Perry Mandera, a successful executive with more than four decades of experience in the transportation industry, handles sales operations and business development at The Custom Companies, Inc. To ensure his customers receive high-quality services with ease, Perry Mandera and his company offer several online features, such as an electronic bill of lading.
Also known as a BoL or B/L, a bill of lading is an important part of the shipping chain. Most BoL documents serve three main purposes: evidence of a contract of carriage, a receipt of goods, and a document title to the goods.
Since BoLs are a contract of carriage, they are legally significant. They can be used in various litigation concerns regarding shipping, and they ensure carriers process cargo in accordance with a seller’s parameters. When a BoL is filled out incorrectly, carriers may be open to criminal prosecution.
As a receipt of goods, BoLs prove to sellers that a carrier has received the cargo being shipped. The document also proves that the cargo was received in good condition. This can be important if buyers receive damaged products, because sellers can determine whether the issue was with the manufacturing or the carrier.
Finally, BoLs grant holders the title to the goods transported. With an accurate BoL, holders are allowed to transfer the rights to claim and transport the cargo to another party. In some cases, this power may be helpful in negotiations. Carriers can retain the BoL until they have been paid in full for their services, or they may transfer rights to a third party during transit to ensure smooth delivery.