Browse Definitions:
Definition

bill of lading (BoL, B/L)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A bill of lading (also seen as B/L and BoL) is a document given to a shipper by the carrier that details the shipment and serves as a means of transferring the title of goods.

The purpose of a bill of lading is to ensure that exporters receive payment and importers receive the merchandise they ordered. The bill of lading must always accompany the goods and must be signed by authorized representatives of the carrier, shipper and receiver. Details listed in a bill of lading might include a shipment’s itemized contents, number of packages, weight, volume, consignor and consignee names, names of ports of departure and destination, dates of departure and arrival as well as shipping rates and amounts.

There are two types of bills of lading:

Straight bills of lading involve payment in advance for an order that is shipped directly to the party named in the letter of credit, typically the importer. A straight bill of lading is also known as a non-negotiable bill of lading because title to the shipment cannot be transferred to another party.

Order bills of lading involve merchandise ordered and shipped prior to payment. An order bill of lading is sometimes referred to as a negotiable bill of lading. Title to the shipment is conferred to order of the shipper or a party named in the letter of credit and may be transferred to another party by signature of the title-holder, usually by endorsing the back of the BoL.  An endorsed order bill of lading can serve as title to goods and can therefore be traded as a security or used as collateral.

Bills of lading are legal documents required under the Hague-Visby rules. However, they may be superseded by transport documents under the Rotterdam rules.

This was last updated in April 2016

Continue Reading About bill of lading (BoL, B/L)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • population health management (PHM)

    Population health management (PHM) is a discipline within the healthcare industry that studies and facilitates care delivery ...

  • ICD-10-PCS

    The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS) is a U.S. cataloging system for...

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest biomedical library in the world.

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • open source storage

    Open source storage is data storage software developed in a public, collaborative manner that permits the free use, distribution ...

  • CompactFlash card (CF card)

    A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store ...

  • email archiving

    Email archiving (also spelled e-mail archiving) is a systematic approach to saving and protecting the data contained in email ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close