150 - 08/00 - Bills of Lading and Temperature Notations

Misleading temperature notations on the face of bills of lading continue to give rise for concern and confusion in the handling of  claims on refrigerated cargoes.

A temperature notation on the b/l should state known facts and be in accordance with the shipper’s instructions.  Additionally, the notations should only specify actions by the carrier that are capable of being accomplished, measured, controlled and recorded.  An example of an acceptable notation would be:

"Cargo is stowed in a refrigerated container set at the shipper's requested carrying temperature of five (5) degrees Celsius"

This notation clearly indicates what the shipper has requested and what the carrier will accomplish.

By contrast, a temperature notation on the face of the b/l stating that the carrier is obliged to undertake duties that are neither attainable nor controllable can cause misunderstandings which may lead to claims.

The following are some common examples of poorly worded notations:

"Maintain temperature at 0° Celsius"

"Carriage temperature: +5° Celsius"

"Temperature: 0° Celsius"

"Cargo to be carried at 5° Celsius"

"Required carrying temperature + 1 ° Celsius"

"Container received at shipper temperature, setting of 0° Celsius"

"Stow at +1° Celsius"

"Containers said to contain temperature: +1° Celsius"

"Reefer container stowed at reefer temp +2° Celsius"

"Ship under - maintain 0° Celsius"

Members should ensure that only clear and attainable notations be used.

Source of information :

Patrick E Brecht Ph.D

Through K Baxter (TMA San Francisco)     

P.E.B Commodities

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