How to Fill Out a Bill of Lading

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The bill of lading is a receipt for your shipment from the transportation company.
The bill of lading is a receipt for your shipment from the transportation company. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A bill of lading is a legal document used by transportation companies. The purpose of the bill of lading is to acknowledge that the transportation company has received the goods. The bill of lading transfers the title, or legal ownership, of the goods to the transportation company; therefore. if anything happens to the goods in transit, the transportation company is responsible for paying for the damages. The bill of lading is a receipt given to the person shipping the products with the transportation company. Delivery time and method are also outlined.

Write your name and address on the bill of lading in the appropriate location. Include a purchase order number or any special notes.

Insert the name and address of the person receiving the shipment you are sending. Enter the date you turn the shipment over to the shipper. Include any special instructions specific to the carrier, including how the shipment should be handled.

Mark as COD if you want the carrier to collect the money for the shipment. Include the amount and the name and address the shipper needs to deliver the money. State the amount that the shipper will collect as a fee for the COD collection and if the COD fee is collected from the person receiving the products or if you have already paid the collection fee.

Count and state the exact number of packages included in the shipment. State the type of packaging you are using; an example is whether it is boxes or skids.

Identify if the materials are hazardous. If they are hazardous, you may have to use a different shipper or a special type of shipment from the shipper you are using. Review the individual company policies to determine how hazardous materials are handled.

Enter the exact weight and freight you will be charged. Individual shipments should be listed separately, as should individual boxes in the same shipment.

Insert the value of the entire shipment. Indicate how much liability coverage you have purchased to cover the shipment that is in excess of what the transportation company provides.

State who will be responsible for the shipping costs, you or the person who receives your goods. Insert the information about the person and location where the shipping bill will be sent.

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