Bill of Lading (B/L) is the most important document in ocean freight. It is issued by the carrier or freight agent to Shipper. The B/L states various details related to the shipment such as Shipper, Consignee and Cargo description. It also contains routing information such as Port of Loading (POL) and Port of Destination (POL).
The B/L also contains terms such as CY/CY, CFS/CFS etc. So what are these terms? In order to understand these terms let’s first understand what CY and CFS means.
In case of international shipping, CY is Container Yard and CFS is Container Freight Station. Container Yard is a place where containers are stored before loading on to the vessel or after unloading from the vessel/ship after it arrives at Port. A Container Yard is primarily used for FCL (Full container load shipment).
Container freight station is majorly used for LCL( Less than container load) shipments. The goods before loading on to the vessel/ship are taken to CFS to be consolidated and after arriving to the port are taken to CFS to be de-consolidated. The goods are also weighted and checked at CFS before loading on the vessel.
- CY/CY – An FCL shipment, where the packed containerised cargo gets picked up at container yard at origin port and would get delivered at destination port Container Yard to the consignee. In this case, the carrier liability starts at CY of origin port and ends at CY destination port. Such shipments are also referred to as FCL/FCL shipments and will have a single Shipper and Consignee.
- CFS/CFS – A shipment, where the goods are delivered at CFS for grouping (consolidating) them together for a specific destination. Usually, this occurs in case of LCL shipment. The goods are delivered at the destination CFS where they are de-consolidated. Such shipment are called LCL/LCL shipments and will have multiple Shippers and multiple consignees.
- CFS/CY – This is usually a buyer consolidation shipment. The cargo is consolidated or grouped together at a CFS at Origin port (LCL). However at the destination, the delivery of the container happens at a Container Yard (FCL). Hence such shipments are also called LCL/FCL shipments and have multiple shippers and single consignee.
- CY/CFS – When cargo is picked up from Container Yard at origin port (FCL) but delivered to a CFS at the destination port (LCL) for de-consolidation, the term mentioned on the B/L is CY/CFS. Such shipments are also referred to as FCL/LCL shipments and will have single shipper and multiple consignees.
One thing to note in all the above examples is that all deliveries are Port to Port. i.e. It is the responsibility of either the Shipper or Consignee to arrange for the Cargo to be sent to Container Yard / Container Freight Station at the origin port and take the delivery from Container Yard / Container Freight station at destination port.
Also in case of consolidation services, carriers will issue a CY/CY Bill of Lading to the consolidator (Freight forwarder), who in turn will issue House Bill of Lading to the Shipper with CFS pickup/delivery.