bill of lading for shipment

The bill of lading is part of the important documentation that must necessarily be drawn up for the shipment to be transported along the chain. Also known as Bill of Lading (BL or BoL). The legal document contains key information about the goods and is issued by the carrier to the sender. It is designed for accurate accountability, clarity and compliance with legal requirements. It is an integral part of logistics processes.

What is a bill of lading?

The bill of lading is a major international document for the carriage of goods. Issuing it is the responsibility of the carrier to the shipper and is also provided to the consignee as a receipt for the goods shipped (upon delivery of a pre-determined destination). Valuable and detailed valuable information about the goods – type, destination and destination – is described. This document is of legal status, but only after the signatures of the authorized representative of the carrier, the sender and the consignee have been received.

The bill of lading is not just a flyer, but a shipping document that has the value of a security that is its main distinguishing feature. Many link it and equate it to the rest of the transport documentation needed, but this is a gross mistake. What is special about it is that it creates a legal precondition for the sale of goods. Used when transporting goods by water, it must always be properly prepared and accompany the packages, regardless of the form of transport.

It shall be issued by the master of the ship or by a person authorized by the carrier and authenticated by signature. The bill of lading is drawn up in four copies in one of the languages ​​used in international trade and the date of issue is entered. It can be negotiated or non-negotiable and serves as proof of ownership of the carriage of the goods.

Required information on the bill of lading is:

  • Buyer’s and seller’s name
  • Ship name
  • Departure port
  • name and origin of the shipment
  • Freight route
  • Departure and arrival
  • Details of the contents of the cargo
  • Special order for handling of cargo

A detailed description of important items in the consignment note

  • Names and addresses – the main requisites in the document are undoubtedly the three names of the sender and the consignee
  • Date – the day the shipment from the seller to the buyer is sent. It is important that the date should be fair, he served on invoicing and tracking of cargo
  • Description – must be entered the right amount of items, their composition, weight and sizes
  • Pack- in the type package must be written as – crates pallets, cardboard, etc.
  • NMFC Freight Class – the possibility of shipments to be distinguished into 18 classes. The NMFC classification needs to be precisely designed because it affects the delivery price. The category of goods is determined by weight, dimensions, density, ease of operation, storage ability, ease of use, value and responsibility assumed by the buyer, seller or freight forwarder.
  • Purchase Orders or Special Reference Numbers – these are used for reference delivery – when picking up or picking up the cargo
  • Designation of the Department of Hazardous Materials in Transport – in the presence of similar goods in the cargo, they must be clearly cited in order to fulfill the necessary rules and requirements
  • Special instructions – those with special conditions are for carrier information, for example, if delivery time is to be reported


The main types of bill of lading have their own distinctive features and are distinguished by:

Bill of LadingStraight

Bill of Lading One thing becomes clear – the customer has already paid for the transportation of specific goods. The designation Straight Bill of Landing is commonly used in these cases.

Air Waybill

The so-called Air Waybill or AWB is an ocean waybill that is used when choosing air travel. Although it is equated with the ocean, it differs in something essential, namely that AWB cannot be negotiated.

Inland Bill of Lading

Internal waybills are mainly used to transport shipments by rail or by car. It is excluded to ship goods by sea. Inland freight waybills are usually the first international transport document issued.

Multimodal Bill of Lading

A multimodal bill of lading is the equivalent of combined shipping methods. They are used when crossing multiple areas until the goods reach their final location. Route optimization contributes to faster and more efficient delivery.

Ocean Bill of Lading lists

Ocean freight widely used in the logistics industry, in international trade. They authorize the ownership of the goods by one of the parties to the transaction – the sender or the consignee. This type of bill of lading can be arranged as per customer’s order.

Bill of Lading Bill of Lading A bill of lading

is a document in which ownership of the goods is negotiable. This document entitles the transfer of ownership of the goods, which are indicated as quantity, type and size in the consignment note of the opposite party. This is done after confirmation by the final recipient specified in the document.

What is an electronic waybill?

Is paper trading possible? It is for this purpose that the facilitated business option – the generation of an electronic bill of lading – is created. Today, many international sales reject paper documents because they face difficulties, delays, more costs and inefficiency in completing delivery orders.

All parties involved (sellers, buyers and carriers) are looking for a way to reap the most benefits from the disadvantages of digitalization. Using reliable logistics software tailored to your individual business is the best solution. This allows everyone to access the account as an electronic document.

So, in short, an electronic bill of lading is a mirror image of a paper bill of lading – it also fulfills these functional and legal requirements. Of course, in order to be digitized and absolutely legal, it must include all the important components and, above all, the business must have an electronic signature. By following the path of best practices, you will be able to “infuse” your business into a world completely different from paper-based documents.

International trade letters of credit thus facilitate business transactions as a financing tool. However, greater security is created between different countries because they are usually at a long distance, with different economic status and legal rules. For example, when using several modes of transport, a “multimodal consignment note” must be drawn up to confirm receipt of the cargo.

By letter of credit, the buyer’s bank indicates that it will pay the seller the amount due by presenting a set of multimodal delivery notes. This is where the subtlety comes in – all the strict letter of credit requirements must be met for the seller to receive their money. The electronic multimodal consignment note must include the following parameters – correct address, identification, electronic signature, port/airport, content and trading conditions and presentation of documents. If some of the items in the electronic version do not match, the bank may justifiably refuse payment.

Benefits of an electronic bill of lading:

  • The ability to create and send electronic documents is a great convenience for any business. This is a great advantage for the electronic waybill too – it saves on paper, time and money to send the document by courier
  • Reduces the time for the waybill to be transmitted, because it can be sent online with one click. All you need is an Internet connection, and the process will be as easy as possible.
  • If you need to make changes to each pen of the document, adjustments can be made instantly and much easier than the paper version. It is also much more innovative and profitable for any company, expected everyone to work under this system
  • shall be prevented attempted fraud through the electronic system – needed are pin, electronic signature and others to be a valid consignment

Problems with the electronic bill of lading

  • negotiation and the transfer paper is proof of ownership, but it may become more difficult by an electronic account because it can be done automatically
  • There is a risk of hacking the electronic system, if not enough good protection of – this can lead to many problems, fraud and multiple losses of cargo
  • disclaimer at errors in the management of cargo in the drafting of the bill of lading
  • introduction of a similar electronic system may involve a lot of time and headaches – need to all major business entities to agree to such changes

What is BOL?

BOL is a key moment in the event of unexpected events with the transported goods. It plays an important role in the claim for damages that may be required in case of loss of the shipment, damage, wrong delivery or excessive delay. In a word, it regulates the conditions that are described in the load of goods. Conditions of carriage are negotiated between the shipper and the carrier and must be fulfilled qualitatively and on time.

All packages must be delivered to the recipients in their full composition and in good condition – as they are loaded. Ownership and responsibility are transferred to the consignee by document upon arrival of the goods to the correct endpoint.

Do you need to create export forms for each mode of transport – air, ocean or land?

Good logistics software offers different options in the cloud space you use. Investing in implementing a reliable and customized system for your business will work more efficiently, cost-effectively and easily in every sector. This software solution would help you optimize your processes, monitor staff performance in more detail, perform analysis and reduce labor, transportation and other costs.

The main focus of logistics software is to improve the transportation industry. You can find a really good way to manage the logistics process. In this respect, creating a multitude of amenities and features, such as

  • automatic generation of air waybills
  • preparation of certificate of origin
  • list of used packaging
  • proforma invoice and issue a commercial invoice
  • receipts and other

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