Bill of Lading

The written transportation contract between shipper and carrier (or their agents). It identifies the freight, shipper, consignee, and terms of the agreement. All goods going to a receiver at one destination on a single shipment or in one truck should be on a single bill of lading. The Straight bill of lading provides that freight be delivered to the receiver shown on the bill. It is non-negotiable, and always printed on white paper. This type of bill is not required except when it is necessary, for example, for certain bonded goods such as liquor. The Order bill of lading is negotiable, and always printed on yellow paper. Its purpose is to enable the shipper to collect freight charges before it reaches its destination. The shipper sends an original bill of lading and a draft for the charges through the bank. The receiver pays the carrier’s agent the amount of the draft and then can receive the goods. With this method, the shipper customarily consigns the shipment to himself. The person or company to be notified at destination is specified. The shipment may be released to the receiver only upon the order of the shipper. The order bill of lading must be surrendered with the delivery of the freight. Either straight or order bills of lading may be designated as “through.” A Through bill of lading covers a shipment that will be in multiple transportation systems and has one charge for all services. More than one mode of transportation may be used, for example, sea, truck and rail.