An auto transport bill of lading, also referred to as a BoL, is a term which is thrown around a lot in the auto transportation industry. It’s used in many other shipping and freight industries as well. It is a term workers in those fields employ on a daily basis but few know its meaning well.
The bill of lading is one of the most important documents of your shipment. It is perhaps the most important of all. Yet it is a term few know – and even fewer understand. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to delve into the bill of lading, what it is, and what it’s used for.
The auto transport bill of lading – what it is
The phrase “Bill of Lading” can be broken down into its two words. A bill is a “schedule of costs for services supplied or to be supplied.” “Lading” derives from the verb lade. Lade means “to load a cargo onto a ship or other form of transport.”
Therefore, a “bill of lading” is a schedule of goods to be loaded onto a form of transport. When shipping cars, a bill of lading is basically a receipt of a shipment. It tells the carrier what vehicle needs to be shipped and where it’s shipping from or to.
The types of bills of lading
There are typically four types of bills of lading when shipping vehicles: inland, ocean, through, and air waybill. The first two are self-explanatory. An inland BoL is for shipments on land whereas the ocean BOL is for shipments by seas. Shipments that are trucked to the port to be shipped overseas will require both an inland and ocean BoL.
The through BoL is for any export transports and the air waybill BoL is for any items being transported by aircraft. Typically, a through BoL is done for shipments to other countries.
Some form or another of the term has been used, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, since 1371. 1371! It’s safe to say that tracking the movement of goods has long been a part of humanity.
How your auto transport bill of lading works
In the auto shipping industry, the bill of lading acts as a receipt of shipment, an inspection report, a terms and conditions sheet, and a dispatch report, all in one. Let’s break it down.
The auto transport bill of lading is a receipt in that it’s a record of your vehicle having been shipped. In this regard it will have the name of the company that ships it, as well as all their pertinent information. It will list how much you paid for the shipment as well.
It also acts as an inspection report. Both you and the driver will need to inspect the vehicle both at pickup and at delivery. The first will note any current damage, and the second will note any new damage. Damage is rare during transport, but it can happen. Doing the inspections will allow you to file a damage claim if need be. Without doing the inspections, you won’t be able to file a claim.
It will also list the carrier’s terms and conditions. You will need to abide by these terms or else your vehicle will not be picked up. Most terms and conditions are pretty standard, saying things like you can’t have any items in the car and that you are representing your vehicle faithfully. Make sure to read them, however, as the verbiage will differ from company to company.
Lastly, it acts as a dispatch report in that it will have the pickup and delivery addresses, the type of vehicle, and any other information pertaining to your shipment.
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So no matter what you’re shipping, or when you need it shipped, use American Auto Shipping to get it moved.