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Bill of Lading (B/L)

What is a Bill of Lading?

A bill of lading (B/L) is a legal document issued by a carrier or its agent to acknowledge receipt of goods for shipment. It serves as a contract between the shipper (seller) and the carrier (transport provider), detailing the terms and conditions of transportation, including the type, quantity, and destination of the goods. Essentially, a bill of lading acts as a receipt for the goods, evidence of the contract of carriage, and a document of title, allowing the transfer of ownership of the goods during transit.

Who issues a Bill of Lading?

The bill of lading is typically issued by the carrier or its authorized agent, such as a freight forwarder or shipping line. It serves as proof that the carrier has received the goods for shipment and assumes responsibility for their safe delivery to the consignee.

Bill of Lading example

Bill of Lading example. Source: M2Ast. via Wikimedia Commons

A typical bill of lading contains information such as the names and addresses of the shipper and consignee, description of the goods, packaging details, freight charges, and terms of delivery. It also includes important clauses specifying liability, insurance coverage, and the carrier's obligations during transit.

How to fill out a Bill of Lading

To fill out a bill of lading, the shipper must provide accurate and complete information about the shipment, including the description of goods, quantity, weight, and packaging details. The document must be signed by the shipper and carrier representative to confirm the receipt and acceptance of the goods for transportation.

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