What is a Bill of Lading?
Also commonly referred to as BOL or B/L, it’s a negotiable contract of carriage that states the carrier has received the goods for the shipment.
Here's an example of BOL:
The format of a Bill of Lading is usually as follows: XXXX123456789
Is a Bill of Lading only applicable to ocean freight?
Not anymore. In the past, Bills of Lading were always associated with ocean freight. But nowadays they're used in other forms of freight, too, such as land freight.
What is it for?
A Bill of Lading serves the following 3 purposes:
1. To let the shipper know that the goods have been loaded
2. It acts as a Contract of Carriage between the shipper and the freight carrier
3. It acts as a Document of Title to the goods
Can I track my shipment using a Bill of Lading?
Why are there 3 original Bills of Lading issued?
One is for the shipper, one for the consignee, and the last is either for the bank or another third party that may be involved in the shipping of the goods.
Logistics nerd and resident marketing guy of Bookairfreight. I love writing content that simplifies old-fashioned industry processes and provides solid, accurate information you can base your decisions on. Outside of logistics, I enjoy nature, hanging out with friends, electronic music and spirituality.