Bill Of Lading Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Bill Of Lading, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Bill Of Lading?

(n) Bill of Lading is the official document prepared by the carrier duly accepting the goods for shipment containing information like item, quantity, value, vessel details, date, port, consigner , consignee etc. Bill of lading is a contract to carry the goods to the said destination based on which seller can claim consideration and buyer can take delivery of the goods.

History and Meaning of Bill Of Lading

Bill of Lading (B/L) is a legal document that has been used in transportation since the 13th century. It was originally used for shipments via sea and was a receipt of goods by the captain of the ship. Over time, the document became more formalized and included information about the goods being shipped, such as quantity, weight, and destination. Today, it is used in all types of transportation, including sea, air, rail, and truck shipments.

A B/L serves as a contract between the shipper and the carrier, as well as proof of ownership of the goods being shipped. It contains vital information such as the names and addresses of the shipper and consignee, the place of origin and destination of the shipment, a description of the goods, the weight and quantity of the shipment, and the date of shipment. The B/L is also a negotiable instrument, meaning that it can be bought, sold, or traded between parties, as it can represent ownership of the goods.

Examples of Bill Of Lading

  1. In order to receive payment for the shipment of goods, the shipper must present the Bill of Lading to the carrier.
  2. The consignee must provide a valid ID to the carrier to retrieve the shipment, along with a copy of the Bill of Lading.
  3. When shipping hazardous materials, the Bill of Lading must include specific information about the nature of the goods and any special handling required.

Legal Terms Similar to Bill Of Lading

  1. Delivery Order - a document that instructs the carrier to release the goods to the consignee or their representative.
  2. Waybill - a document that contains similar information to the B/L but is not a negotiable instrument.
  3. Freight Forwarder - an individual or company that arranges shipments for others and acts as an intermediary between shippers and carriers.