What is a Bill of Lading and what is its Purpose?

What is a Bill of Lading and what is its Purpose?

What is a Bill of Lading and what is its purpose? That’s a question that we, at Shipoverseas, get a lot from our clients. To be fair, the shipping industry has some interesting terminology that you may never have heard of before. But now that you have decided to ship your car to an international destination, the Bill of Lading is something that you are going to have to familiarize yourself with. That’s the purpose of this short article.

What is a bill of lading?

A bill of lading can be described as a complete inventory of the goods that are being shipped. It’s very important when it comes to international car shipping. In fact, a Bill of Lading is a legal document. It shows what has been shipped and what has been received at the destination.

How does this relate to the international car shipping industry?

The term Bill of Lading is not unique to the international car shipping industry. In fact, it’s used for all shipments. If you sign up for our services, you will be required to sign a Bill of Lading. The following is how this document relates to the international auto shipping industry;

  • When we pick up your car for shipment, or when you deliver it to us at the departure port, a Bill of Lading is one of the documents that are signed by both parties. It doesn’t have to be you who sign this document, however.
  • You can have a representative who you authorize to sign on your behalf. What happens is that upon pickup, your vehicle is thoroughly inspected for defects, dents and other issues. These are all noted on the Bill of Lading. It list’s every bit of item that’s in the car. At this point, you will have to sign the Bill of Lading.
  • Upon delivery, you or your representative will have to sign the Bill of Lading one more time, indicating that the vehicle was delivered in the same condition at which it was picked up.

Why is the Bill of Lading important?

The power of the Bill of Lading comes from the fact that it is a legal document that’s there to protect all the parties involved in the shipment of your vehicle. That includes you, us as the shipping company, and the carrier.

It’s on the Bill of Lading that the parties involved are outlined. In this case, that will be you as the owner of the vehicle being shipped, and us as a shipping company. If there are any special instructions regarding the shipment, they will also be outlined on the Bill of Lading.  Also, there are payment details. These can also be found on the Bill of Lading.

The Bill of Lading has the primary purpose of showing that you have entrusted delivery of your vehicle to an international destination with a particular shipping company. It outlines full details enabling identification of the vehicle being shipped.

What information is on the Bill of Lading?

The following is some of the information that can be found on a standard BOL;

  • The date when the BOL was issued. That’s not actually the date at which your vehicle departs from the port to its destination, so you need to be aware of this.
  • The name of the vehicle’s owner.
  • The address and other contact details of the vehicle owner.
  • The name of the person to which the vehicle is being shipped as well as their address.
  • Any special instructions
  • Name and other information of the carrier.
  • Freight charges
  • Signature of the shipper or their authorized representative.
  • Signature of a representative from the shipping company.

Hassle-free overseas car shipment

Those are the answers for those who have been wondering about the Bill of Lading. At Shipoverseas, we understand that all this terminology may be a bit overwhelming at first. However, you need not be worried, because we are here for you.

Get in touch with us today about transporting your vehicle to any international destination and we will fully hold your hand along the way. So, what are you waiting for? Get a free quote today for shipment of your car from the United States to Africa, Asia, Europe and to other destinations around the world.


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