A non-negotiable document, otherwise having similar functions to a bill of lading, which is often used in preference to a bill of lading if agreed by the buyer and seller of the goods.
It is not a document of title and can not, therefore, be used to transfer title in the goods to a third party. It may travel with the goods on the ship and does not need to be presented by the consignee or receiver to claim the goods. It is often used where there is trust between the buyer and seller, and is preferred to a bill of lading in trades where bills of lading often lag behind the cargo (e. g. short-sea trades), and where there is no contractual requirement for bills of lading (e. g. in a sale not involving a letter of credit) or prospect of a subsequent sale during transit. Most liner carriers prefer their customers to use sea waybills since they enable faster delivery (release) of goods and thus help to reduce terminal congestion.