Telex Release in Shipping: A Comprehensive Guide

Importance of telex release in shipping

Telex release in shipping is an optional process that shippers, consignees, or NVOCC can use to file a release of the shipment from the shipping carrier at the destination port without needing a physical bill of lading. As a part of the standard procedure of shipment release, an original bill of lading reaches the port of destination from the shipper. The shipping company signs the bill of lading, the consignee approves that the shipment has been received in good condition, and the shipper is notified. For specific reasons, if the bill of lading is delayed, a telex release is processed, allowing the shipment release, via an email sent by the shipper to the shipping company stating all required details of the consignee and shipment. Let us learn more about telex release in shipping. 

What is the telex release in shipping? 

Telex Release Example

Telex release in shipping refers to the process of electronically releasing goods from the hands of a shipping carrier to the ownership of the consignee without presenting a physical copy of the ocean bill of lading. It is also known as a telegraphic exchange service, which uses an email text that replaces the bill of lading in shipping. Different types of goods are transported across international borders using ships. For this, shippers use various ships to transport the goods to the destination port. AMS in shipping facilitates container inspection by customs authorities at the border, electronically transferring all documents required at borders for prior approval and inspection.  

Upon reaching its destination, the consignee should receive the goods after the carrier or shipping lines offer a bill of lading to the consignee, which both shipping parties sign. It assures that the shipment has reached its destination in good condition and that the consignee has taken ownership of it. The consignee sends a release authorisation to the exporter, allowing the carrier to surrender the shipment to the consignee upon acceptance. 

In situations where the bill of lading cannot be physically provided, a telex in shipping can help shipping carriers release the goods and transfer their ownership to the shipper. This is an efficient way of shipping goods and filing their release, even without a hard copy of the original bill of lading. 

Use of telex release in shipping 

Telex release is used throughout the shipping industry for various reasons. Let’s learn more about the critical uses of telex release in shipping. 

  1. Exporter faults – A telex release is considered if the shipper fails to send the original bill of lading on time. The shipper has not yet processed the documentation work for the bill of lading, and the cargo has already reached the destination port. In such cases, the shipper emails the shipping carrier stating the consignee’s details for cargo release. 
  2. Intra shipping – Sometimes, when shippers such as big organisations send shipments to their offices overseas, they prefer a telex release as there is no negotiation involved, and the shipper and consignee are part of the same organisation. 
  3. NVOCC needs – A non-vessel operating common carrier can also demand a telex release from the shipping company during uncertain situations. This helps get a house bill of lading quickly so that the goods can be released as soon as possible. 

Content of the telex release in shipping 

The shipper, or NVOCC, files for a telex release to the shipping carrier. It must list the following details. 

  • Container number 
  • Cargo specifications include weight, type, quantity, and value. 
  • Bill of lading number 
  • Time and date of issue of the bill of lading 
  • Details about the consignee: Name and address  
  • Contact details of the consignee: Phone number, fax, and email. 

Process of telex release in shipping 

Consignees, shippers, or NVOCCs aiming for a telex release must follow these steps. 

  1. If an email text is processed to release a shipment, the bill of lading must be surrendered at the point of origin to signal the release of the cargo. 
  2. Depending on the shipping contract, the shipper or the consignee, whichever is responsible for the payment, must make all pending payments. 
  3. The correct and accurate details concerning the consignee must be enlisted in the email. The shipping line will match the details presented by the shipper with that of the consignee before releasing the shipment. 
  4. Upon releasing the cargo, the shipping carrier verifies and proceeds with the telex release. After release, a confirmation is sent to the shipper and consignee. 

Benefits of telex release 

The advantages of telex release in shipping are as follows –  

  1. Speed and efficiency – By filing for a telex release instead of waiting for a physical bill of lading, shippers, consignees, and shipping carriers can reduce the time to release goods. This removes the dependency of shipments on a bill of lading to complete their delivery process, helping improve supply chain agility and offering enhanced efficiency at ports. 
  2. Cost-savings – The money spent sending a physical bill of lading from the shipper to the port of destination can be easily avoided by choosing a telex release in shipping.  
  3. Eliminates late fees – Delays in receiving shipments at the destination port lead to late charges by the shipping carrier to the consignee, shipper or logistics service provider. The shipping company levies demurrage and detention charges if the consignee fails to take ownership of the shipment in the allotted free time. Delays in receiving an original bill of lading can also cause demurrage and detention charges. Telex release benefits shippers by avoiding late fees. 
  4. Enhances security – Paper-based documentation is exposed to loss, theft, or damage during transit. Telex releases records and sends the data electronically, minimising the chances of any risks to the shipping information. 

What is the difference between telex release and express release? 

Telex Release and Express Release

Both telex release and express release transfer the ownership of goods to the consignee by releasing them from the authority of the shipping company without providing the original bill of lading. But there are fundamental differences between them. Let’s learn more about them. 

  1. Telex Release – The shipper or origin agent is responsible for sending an email to the shipping line stating the release of goods to the consignee without an original bill of lading. Before sending this email, the shipper must surrender the original bill of lading to the origin agent. Following this, the shipping line at the destination port verifies the content stated in the email and matches it with the information provided by the consignee. After this, the shipment is released. 
  2. Express Release – In this case, similar to the telex release in shipping, there is no need to present the original bill of lading for the shipment to be released. This is because the bill of lading was never included in the shipping process. The shipping carrier never issued a bill of lading, so the shipment is directly released to the carrier once it reaches the destination port. It occurs between companies with long-standing trade relations and trust in each other. 

These are a few benefits and uses of telex release in shipping, making it an efficient option for multiple shippers and consignees involved in maritime shipping. 

LOTUS Containers is a leading seller and lessor of shipping containers worldwide. Partnering with more than 300 container depots, we sell different types of shipping containers. You can buy shipping containers in various sizes, such as the 53ft container, according to your shipping requirements.

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