Bill of Lading forms

August 12, 2013 8:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

What are Bill of Lading forms?

A bill of lading is a formal contract between a shipper and a carrier detailing the transportation of goods.

What are other terms for Bill of Lading?

  • BOL
  • B/L
  • Waybill

Who uses bill of lading forms?

Companies that ship any kind of goods or merchandise should issue a bill of lading to a carrier. Carriers that need a BOL are typically trucks, trains, air freights and ships.

What are the most important sections of a BOL?

  • A list of the inventory being shipped. Without this, you wouldn’t need a bill of lading to begin with! This should include shipping units, declared value of the items, and weight. If hazardous materials are being shipped, you will need to note this on your BOL.
  • The terms and conditions are probably the second most important section on your bill of lading (the first being your inventory). Each type of BOL will have a different TOS. The terms will change depending on where the shipment is going and how it is being carried. The terms will also include payment instructions and the extra charges that may occur.
  • The name, address and contact information of the shipper. This is so the carrier can get in touch with the person shipping.
  • Payment method.
  • The name, address and contact information of the person that will be receiving the goods.
  • The date the delivery is expected to arrive.

How do you customize a BOL based on your business?

The boxes for shipping, carrier and receiver information are mostly consistent from one bill of lading to the next. When choosing a template, be sure to read over these sections to be sure that each term is relevant to your business.

The biggest challenge you face is how you should place your inventory. A cargo carrier will need different columns than a vehicle transporter. Lets compare the differences:
This freight BOL has the following columns:

Quantity – Description – Weight – Rate – Prepaid – Collect

This particular form has rolled some of the payment information into the inventory check list. The rest is for the items, how many there are, the weight and how much the rate is to ship these items.

The vehicle transportation bill of lading is drastically different. If you have a vehicle transport business you will want a form that can hold all of the vehicles you carry. This is important for evaluating each vehicle before transport and upon delivery. The columns on this form are:

Stock# (if coming off a car lot or some place that uses these) – Year – Make – Model – Vin – Price (amount it will cost to ship the item)

When designing the right bill of lading form for your business, it pays to take into account what information you need to complete the job. All of that information should go into your form so that you can keep a complete record of customer details and to ensure that every item is delivered safely to its destination.

Bill of Lading is much more than just a form!

Any time you place your company logo on a form, post card, receipt, etc you are helping customers recognize your brand. This form is also helpful in keeping a record of customer phone numbers and contact information. At Printit4Less we offer you the opportunity to customize your Bill of Lading with your company information and logo.

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This post was written by Progressive Printing Team

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