What Is an Export Bill of Lading?


Shipping goods from one place to the other is an essential task for export businesses, and when a company engages in this activity, it involves a certain amount of risk. Once the goods leave the company's possession, they are entrusted to a shipping company. To document this transfer of possession, a document called the bill of lading is used. When exporting goods to another country, having a document to track it is essential.

Bill of Lading

  • The bill of lading is a document that is used by a shipper of goods to show that they are picked up and shipped to another location. The bill of lading carries information about the shipment, such as the items included, the origin and the destination. The bill of lading is a type of binding contract that ensures the shipper takes care of the goods and gets them to the necessary location according to the terms of the agreement.

Receiving the Bill of Lading

  • A shipping company is required to provide a bill of lading to the customer that is shipping the goods. If you are shipping goods, it is important to get a bill of lading before the shipment leaves. You also need to review the bill of lading to ensure that it has the correct information. For example, the bill of lading will list the property that is being shipped and its condition. Before releasing the shipment, double check the bill of lading to see that everything is included on it.

Bill of Lading Types

  • A freight shipping company may provide one of a few different types of bill of lading. One type is the straight bill of lading. With a straight bill of lading, the goods are assigned to a particular person and the document is non-negotiable. Another type is the order bill of lading. With this type of bill of lading, phrases are used that make the document negotiable. A bearer bill of lading is another document that is used, which states the goods will be delivered to the holder of the bill.

Information Included

  • Several items can be included on the bill of lading to provide information to both the shipper and the freight company. For instance, on the bill of lading, you might find the weight of each item and the quantity in each box. You can find a description of each item as well as any special shipping or handling instructions. It can also include the identification number of the truck that is shipping the packages. In some cases, it can include specific travel details such as the route or the method used to ship. Since exported shipments have to go through customs, it is important to document as much information about the cargo as possible.


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