3PL Glossary

Bill of Lading

Definition, meaning, and explanation of

Bill of Lading

What does Bill of Lading mean?

The Bill of Lading (BOL) is a legally-binding document which serves as a receipt given by the carrier of the shipment to the recipient. It provides details like the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried.

The signature by the carrier acknowledging the shipment is aboard the carrier be it a truck, train, air, or ship. This basically means that goods are as mentioned on the bill of lading. It also acts as a proof of delivery. 

What’s included in the Bill of Lading?

  • Shipper’s name and address
  • Recipient’s name and address
  • Number of units being shipped
  • Purchase order and/or account number
  • Shipment data
  • Declared of goods being shipped
  • Description of what’s being shipped
  • Shipment packaging - carton, pallets. etc. 
  • Shipment weight
  • National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) for items being shipped
  • Pickup and delivery specifications

What’s the difference between an invoice and bill of lading?

A bill of lading is generally a document highlighting the details of shipment like its value, its delivery date, product specifications, receivers’ information, etc. whereas an invoice is a legal document that records each transaction between the business and the customer. An invoice outlines the amount to be paid or paid already for the specified goods from customers to business. 

Explore More: Omnichannel Order Management

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