What is Original BL & Surrender BL & telex release

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Joined: 02/02/2012
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Hi guys,

I am currently having my internship in logistic company which served chemicals for Asia. i am facing problem on issuing BL.

My question :

1) What & when is original BL being issued?

2) what caused surrender BL ?

3) When does telex release being issued ?

4) What is the differences between them and how to deal with it in the shortest time ?

Hope you guys can give me further explanation.

Thank you.

phill doran
Joined: 02/10/2009
bill basics and the comets

Hello Jeremy

I am assuming you are talking about a seafreight bill of lading? You see, that is the first problem – the bill of lading is very unstable and varies from place to place, so any answer to your question will be broad rather than specific and I am keeping this really simple...honest;

So: when is a bill of lading issued?

a. When it is mandated by law

b. When the carrier has no other document to offer

c. When the shipper (or another party) wished to retain control over the goods.

In some countries, there will be restrictions around customs and excise or exchange control where only a bill of lading is acceptable to the import authorities – so regardless of what the commercial need is, a bill of lading must be issued.

The bill of lading is a type of seafreight transport document, but not all seafreight transport documents are bills of lading (think Toyota – Toyotas are a type of motor car, but not all motorcars are Toyotas, regardless of how popular they may appear). But not all carriers offer alternatives (like Waybills and Express Bills) then, even if it is not mandated by law, if the carrier only offers bills of lading, a bill of lading is what you’ll get.

Although not really supported by law, merchants have used the bill of lading as a means of retaining control over the cargo – the common expression is that the bill of lading is the ‘key’ to the cargo. What this all means is that a seller may send cargo to a buyer who has not yet paid, safe in the knowledge that the buyer cannot get the cargo without having the bill of lading. The seller sits with the bill until payment is secured. In this way – by withholding the key – the seller can exercise control over the cargo after shipment: here’s where banking comes in – the bank acting as the means of passing the paper to the buyer in exchange for the payment to the seller.

Again then: when is a bill of lading issued?

Is it mandated by law – if Yes, then go no further, but if No then;

Does the carrier offer other documents – if No, then go no further, but if Yes then;

Does the seller wish to retain control after shipment – if Yes, go no further, but if No...then we’d not have a bill of lading but some other document.

Why do we have surrender bills? In some of the examples above, even if the seller and buyer did NOT want a bill of lading, circumstances will force them to have one anyway (because the law demands it or because the carrier has no alternative document). This can be a problem if we are looking at a short journey where the cargo may arrive before the seller has time to get the ‘key’ to the buyer. So, the seller (as shipper) surrenders all documents to the carrier at the place of issue instead of sending them to the place of arrival. On surrender of the bills, no further bill need be produced by the buyer (as consignee) and release is granted.

What is a Telex Release? In essence, when the bill is surrendered at origin, the carrier has to alert their destination agents that they have possession and no further presentation is needed by the consignee. In times past, this message was sent by Telex machine – these days it’d be e-mail I suppose, but it is still referred to as a ‘telex release’.

I’ll stop there as that’s enough for now, maybe once you’ve digested it you may refine your question. But, as you are at the start of your carrier, let me give some advice to the young at heart...

No one person understands all bills of lading and their variables; even if they claim to be the Professor of Bills of Lading from the On-Board University on the planet Dockland.

So, me included, don’t let anyone’s opinion sway you. Be curious and cautious – bills can be very tricky.

You may be at the start of your career now, but I assure you that many years from now, when you sit behind your executive desk, master of the logistics universe, unfolding paperclips and waiting for tea-time, you will STILL be pondering the mysteries of bills of lading.

The road to Mercantile Enlightenment is a long, long journey...

Go well...


“in the kingdom of the blind, what you see is what you get”

Joined: 02/02/2012
Dealing with only sea

Dealing with only sea freight. 

BL of issuing is slow here and must be checked and corrected same with the shipping documents ( Commercial Invoice, Packing List )    ......