Clean on board

A clean Bill of Lading is issued with the added term “clean on board”. This means that the goods have been received in good order and in a good condition, as far as the shipping company can see. This is an old term, dating back to times when every shipment was physically loaded by the crew. In those days it was possible to physically check the cargo for discrepancies. Because of today’s containerisation, it is often not possible to check the condition of the goods. That is why from a legal point of view, the term shipped on board is often used, along with "said to contain" (stc) and "shipper’s load, stowage and count". As such, the shipping company covers itself against any shortages and damage to shipments.