What is a Bill of Lading (BOL)?
A Bill of Lading is a legally-binding document that provides the driver and the carrier with all the details they need, to process the freight shipment and invoice it correctly. The use of this document is required to move a freight shipment from one place to another.
When is a Bill of Lading created?
The Bill of Lading can be created during the quoting and booking process and should be provided to the carrier during pickup. The document should also be attached to the packaged freight.
What is included in the Bill of Lading?
The bill of lading (BOL) should provide the following information:
Names & Addresses: The full names and addresses of the shipper and the consignee should be provided on the Bill of Lading. They need to be easy to find and read on the invoice.
Purchase orders or special reference numbers: These numbers are essential, as they are needed for the freight to be released for pick up and accepted for delivery.
Special Instructions: In this field, the shipper provides caring and handling instructions.
Date: In this field, the parties must provide the correct pickup date.
Description of Items Being Shipped: The shipper must indicate the number of shipping units, the weight, and dimensions of the freight, along with information on materials used in the freight and its packaging.
Packaging Type: In this field, the shipper notes what types of packaging are used in this shipment.
National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) Freight Class: This field plays a big role in deciding the cost of trucking for your shipment. Freight shipments are broken down into 18 different classes based on weight, dimension, density, storage capability, ease of handling, value, and liability.
Department of Transportation (DOT) Hazardous Material Designation: The shipper must provide information in regards to the presence of hazardous materials in the shipment. If hazardous materials are present in the shipment, special rules and requirements will apply when shipping.