Combined Transport

As the name implies, this is the bill of lading which is normally issued, especially for bulk cargo, and confirms that the cargo described is actually on board the vessel. Needless to say, if the shipowner has previously issued a “Received for Shipment Bill of Lading“, this must be surrendered when he issues the actual “Shipped Bill of Lading” itself. Alternatively he can merely endorse the “Received Bill of Lading” as above. A Shipped B/L is often (especially in letters of credit) tautologically described as a “Shipped on Board” B/L. This is a bill covering the carriage of goods in one vessel direct from one port to another. Such B/L’s are issued where the cargo will only be carried for part of the voyage by the carrier signing the B/L. The remainder may be overland transport or it may be transhipment into another vessel. The essence of a Through B/L as opposed to a Combined Transport B/L (q.v.) is that with a through B/L the carrier signing it is only responsible as a Principal for his part of the carriage and acts as an agent for the shipper for the other part(s). As the name implies, such a B/L is for cargo carried by more means than the ship itself. It is particulary used in the container trade when the different ‘modes’ of carriage can – in an extreme case – be quite complicated. For example, the carrier could take delivery of a container at the shipper’s premises, truck it to a railway terminal, rail to the port, ship it on board a feeder vessel, tranship it on to the ocean vessel and then repeat all that in reverse at the discharging end. With a Combined Transport B/L the carrier signing it takes responsibility as a Principal from start to finish but includes limitations of liability for the different sections according to the appropriate international conventions (e.g. Hague-Visby for the sea transport, C.I.M. convention for rail, C.M.R. for road etc.).