Container Loading Guidelines
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Difference Between the Original Bill of Lading and Telex release


The shipper issues the Bill of Lading (BL) or shipping document (express or telex release) when performing an international import or export shipment. The Bill of lading confirms that the goods sent by the exporter to an importer has been shipped with the designated shipper. When performing this import or export, the BL may be a physical document called the ORIGINAL paper or can be done virtually. Which of these documents is necessary at different points of the shipment depends on the type of relationship you have with your ISP and country-specific regulations to which documents are delivered.


Telex Release and Bill of lading

The BLs must be sent from the exporter to the importer either as the ORIGINAL or TELEX RELEASE. This usually depends upon whether or not the provider trusts the client and whether or not the payment has been secured. If you have confidence in the provider and the country allows it you can do the EXPRESS OR TELEX RELEASE as this will save the cost of the shipping by international courier documentation.


The difference is that if you choose to use the original, the importer will have to have the original in hand to receive the goods, so there will be a cost to shipping the international documentation. Instead, if the TELEX RELEASE is used instead, the copy provided to the importer will be enough.


Telex release, as well as the bill of lading are one of the mandatory documents needed to ship internationally. 


To arrange a telex release it is as simple as asking if they can organise one for you. 


Here’s the process for getting a Telex Release:

  1. You pay the supplier for the goods, usually once you have confirmation that the goods are loaded onto transport.

  2. Shipping company issues the BILL OF LADING to the supplier once ship has sailed.

  3. The supplier releases the BILL OF LADING back to the shipping line or forwarder

  4. The transport carrier stamps the BILL OF LADING ‘Telex Release’ and a message is sent to destination release agent (your freight forwarder) that no original BILL OF LADING is required to release the goods for final delivery to the importer.

  5. A copy of this original BILL OF LADING is faxed or emailed to the supplier who then emails you a copy to produce at your port.

  6. The transport carrier will fax or email to their agent at the port of destination to indicate that they hold the original BILL OF LADING and that a telex release has been issue.

  7. You or your freight forwarder collects the goods without waiting for the original BILL OF LADING to be sent from the seller once freight, local fees, duty and GST have been paid.


If you’re organising a Telex Release and using a freight forwarder it’s important to let your freight forwarder know you are doing a telex release and email a copy of the telex release to them as well.




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To provide the freight rate, Please advise:

1) Cargo information such as weight, volume etcs.

2) Pick up address or Port of loading.

3) Trading terms and shipping services.

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