History of the Ocean Bill of Lading
1 It is important to note that the document was initially used solely in water transport but this has changed over the years. There are quite a number of modifications that have been made on the same concept. The term may be rendered obsolete but the borrowing of the concept is undeniable. This paper dissects the various adjustments that the ocean bill of lading has gone through in what is otherwise referred to as the historical overview of the bill. All the past events aligned to this document are captured in the subsequent sections in what is otherwise referred to as the history of the ocean bill of lading. At the end of the day, every state gets that which they desire but on business grounds.
The exchange of goods and services beyond the borders is what characterizes international trade. This, however, is never easy as may be assumed by some people. The history of international trade depicts that there were quite a number of challenges that encountered the activities here including the lack of a common gauge of valuing and currency. Of great relevance to this paper are the physical atrocities that marred the process of sending and receiving goods across nations. This is coupled with contractual evidence with terms of engagement. Additionally, the document acts as an entitlement record. Through the document, traders are able to claim the cargo. 3 This document clears the carrier of any atrocities since the nature, quality, and quantities of goods are recorded before shipment.
History A backward roll on the manner in which shipping operations were conducted reveals a significant improvement in as far as matters accountability and transparency are concerned. Eleventh to Sixteenth Century The advent of the bill of lading during this time is pegged to the need to have a means of transportation of goods by traders. There were incidences where traders intended to sell their goods to far away traders but could not transport them due to lack of appropriate carriage. This stirred the need to seek transport services from the established carriers but the procedure had to be counterchecked and ascertained through a documentation process. This is the only way through which the status and quantities of products supplied could be verified.
The Roman era had a similar arrangement document but the modern day bill of lading was brought forth in the eleventh century. The occurrence of records in the clerks’ hands alone meant foul play and shipmasters went to the extent of confiscating the goods. Later advances required the issuance of copies of records to the shippers and ship masters for counterchecking and posterity. The bill of lading was not a bill during this period since the clerks used books for records. This would later change in the coming years with more room for accountability and transparency. Sixteenth Century to 1914 The statute used by this time was quite advanced and is no doubt closer to the doctrines in the modern day bill of lading.
Any resultant disputes could be solved based on the information recorded in it. The changes that took place during this time were quite significant since they are in use up to the present day with slight adjustments here and there. 1914 to the present day By the twentieth century, the bill of lading was common in all water body transport systems. They were issued for goods on board a ship. That makes the primary difference with the current shipment services. The bill here does not include the exact vessel to be used in the delivery but rather accepts to deliver the goods. The shipper cannot, therefore, be aware of the ship to be used in the delivery. It is upon the carrier to decide on the most convenient vessel of transporting the commodities.
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