(Hong Kong High Court) A bill of lading stated that the port of shipment was Baltimore and the port of discharge was Shanghai. The bill gave a right of transshipment, which was exercised at Hong Kong. It was described as a through bill of lading. It made no express reference to Hong Kong at all. The plaintiffs’ cargo was damaged between Hong Kong and Shanghai. The issue was whether Hong Kong was the ‘port of shipment’ for the purposes of the Hong Kong equivalent of the 1971 Act.
Held: Transshipment was not the same as shipment, and that there had been only one port of shipment, Baltimore. Under the bill of lading terms, USCOGSA’s limitation applied. Unless reference is made to the contract between the parties, there would always be a likelihood that there would be an element of uncertainty. The shipper of goods may have no knowledge of the arrangements being made by the carrier, and it would put the shipper in an invidious position if he could only establish his rights by a subsequent re-construction of events which took place without his knowledge. The court rejected the argument that shipment includes transshipment. All the references to shipment in the rules are consistent with shipment being confined to the initial shipment referred to in the bill of lading.
 Lloyds Rep 483
England and Wales
Cited – J I MacWilliam Co Inc v Mediterranean Shipping Company S A, ‘The Rafaela S’ CA 16-Apr-2003
Machinery was damaged whilst in transit, on the second of two legs. The contract described itself as a through bill of lading, but the port of discharge was not the final destination.
Held: The contract was a straight bill of lading. A . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 May 2021; Ref: scu.181884