Commercial Moving: What is a Bill of Lading?

So, when it comes to moving, there are a lot of tasks that you need to think about. You need to take care of a lot of things, pay attention to even the smallest of details. For instance, you have to make an inventory of all of your possessions. You have to pack all of your items carefully and correctly, or else they will be broken along the way. Another thing that you will have to do is to go through all sorts of administrative work. It will take you days to take care of everything that needs to be done. And when you decide to hire a moving company, there are a lot of things that you need to understand. And one of the most important things is a bill of lading. We are aware that you probably don't know much about this if you are not an experienced mover.

What is a bill of lading?

The simplest definition is that the bill of lading is a document that is issued by a moving company where all of the items that are being shipped are listed, and their shipping terms are very specific. So, you will get this document form from your moving company and it is very important to check it and be sure that you understand it completely. This is where that inventory list can really come in handy. Understanding the bill of lading is really important and you have to be sure that you understand and agree with everything there. If you chose a good moving company (one that offers many different, and quality services), then, you won't have to worry because the movers will be there to answer all of your questions.

Bill of lading

What will the document state?

Some of the basic information that you should be able to find in the document is the information about the method of moving your belongings and the exact type of vehicle that is going to ship your belongings. The main and most important information that you should pay attention to is the detailed list of the items that are being shipped. Double check the list so you can be sure that all of your belongings are listed there. Besides this, if something happens, you will be safe. You might choose the right kind of boxes when moving, but that doesn't mean that all of your belongings are going to be safely shipped. You need to make sure that you have listed all of your items correctly, so, if something gets damaged - it will be covered by insurance and you will have proof - the bill of lading.

Are there different types of bill of lading?

Well, the answer to this question is quite simple. There are different types of this document, depending on the method of transportation ocean, inland, air, and through waybills. We will help you learn something about all of them, depending on the type of your commercial move. So, when you ask about this, a good and reliable moving company will be able to give you some information and to familiarize you with this document.

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The inland bill of lading

The inland type is generally the most basic type of bills of lading. It represents the deal that you make with your moving company, that will transport your belongings using over-ground transportation.

The ocean bill of lading

The ocean bill of lading, of course, covers transportation through oceanic paths. It has, pretty much, an equivalent set of details as the inland bill.

The airway bill of lading

Besides the ocean and inland bills of lading, there is, of course, the one that deals with aerial modes of transportation. This one is usually the most complex one because it very often deals with not just domestic, but also international shipping deals. You can use this bill of lading as a receipt. It makes the arrival of your goods (noted in the bill of lading) obligatory to transport to the designated airport.

The airway bill of lading is the most practical and effective option of the three. The inland one has a lot of obstacles in the form of traffic, bad roads, rush hours, etc. The ocean one complicates things because it requires both the inland and ocean bill. So, let's say that, for instance, you have found the professionals that can help you ship your art collection. The best way to ship your precious art collection is by airplane. It is the quickest and safest way if you want your items to be handled with the best of care.

The through bill of lading

The through bill of lading is a more complex type than the first three. With this type, the bill's terms allow the shipping company to shift between mods od transport. In the through bill of lading, you will find all the data about the types of transportation that the company uses. This type of bill is usually the first choice when it comes to international transportation of property.

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The Negotiable and Non-Negotiable bills of lading

There is one more thing that you should know about the ocean and inland bills of lading. Both of them can be either negotiable or non-negotiable. In case of the latter, the carrier has to hand it over to the consignee named in the document. In the case of a negotiable bill of lading, the individual that owns this bill of lading has all of the rights to the shipment. For instance, they are fully capable of making changes to the planned route. They can even choose a completely different destination while the shipment is on the move. There is another name for such a document - a bearer bill of lading.

That is all that you need to know about the bill of lading. Hopefully, we have answered some of the questions you might have had about this topic. We wish you all the best in your future undertakings!


Bill of Lading