MAERSK SEALAND PROMOTES WAYBILLS
Mega-carrier Maersk Sealand has put its weight behind a campaign to promote the sea waybill as a substitute to the traditional paper-based bill of lading.
The Danish shipping line said it has “initiated a worldwide drive to promote the waybill and make (its) customers aware of this fast, easy and secure alternative to the bill of lading.”
The negotiable bill of lading is increasingly seen as a brake to efficiency and electronic commerce in the shipping industry, but it continues to be used.
Maersk Sealand said that, in many cases, the waybill is “a proven and valid substitute” for the bill of lading.
Both the bill of lading and the waybill function as a receipt for goods shipped and as evidence of the contract of carriage.
But only the bill of lading has a third attribute — that of being a document of title that provides transferability of ownership of the goods during transit.
“Needless to say — this ability is a cornerstone in international trade and transportation,” a spokesman for Maersk Sealand said. However, transferability is not always required and “there’s a good chance that a waybill is what is needed,” Maersk Sealand said.
The carrier also stressed that the waybill has advantages over the bill of lading, including its better compatibility with modern trade and commerce, using “seamless and paperless transactions.”