Reservations made by a shipper or his agent with a carrier for the carriage of
certain defined goods from a place of loading to a place of discharging. To
reserve space in this way is to book space. This can be done in different ways,
including online. The document containing the terms and conditions of the
contract between a shipper and a shipping line is called the booking note or
liner booking note. This document is superseded by the bill of lading when
this is established. An example of a liner booking note is the Conlinebooking
2000, published by BIMCO (the Baltic and International Maritime Council).
It is signed by both principals to the contract and contains:
• the names of the parties, that is, the carrier and his agents and the party
representing cargo interests;
• the vessel’s name and approximate time for shipment;
• the loading and discharging ports;
• the description of the cargo;
• the freight rate and where/when freight is payable;
• the rate of demurrage if applicable; and
• any special terms.
On the reverse of the Conlinebooking are the terms of the applicable bill of
lading, the Conlinebill 2000 (see Bill of lading).
BIMCO also publishes a blank back form of liner booking note. The difference
between this and the Conlinebooking is that the blank back form is
deemed to contain the carrier’s standard conditions of carriage.
When considering making a booking, the shipper will look for suitable sailings,
that is, vessels serving the right ports of loading and discharge, capable
of taking the type of cargo in question and due to load on dates appropriate to
the readiness of the cargo. Such sailings can be ascertained from, for example,
advertisements in the trade press, the lines’ websites or circulars from the
All the bookings for a particular sailing are listed together onto a booking
list. This is compiled from lists supplied by each of the line’s agents responsible
for taking bookings for the various loading ports on the ship’s itinerary.