Orbit Brokers

What is a Steamship Release?

The Customs release of your shipment is only one of the many steps in the supply chain. Another important step to obtaining your goods shipped internationally by ocean freight is the steamship release. The steamship release occurs when the terms of the bill of lading (the shipping contract) have been settled. This allows the shipping company to release the shipment to the importer. There are a few ways to obtain the steamship release from the shipping company.

Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is the contract between the vendor and purchaser of the goods. It details vital information such as the port of loading, the port of destination, the quantity being shipped in pieces and weight, and date of shipping. It should also note the contact info for the destination agent. That will be company charged with releasing the shipment to the importer. Once the ocean freight has been arranged, the shipping company will draw up 3 sets of the original bill of lading and will provide them to the vendor.

Surrender of bill of lading

The first way to obtain the steamship release is to give the endorsed original bill of lading to the shipping company. Endorsing the bill of lading essentially means signing anywhere on the back of the document. Receipt of the original bill of lading indicates to the shipping company that the vendor agrees that they can release the shipment to the purchaser.

Telex Release

Another way to have your shipment steamship released is called a telex release. This is when the vendor provides the original bill of lading to the shipping company at origin. The shipping company will then notify their agent at the destination that the bill of lading has been telex released so they can now release the shipment to the purchaser of the goods.

Express Release

The final way to obtain a steamship release of an ocean shipment is to tell the shipper to do an express release. This means no original bill of lading is generated and the shipping company is free to release the shipment to the importer without any original documentation.

These are the 3 ways to have international ocean shipments released by the steamship company. It is important to discuss which method your vendor will use when purchasing your goods to avoid any delays when your goods arrive in Canada. Along with assisting businesses with the customs clearance into Canada, Orbit Brokers can also assist in obtaining the steamship release. Contact us today.

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