Is sea waybill the same as the bill of lading?

By justchinait
January 22, 2021


Send the bill of lading information to the destination port shipping company in the form of electronic message or electronic information, and the consignee can exchange the order and pick up the goods with the stamped telex-release B/L and letter of guarantee.

The advantage is that it is convenient, fast, and safe (to avoid the risk of losing the bill of lading).
The disadvantage is that the shipper has no control over the title.


The original bill of lading issued by the shipping company. It is a document of title, and the consignee picks up the goods according to it. It can be endorsed and transferred, which is an important document. Shipper gets the original bill of lading from the forwarder and scans it to the consignee to arrange the payment, and then the shipper will express the whole set of original bills of lading to the consignee. Consignee can pick up the goods with the original bill of lading in exchange for the bill of lading.

The advantage is that it is convenient for the buyer to pick up the goods, simplify the procedures and save costs;

SWB (sea waybill):

Once the SWB is released, the title passes from SHIPPER to CNEE, that is to say, CNEE can directly pick up the goods without the original B/L or telex release B/L.

SWB is mostly used for:

1. Sea waybill can be issued after all payment is received.

2. Multinational companies, subsidiaries that are responsible for providing procurement services to foreign parent companies.

Summarize the difference

SWB is similar to telex release B/L. Once the goods are confirmed as SEA WAYBILL, the agent will directly release the goods to the consignee after the goods arrive at the port;

In the case of telex, even if the goods arrive at the port for a long time, as long as the consignor does not notify the agent in writing to release the goods, the agent will not release the goods to the consignee;

The main difference between SWB and B/L is that SWB does not have the effect of proof of title. The bill of lading is a proof of title. The bill of lading can be transferred by endorsement (indicative bill of lading). The sea waybill cannot be transferred, and the consignee of the sea waybill can only be the consignee indicated on the sea waybill.


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