Freight and Vehicle Bill of Lading

You were asked by your shipping company to make sure you sign the “Bill of Lading”. You’re left with a simple but pretty intimidating question, what is a bill of lading? 

This blog post will help you understand what and why a Bill of Lading is important. Let’s go over this term and gain some knowledge of what it means.

What is a Bill of Lading?

Bill of Lading or BOL is a document issued by the carrier company that will be picking up the vehicle or freight. This shipping document is basically an inspection report and written notation acknowledging the carrier’s legal obligation to transport and deliver shipment. Generally, a copy of the bill of lading is given to the shipper (customer) by the driver upon pickup and then again upon deliver.

There are two forms of bill of lading, the traditional Paper BOL and an eBOL (Electronic Bill of Lading ). Both are the same, the only difference is technology. An eBOL is basically a paperless receipt that can be digitally signed and works with mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.  

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The Role of Bill of Lading During Transport

Bill of lading plays an important role during the auto transport and flatbed transport process. It is evidence of agreement with specific details of the shipment or vehicle. It acknowledges that a shipment has been picked up, loaded and being transported. The bill of lading obligates the carrier to deliver shipment to delivery party as noted and is supporting evidence of any claims related to damages caused.

Information You’ll Find on Bill of Lading

  • Carrier information such as company name, phone number, address etc.

  • Description of vehicle or commodity being transported. 

  • Dates and times

  • Pickup and delivery information such as contact person, phone number, address, business hours, phone number, etc.)

  • Inspection report with dimensions, condition of shipment, pre-existing damages, etc.

  • Terms and conditions

  • Form of payment

  • Any special instructions fro shipment

Although there are different kinds of lading reports, they all serve the same purpose and provide the same information needed for the transport. A bill of lading will ensure the transport of your shipment is as ordered and is delivered in the same conditions as it was received.

So next time you’re in need of a transport, make sure obtain a copy of your BOL and keep for your records. You never know when you will need that document, might save you a big headache in the long run.

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