Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading can also be referred to as a BoL or B/L. A Bill of Lading is a document used to certify receipt of goods by a carrier or their agent. The document serves as certification that goods intended for transportation have been loaded and must contain the terms of the contract for the carriage of goods.
When releasing goods to a courier, it is important that a Bill of Lading be issued so that there is a clear history of the transportation of the goods and to whom the duty of care is attributed to. Historically, the bill came about for the purpose of maritime shipping to ensure that the exporter of the goods received payment and that the importer received the goods that they paid for.
In modern times, a Bill of Lading is issued whenever a third party is entrusted to transport goods from a seller to a buyer. This has become an important part of ecommerce trading, where the seller is dependent on shipping agencies and couriers to deliver their products to customers over a large geographical area. It is important that the contract stipulates clearly what responsibilities are entrusted to the carrier and who holds the responsibility for the insurance of the goods whilst in transit.