Surrender. Surrendered B/L is featured, as “Speed” and “Copy is acceptable.”

First of all, what does “Surrender” mean? Surrender means collecting B/L by an original land which means collecting B/L at exporting side.

Once it is surrendered, Original document of B/L is not required.. The importer can get D/O by getting a B/L copy instead of Original.

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Surrendered B/L is stamped as “Surrendered” and “Telex Release.”

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“Telex Release” means the same as “Surrender”.

Why is Surrender B/L for?

Nowadays, due to high speed of a vessel, it may arrive at a port before Original B/L is issued and reaches an importer.

Especially marine transport take only 3 or 4 days to get to near countries’ ports. an importer cannot quickly pick up cargo without Original B/L.

Surrender B/L Flow

Surrender B/L flow

1. When a vessel leave the port, B/L is issued by the export side forwarder.
2. The Shipper requests to surrender B/L.
3. The Shipper sends the copy of Surrender B/L to Consignee by email.
4. Once the vessel arrive at the port, D/O is issued by the import side forwarder.
5. The Consignee can exchange the B/L copy for D/O.

This allows for speedy trade transactions. It also reduces the risk of losing B/L.

About Sea Waybill

Finally, Sea Waybill. Sea Waybill is a bit different from B/L and it is not a security. This will be explained at another time, but Waybill is not used for any trade using L/C.

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But Waybill has a big advantage.

Once Waybill is issued and the importer is identical to the consignee in the document, Cnee can easy to pick up the cargo.

In addition, there is no courier delivery cost of Original B/L and surrender costs for Surrendered B/L.

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Sea Waybill is Easy, Fast and Cheap.

Sea Waybill Flow

The flow goes like this.

Sea Waybill flow

1. When a vessel leave the port, Waybill is issued, not B/L.
2. Export side forwarder send Waybill copy to the Shipper by email.
3. Shipper send the copy of Waybill to the Consignee by email.
4. The importer can pick up D/O, being proved to be the Waybill owner.

In the extreme, if Waybill is issued and the importer can prove that to be its owner, the cargo can be picked up.

Risk of Sea Waybill

Anyway, quick and easy is what makes Sea Waybill so special. However, there is also a risk associated with it. Because, once Waybill is issued, the cargo can be picked up.

The exporter may have a payment collection risk. If it is Original B/L or Surrendered B/L, you can control the payment.

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With Waybill, it is more difficult.

Recommend status to use Sea Waybill

Therefore, in order to use Sea Waybill, The business relationship with your trading partners will be important such as parent and subsidiaries or a long business track record.


Today, I talked about Types of B/L. Original B/L, Surrendered B/L, Sea Waybill

Each of these B/Ls has its own characteristics. Please make sure you understand this content and try to have smooth trade deals!