What Is A Bill Of Lading?

When you are in the business of moving and storage, you are no stranger to contracts and legal liability issues. One of the most important contracts you will be responsible for obtaining is a bill of lading.

An agreement between the shipper and the freight carrier, a bill of lading (BOL) works as a receipt of freight services. Failure to provide or maintain a bill of lading could result in serious issues – claims and lawsuits, to name a few. Further, if a BOL you agree upon omits critical information and an issue arises during transport, there could be serious consequences for your company. At Wolpert Insurance, we are more than insurance for moving and storage companies, we are also your trusted source of advice and information.

Since a BOL is a legally binding document, we want you to be sure you understand its purpose and what should be included in it. This week, let’s talk about the purpose of a BOL.

A BOL will serve three different purposes:

1. A receipt issued to the shipper for any merchandise received.
2. A document providing evidence of the legal possession of someone else’s property.
3. The contract of carriage when combined with applicable taxes.

A bill of lading will establish receipts of shipment and the terms and conditions of the services you provide.  Essentially, before you leave any shipment, your delivery will be inspected and compared to what is listed on the BOL. You want to be sure your BOL is accurate and can provide valid proof of receipt.

In order to maintain a stellar reputation in this industry, you want to stay abreast of the industry standards such as a BOL. You also want to be sure you have adequate protection in the form of insurance coverage. At Wolpert, we can help you with all of your movers and storage insurance needs.

Be sure to give us a call today with any questions, and stop by next week for part 2 of BOL 411.