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What Is a Bill of Lading?

A bill of lading, or BOL for short, is a document that is required when shipping freight. It can be defined as a receipt for services rendered during a freight shipment. Additionally, it is a document that provides important information about your shipment to both the carrier and the driver.

The beauty of using uShip to ship your freight is that we generate a bill of lading for you to instantly print after you book. It is crucial to print out at least three copies of your BOL. This is because you will need to tape a copy to your freight, keep one for your records, and provide one to the driver at pickup.

The document will travel with the freight until it reaches its final destination. When the freight arrives, be sure to have the receiving party check the freight for damages. If any damage is present, have the driver mark the bill of lading and sign it.

Example of a Bill of Lading

Sample Bill of Lading (BOL)

Glossary of Terms

  • Ships From: Here, you will want to include information about where the shipment is being picked up from. Provide the name of the business, the address, contact person, and a good phone number.
  • Ships To: This is the address where the freight will be delivered to.
  • PRO Number: The driver will place a sticker directly on the bill of lading upon pickup. You can use the PRO number to track your LTL shipment.
  • Freight Charge Terms: This area represents how the payment will be made for shipping. Typically, if you are using a service like uShip, it will state 3rd party prepaid.
  • SCAC: The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is two to four letters long and represents a transport company.
  • Third-Party Bill To: If you were to use a third party to book your freight, such as uShip, its address would go here.
  • Special Instructions: This is where you put specific notes for the carrier such as gate codes, certain doors to use for access, etc.
  • Additional Services: You will see any services that are not standard such as liftgates.
  • Pickup Date: The date that your freight is to be picked up.
  • PO or Reference Numbers: These numbers are important when the driver arrives at a warehouse to pick up your freight. They will need to reference them in order for the freight to be released.
  • NMFC Number and Freight Class: Shipments are divided into 18 classes based on weight, dimensions, and other important factors. That said, when you use uShip, you don’t have to worry about this part. We automatically calculate your freight class based on the density of your shipment.

uShip knows a thing or two when it comes to shipping freight. Contact us today with any questions that you may have.