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Electronic Bills of Lading: An Easier Way to Sea Carriage

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Document pages: 22 pages

Abstract: The starting point of any discuss on electronic bill of lading must as of necessity commence with the explanation of what a bill of lading is. A Bill of Lading is a document issued by, or on behalf of, a carrier or master to a sender, known as the shipper or consignor, which covers the carriage of goods destined to an ultimate receiver, known as the consignee. The bill of lading generally evidences the seller’s delivery of goods to an independent entity (the carrier) which takes over, inter alia, responsibility for the delivery to an ultimate buyer. The advancement of technology was the fulcrum upon which the electronic Bill of Lading lies. It is a recent development introduced to facilitate international trade and to reduce paper documents associated with international trade. The attendant complexities of modern day commerce have rendered obsolete the traditional means of transportation of goods over the sea as evidenced by a bill of lading. An electronic bill of lading is ordinarily the functional equivalent of a paper Bill of Lading. It clearly imitates the contents and functions of a paper bill of lading. The attendant relative novelty of this concept is the raison d être for this write up. The writer attempts to roll back the frontiers of ignorance by critically analysis and explaining what an Electronic Bill of Lading entails and its importance in this jet age.

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