+1 800 967-0030

What is a Bill of Lading and Why is it Important to Have One?

Many first-time shippers and many of our fulfillment services clients have a lot of questions about a multi-purpose document called the Bill of Lading (sometimes mistakenly called a “Bill of Loading”). These documents have been around in some form, since the Romans were shipping olive oil across the Mediterranean, and they continue to protect and track cargo today.

How a Bill of Lading Works

When your shipper transfers goods to another carrier, they generate a document called the Bill of Lading, which is a contract that details the terms of shipment of your merchandise, releases the goods into the carrier’s protection and requires them to deliver your items to their destination. Although they’re generated on most commercial shipments, Bills of Lading are particularly helpful for fulfillment services companies and their customers whose goods are frequently exchanged between ground, rail and air shipping.

The Bill of Lading contains detailed information about your shipment, including the type of freight, number of boxes involved and their weight, and is meant to ensure that all of your merchandise arrives at its destination together. If something happens along the way and part or all of your order is damaged or lost, the Bill of Lading provides you with a clear paper trail, along with specific remedies for filing a claim against the carrier who was in charge of your merchandise when it went missing.

Why Fulfillment Services Clients need – and benefit from – a Bill of Lading

When a shipment arrives and it isn’t acceptable in some way, it is the recipient’s responsibility to reject the goods and the shipment on the customer’s behalf. When the recipient is a fulfillment services company like ours, we are acting as the first line of defense and acting on our customer’s behalf. That means that if there is any problem or issue with the shipment, the fulfillment services partner has the right and the responsibility to protect the client and refuse the merchandise.

Small companies that are just beginning to utilize fulfillment services will do themselves a favor by getting familiar with the purpose and importance of the Bill of Lading. The Bill of Lading represents a transference of responsibility for the goods being shipped – the goods of your business – and its importance cannot be understated.

May 16, 2014
Share This:

Related Posts

RECENT POSTS

Avoid These 3 Common Order Fulfillment Mistakes With Shipwizard 3PL

Order fulfillment is a multi-step process that requires a complex dance of coordination. Mistakes are common along the way, as businesses grow, change suppliers or add new products, all while customer expectations change in response to market trends. At ShipWizard, we...

Outsource Fulfillment To A WooCommerce-Friendly 3PL

As a WooCommerce-based merchant, chances are, you are very familiar with the primary e-commerce plugin for WordPress and its capabilities. The WooCommerce plugin is downloaded over 30,000 times every day from WordPress.org. 8.7% of all websites use WooCommerce....

Find A 3PL Partner for your Tempe, AZ Business

If you run a business in Tempe, AZ, we know you need to get your product stored securely and be ready for fulfillment at a moment’s notice. Tempe is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in Arizona and is among the top “boomtowns” in the country. It is...

Gearing Up For Fall Supplement Season

The back-to-school season is upon us, which means the cold and flu season is right around the corner. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons varies, but according to the CDC, influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Consumers are stocking up on...

Back-To-School Order Fulfillment

Is Your Order Fulfillment Process Ready for Back-To-School Season? We are reaching the end of the summer and, to many school districts across the country, that means it is time to think about the kids heading back to school. Shopping for back to school is a yearly...