What is a Bill of Lading?

Freight Rate Central

A Bill of Lading is one of the most important documents when it comes to freight shipping. Also known as a B/L or a BoL, it is, by standard definition, a ‘detailed list of a shipment of goods in the form of a receipt given by the carrier to the person cosigning the goods.’

A Bill of Lading is required to move a freight shipment, and serves as a contract between the freight carrier and shipper. It is legally binding, and provides the driver and the carrier with all of the details they need to process the shipment and invoice correctly.

A B/L serves three main roles:

• Acts as evidence of contract of carriage;
• Shows the receipt of the goods; and
• Is the document of title to the goods.

So what’s all inside a Bill of Lading that makes it so important?

• The shipper and receiver’s names and complete addresses;
• Special account numbers that are used between businesses for order tracking;
• Specific instructions for the carrier;
• The date of the shipment;
• The number of shipping units;
• The type of packaging;
• Notes if the shipment is a Department of Transportation hazardous material;
• A description of the items being shipped, including the material of manufacture and its common name;
• The NMFC freight classification;
• The exact weight (if there are multiple items they will be listed separately); and
• The declared value of goods.

From the list above, it can be seen that a Bill of Lading is chock full of important information, and truly protects both parties. Due diligence should always be used when handling or filing a BoL to ensure it doesn’t get lost or misplaced, as getting a replacement can be a lengthy process that can delay shipping.

Though Freight Rate Central is centrally located in Idaho, we service all across the United States. We aim to provide the most efficient and economical shipping for all of our clients, and work with a number of servicers to ensure you get only the best rates no matter your shipping needs. We take care of the details both big and small, so you can rest easy with your shipments in our hands. Contact us today at 1-800-870-6294 to learn more about our services, or visit us online to request a free quote.

Scroll to Top