What is a Bill of Lading?

Bill Of Lading

A Bill of Lading (often abbreviated as B/L) is a legal document used in the shipping and freight industry, and a contract between a shipper and a carrier (such as a trucking company or shipping line) that details the type, quantity, and destination of goods being transported.

The Bill of Lading serves as a receipt for the goods, confirms that the carrier has received the goods in the described condition for transportation, and exists as evidence of the contract of carriage. It represents the right to take possession of the goods, which is important when goods are sold while in transit. The possession of the original B/L usually grants the right to take delivery of the goods at their destination. The Bill of Lading also acts as a contract between the shipper and the carrier, as it outlines the terms and conditions of the transport, including any applicable liabilities or restrictions.


Listed below are a few specific details the B/L typically provides:

  • Consignor and Consignee: The shipper's (consignor's) and receiver's (consignee's) names and addresses.
  • Description of Goods: Information such as type, quantity, weight, and volume.
  • Vessel Name: The name of the ship carrying the goods.
  • Shipping Route: The origin, destination, and any transshipment points.
  • Freight Rate/Terms: Cost details and payment terms (like prepaid or collect).
  • Date of Loading: The date when the goods were loaded onto the vessel.


COMMTREX X Withtagline Simplifying Freight By Rail Final (Spacing)