439. Through and combined transport bills of lading.

A document containing or evidencing a contract for the carriage of goods under which the goods are to be carried in separate stages by more than one vessel, or partly by sea and partly by some other means of transport, for example, by road1, rail2 or air3, is usually referred to as a 'through bill of lading' or, as the case may be, as a 'combined transport bill of lading'.

Under a through bill of lading the carrier who issues the bill may be responsible for the whole carriage, in which case the carriers performing the other stages of the carriage are merely sub-contractors of the issuing carrier4, or he may be contractually responsible as a principal only w