Everything you need to know about the bill of lading

In the shipping and logistics industry, the process of shipping freight nationally and internationally involves a range of documents that need to be completed in order for the freight to have smooth travels. One of the many different documents that you need – and arguably one of the most important documents – is the bill of lading. Read all about the bill of lading below:

What is it?

The bill of lading is a legal document used when transporting goods over the ocean, air, and land. It acts as a contract between the owner of the goods in transit and the carrier of the goods. It states a variety of different details including the goods being shipped, the origin of the shipment and the destination of the shipments and serves as a receipt once the goods are in transit.

Why is it needed?

The bill of lading is needed for various reasons. As we mentioned already, it is the receipt for the goods, but it is also proof of a contract between the exporter and the carrier, and it is a title of goods which requires goods to be turned over to the receiving party. The bill of lading is essential to successfully transport goods as it provides details of shipping, including any transfers to third parties.

What is on the bill of lading?

In order for the bill of lading to be completed properly, it needs to contain a certain amount of information. This information includes the carrier’s name and signature, the date that the goods are loaded onto the vessel, information regarding the origin and destination of the goods, the terms and conditions of transport, a detailed description of the goods, the name of the receiver and any other special instructions. It is imperative that all this information is filled out correctly on the bill of lading to avoid any complications when processing the goods.