What is Bill of Lading (BoL)?

Bill of Lading, which is often called “BoL”, is a legal and binding document between the carrier and the shipper. The word “lading” is derived from “loading”, which refers to the loading of goods on a ship.

A bill of lading contains different parts with specific information to be filled. This bill is normally formed of different sections such as:

  1. Names and addresses
  2. Purchase orders or special reference numbers
  3. Special instructions
  4. Date
  5. Description of items
  6. Packaging type
  7. Freight class
  8. Department of Transportation hazardous material designation

The bill of lading must be signed by both the carrier and the shipper. Let’s consider an example of transportation of vegetables from one veggie company to a supermarket by a trucking company. The bill of lading will be signed by the shipper first. When the shipper delivers the loads to the carrier, then it’s the carrier’s responsibility to sign the bill of lading. Once the loads have been shipped to their drop off location by the trucking company, then the representative receiver (consignee) must confirm it as well. It must be approved by these three parties.

Highlighted Points:

  1. The bill of lading is a legal document that revolves between the shipper, carrier and receiver to specify and confirm the details of a freight shipment.
  2. The bill of lading is a document or particularly a contract between the shipper and the carrier. It also acts as a receipt for the goods being shipped by a shipping company.
  3. The bill of lading must be signed by all related parties, including shipper, carrier and receiver in order to complete it successfully.
  4. The bill of lading is effective to prevent theft if it is managed properly.


The bill of lading is a complete document that is used as an agreement to successfully and accurately ship your goods. It makes the whole process of shipping more reliable. There are three simple tips to complete the bill of lading accurately. Firstly, everything related to goods must be described in this document. Secondly, the bill of lading should be accepted as the receipt of the transportation of your goods. Thirdly, it must be signed by the shipper, carrier and receiver on the base of some agreed terms.

Two Main Types of Bill of Lading (BoL)

The bill of lading has two main types in common. Each type serves the same purpose but in a specific manner. Here are the types defined:

Straight BoL

A straight bill of lading is used when the payment has been already submitted to the carrier. If you are paying your carrier in advance, then you must go for a straight bill of lading.

Order BoL

An order bill of lading is used when the loads have been shipped to the receiver before the payment is processed. Once the receiver has successfully received the shipment, then this customer will process the payment and sign the bill of lading.

At QuickLoad, we match shippers with reliable carriers. At our smart trucking platform, the shipper must issue and provide the carrier a bill of lading (“Bill of Lading”). The Bill of Lading must contain, at minimum:

  1. the names and addresses of the Carrier, the Shipper, and the consignee,
  2. the origin and destination addresses,
  3. the requested pickup and delivery dates and times,
  4. description of the items being shipped (including weight),
  5. other relevant terms and conditions

Shipper, not QuickLoad, issues the Bill of Lading. Carrier will direct any questions or concerns regarding the Bill of Lading to the applicable Shipper.

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