There is more than one kind of bill of lading (B/L). Knowing what the different types of bills of lading are can help you figure out just what is happing with your cargo. Different types of B/L are used for different types of transport. One type of B/L you might run across is a LASH bill of lading. What is this thing and what does it mean? Let’s take a look.
Lash doesn’t actually refer to the way that the cargo is attached to the deck of the ship. L.A.SH stands for Lighter Aboard Ship. L.A.SH vessels are actually barges that can be used in places that regular cargo ships cannot go due to their size and weight. Here are some places that Lighters might be used as opposed to regular cargo ships.
Rivers – Lashes are usually flat bottomed barges that are used to transport goods inland. Quite often they are used to transport things like raw building materials, coal, pipes or cargo in bags or on pallets. They are well suited to being used in more shallow water as their flat bottoms and lighter weight will allow travel in many more waterways. Typically barges of this type have no propulsion system of their own and rely on tugboats to move them around. If you are planning on having your cargo shipped inland, than having a L.A.SH bill of laiding might be a possibility for you.
Shallow Ports – Another place that a lighter might be used is in a port that is too shallow for the cargo ship to enter. Typically what happens is that a vessel whose draft will not allow it in port has some of its bulk cargo unloaded into a lighter. Reducing the load will reduce the draft and will allow the vessel to travel into port to finish unloading. Lighters have cranes on board them that allow them to perform this unloading in the water.
Transloading or L.A.SH Vessel
When using a LASH barge or lighter to move your cargo, you may have the option to preload your cargo onto a LASH barge or to have it transloaded from your ship to a lash barge afterwards. Bulk cargo such as coal or raw metals can be loaded onto a barge that is then loaded onto a master vessel. This ship will then carry the cargo overseas to the port of call and the cargo and barge will be unloaded for further movement. In this case the L.A.SH barge is being used as the cargo vessel.
Making sure what a bank backer or buyer allows for transloading or L.A.SH bills of laiding is important. Some contracts might not allow this type of transportation and alternate means might be needed.
Cratex are experts in industrial packing and transloading. If you have questions about transloading bulk or any kind of materials for transport after a sea voyage, contact us today!