Flow of Master B/L of Ocean Freight Forwarding by Container
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About “Flow of Master B/L of Ocean Freight Forwarding by Container” !

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This is 8:39 video!!

Hello, it’s IINO.

In this video, I would like to explain Flow of Master B/L of Ocean Freight Forwarding by Container.

What Master B/L is

Master B/L is a bill of lading that certifies that the shipping company has received the cargo for ocean transport and will transport it to its destination.

It is also a bill of lading issued by a shipping company when a forwarder or NVOCC acts as a shipper on behalf of a consignee in intermodal or tri-nation transportation cases.

Incidentally, a bill of lading issued by a forwarder or NVOCC is called House B/L.

In order to issue Master B/L, it is necessary to inform and instruct the shipping company of the cargo information to be loaded on the vessel and the number of copies to be issued.

Let me explain the flow of information required to prepare and issue Master B/L.

Required Documents for Master B/L

Several documents are required before Master B/L is issued.

The main documents are S/I, Shipping Instruction, and B/L Instruction also known as Dock Receipt.

The information required for B/L is conveyed to the shipping company in the following order.

1. S/I
2. B/L Instruction
3. Master B/L

First, the main source of information required for Master B/L is S/I. Then, the information in S/I is reflected in B/L Instruction.

Finally, Master B/L is created based on the information in B/L Instruction.

So how are S/I, B/L Instruction and Master B/L created?

Each of these is explained below.

About S/I

First, S/I is made by the shipper to the forwarder or NVOCC.

S/I is a document that instructs and informs the forwarder when, on which ship, what cargo, from where to where and what kind of B/L is to be issued.

Contents of S/I

Let me now look specifically at what information is contained in S/I.

・Number of B/L issued
・Place of B/L Issuance

And so on.

There are no specific regulations for S/I forms and the company often uses its own format.

The shipper prepares S/I and sends it to the forwarder as soon as the vessel to be loaded with the cargo is decided upon under the sales contract.

If the terms of the sales contract are settled by L/C, L/C will always include instructions on what type of B/L to be prepared.

In Case of L/C Settlement

In the case of L/C settlement, the shipper must submit the documents as requested by L/C to the bank.

Also, L/C information should be sent to the forwarder along with S/I as instructed by L/C since B/L is a valuable document and it has the same value as the cargo.

About B/L Instruction

B/L Instruction is a document that is generally submitted by the forwarder to the shipping company to have the shipping company issue B/L.

B/L Instruction includes the gross weight, gross volume and quantity of the cargo in addition to the information required for B/L preparation of S/I and L/C.

You can find the information in a document called Vanning Report.


Vanning Report contains information on the cargo loaded per container and mainly includes these items.


Sending B/L Instruction

Forwarders issue B/L Instruction based on S/I and L/C from the shipper using form specified by the shipping company or the forwarder’s own form. And they send it to shipping companies by e-mail or fax.

In recent years, ACL, Access Control List of NACCS system, has become the main method for sending the necessary information for B/L preparation to shipping companies.

In this way, through S/I and B/L Instruction, necessary information for B/L preparation is communicated from the shipper to the forwarder and from the forwarder to the shipping company.

Flow of Preparing Master B/L

Next, I will explain the process of preparing Master B/L by shipping company.

As I have mentioned, in recent years, the information necessary to prepare B/L is sent to shipping companies via ACL. The shipping company creates B/L by importing the information from the ACL into its own system.

In case that, the shipping company and forwarder are not connected via ACL, the shipping company may manually enter the information on B/L into its own system.

The completed Master B/L is issued after the vessel leaves port. Some shipping companies allow the status of B/L issuance to be checked on their website.

As I mentioned, before Master B/L is completed, information necessary for B/L preparation is communicated to each party through documents such as S/I and B/L Instruction or systems such as ACL.

Therefore, it is not uncommon for the information required to prepare B/L to be incorrect at one stage or another.

If Master B/L is issued with incorrect information, it will later cause problems with Manifest, customs clearance and merchandise settlement.

Therefore, it is very important to check the contents of documents prepared at each stage.

B/L Draft

Also, before issuing Master B/L, obtain Draft of B/L to verify the contents. Draft of B/L is a document at the draft stage of Master B/L.

If you ask the shipping company, they will send you B/L Draft so that you can check the contents before issuing Master B/L.

If corrections are needed at the stage of Draft or after Master B/L has been issued, it is possible to reissue Master B/L.

Correction of B/L

If you request a correction of B/L Draft after the CUT date, some shipping companies may charge a correction fee and require you to submit L/G.

L/G is a document that guarantees that the correction is not the responsibility of the shipping company.

Before making a formal request, please confirm with the shipping company whether or not an amendment fee and L/G are required.

In case of the correction before the CUT date, you only need to contact the shipping company with the corrected ACL or B/L Instruction, so there is no need to submit an amendment fee and L/G.

On the other hand, a correction fee will be charged in the case of a correction after Master B/L has been issued. At the same time, all Master B/L issued must be returned to the shipping company.

In order to avoid the payment of additional fees for such corrections and the time required for re-issuance, it is important to carefully check the contents of documents at each stage of the process.


Master B/L is completed by integrating information from various documents. Also, the information necessary for B/L preparation is passed on to all parties involved like a game of messages.

When preparing documents, it is a good idea to make sure that the information is accurately conveyed to the next person who works with the documents.

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