Auto Transport Bill of Lading

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What is an Auto Transport Bill of Lading?


A car shipping bill of lading (BOL) is an official document provided by an auto transport company that identifies the vehicle being shipping, terms and conditions, and confirmation of pickup and delivery. Essentially, the auto transport bill of lading acts as a receipt and official agreement between you (the shipper) and the transporter.


Transport companies produce bill of ladings to identify the goods being shipped, the quantity, characteristics of the goods, and to act as a signed receipt. Both the shipper and transporter must sign off on the bill of lading upon delivery and inspection.


Bill of ladings were originally used for international cargo trade. “Bill” is another term for “invoice” while “lading” comes from the Old English word meaning “loading cargo on a ship”. In other words, a bill of lading could also be called a “cargo invoice”

How an Auto Transport Bill of Lading Works


An auto transport bill of lading includes a ton of information that is used at various touchpoints of a shipment’s journey, including:


  • Transport Company Information
  • Shipper Information
  • Order ID Number
  • Pickup and delivery details, such as dates, address, location types, etc.
  • Vehicle information, such as the year, make, model, and operating condition.
  • Dollar Amount Owed for Services
  • Payment Terms
  • Shipment Terms
  • Transport Type/Method


As previously mentioned, upon delivery and inspection, both parties must sign the bill of lading. If any damage is present to the vehicle, it must be first marked on the BOL. Your auto transporter should provide you with a copy once the process is complete.

Vehicle Bill of Ladings Types


There are four basic types of auto transport bill of ladings:


  • Inland: An inland bill of lading is pretty self-explanatory. It’s used for shipments transported on land.
  • Ocean: The opposite of an inland BOL, an ocean bill of lading is used when cargo is transported via sea. If a shipment is being transported to a port first, you’ll need both an inland and ocean BOL.
  • Through: A through BOL is used mainly for export transport.
  • Air Waybill:: An air waybill, or AWB, is used when goods are transported via air.


Note: You’ll most likely be working with an inland BOL unless you’re shipping internationally.

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