The role of Delivery Orders in the shipping and delivery chain

cargo ship at port for unloadingDelivery Orders are of major importance in the cargo shipping chain, and are issued by the carrier to make sure that the cargo is released to the receiver as agreed upon in the bill of lading. They are documents that handle the separation of the cargo and the carrier, the all-important end point of the shipping process.

Documenting the separation of the cargo and the carrier

Conditions of the Delivery Order

Delivery orders are issued by the carrier or their authorized agent at the destination point, in return for:

  • Original bills of lading
  • Bank guarantees that are properly authorized and issued
  • A copy of a properly issued seaway bill
  • Confirmation from the port or receiver that the bills of lading have been properly surrendered for the shipment in question

The delivery order allows the receiver to have customs clear and release the cargo for delivery from the final storage point, be it a port or warehouse terminal.

Other Issuers

If a Freight Forwarder has issued a house bill of lading, the forwarder’s agent at the final destination will collect the original bill and at this point issue a release letter to the carrier which allows the delivery order to be issued to the consignee at delivery. Usually in these cases, the master bill of lading will be in the form of a Telex that is released to facilitate the delivery order, or a seaway bill which serves as evidence of the contract of carriage, and as evidence that the receiver takes charge of the goods.

What This Means

In many ways, the delivery order is the most important document in the entire shipping cycle. The delivery order represents the culmination of the shipping cycle that began with the packing of shipping crates and the issuance of bills of lading. All of the long negotiations and documentation for the shipping of cargo ends with the final issuance of a delivery order. When a delivery order is issued and accepted, the cargo at last finds its way into the hands of the receiver, and the cycle comes to a close.

This is the point at which the shipping crates are finally placed into the hands of the receiver, the cycle is concluded, and the bill of lading – as well as all of the contracts and agreements – are now considered complete. The issuance of the delivery order also represents the completion and termination of the contract between the carrier and shipper, as the agreements therein are fulfilled.

Simple but Important

The delivery order is one of the simplest documents in the supply chain, but is ever so important. The shipping and delivery chain is a long and complex process, and the delivery order represents the relief that everything has gone through just as it should, and your precious cargo has finally reached its destination.  The process starts all over again with a new shipment—but for now, things have gone exactly as planned. If you have cargo shipping issues that need to be addressed and aren’t sure where to begin, feel free to give us a call for advice or information.