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Understanding the Bill of Lading

Did you know that Lading comes from the Old English word for loading? The Bill of Lading referred to as BoL, or B/L is a document signed between the shipper and the carrier. This is a vital document without which your relocation would not be possible. It is a legally binding document, and has multiple purposes, as we will see later on. We have created this useful guide, for better understanding the Bill of Lading, as you will need to sign this document before the loading of the shipment. And while reliable movers will not try to scam you, a Bill of Lading is a document that will help you identify rogue movers rather easily.

Two People Signing Forms

The Bill of Lading is important when you’re moving

Why do you have to use the Bill of Lading when relocating?

As we have already mentioned, the Bill of Lading has several functions. It can function as a receipt of goods. BoL is a great proof of ownership of the goods that are being transported.

Another purpose is to act as a title to goods. The name of the shipper (consignee) will be listed on the BoL, and only that person can sign the BoL to confirm that the shipment is received. Nobody else can do this instead of the person listed in the document.

Finally, if you don`t pay for the shipment, the carrier will not hand you the original BoL, and the items until the shipment is paid for. These are all reasons why you need to use the Bill of Lading, the document that has been in use since medieval times.

What does the Bill of Lading contain?

Now that we know the purpose of the BoL, it is time to learn what information must be present in it.

Carrier contact information

BoL will contain information about the carrier. The address of the company and the phone numbers on which you can reach them will be there. Along with this information, it will contain information about the carrier`s license. So, you will be able to find US DOT numbers as well, or any other license number they`ve got.

Your contact information

Your address and phone numbers should be present on the BoL as well. In case you are not able to sign the BoL at your new address and receive the goods, you need to entitle a person for this. If someone else will receive the goods, you need to specify their contact information in the document.

Moving Paperwork

Keep your moving paperwork neat and handy

Delivery date

There are two scenarios here. If you are using the guaranteed service option then the date should be specified in the BoL. On the other hand, if you are using the non-guaranteed service, the timeframe in which the goods will be delivered must be specified.

Services and the exact cost will be specified

The Bill of Lading must contain the exact services that you are using, along with the cost. This is useful when you are using additional services with your movers. For example, many people don`t know that if the carriers need to use the stairs in a building to transport their goods, they will be charged the long carry fee. The long carry fee can also be charged if there is no available parking spot in front of your building. Storage fees, hoisting fees, packing fees are just some of the fees the movers will charge you, so it is great to know exactly how much this will cost you.

Condition of your items

Each of your items will be described in the BoL. Their condition must be specified before the item is loaded. Also, you will find information such as dimensions, and weight in the document. This is important as in case of a dispute, the BoL can help you as it will be the proof you`ve been looking for.

A checklist that includes moving tasks

The Bill of Lading includes the complete list of your items

How will you pay?

The Bill of Lading will also contain information about the form of payment. You can choose between a credit card, check, money order, and cash. Our advice is never to pay in cash, as it will be harder to prove that you have paid. Also, you can choose to pay after delivery, in which case this will be stated in the BoL.

How will the goods be transported?

Moving internationally can require different forms of transport. You can have your goods transported by the air, sea, ocean, road. This is all known in advance, as your carriers will carefully make a route for transporting your goods. This is important for any move, but especially when you are organizing long-distance relocation. The specified route and way of transport will not be changed.

Carrier liability

When relocating, you will be able to choose between several options for moving insurance. This is not insurance, but the carrier will have liability over your items. Full value protection liability means that the carrier will pay for the current marketplace value of the item, in case of damage or loss. They can also replace the items with a new one of the same condition, or have the items repaired. Another option is Released value protection liability means that you will be compensated 0.60 cents per pound in case of damage or loss. Whichever option you choose will be stated in BoL.

Read the Bill of Lading carefully before signing it

Just like with any other document – read it carefully before you sign it. This is even more important as the successful delivery of your goods depends on the Bill of Lading. Pay special attention to the fine print, which exists in every document. Have a friend or a family member read it as well so that you don`t miss anything.

Man Signing A Form

Before you sign the Bill of Lading, double-check if all data are correct

Hire reliable movers

Understanding the Bill of Lading is of utmost importance when relocating. You will know what to pay attention to, what does the BoL includes, and what is its purpose. However, when you hire a reliable NYC moving company, you will not have to worry as much about the BoL. Always opt for movers who have been in business for a long time and have plenty of satisfied customers. Good luck!