Bill of Lading Forms

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Want to know more about Bill of Lading Forms
Bill of lading forms are contracts between freight carriers and companies for delivering goods to customers (consignees). Carriers contract with companies to ship the goods to consignees (or another carrier) on schedule and in the condition that carriers received them. Bills of lading are legally binding documents that provide all the details necessary to ship goods correctly and officially.

Straight bill of lading short form

Freight companies use several types of bills of lading to ship a company’s goods to customers, depending on different factors including the payment method for the goods being shipped. A straight bill of lading short form accompanies goods that are prepaid or will be paid when delivered (as COD). As its name implies, the straight, short form has an uncomplicated format with clear fields for providing all contract-necessary information. Contract caveats appear only on the one-page shipping and receipt document, rather than as multiple-page addendums.

Types of information required on blank bill of lading forms

The fields that carriers must complete have clearly marked ruled borders and lines. A blank bill of lading form contains areas for the shipper’s address, the consignee’s address, the carrier’s internal reference information, the carrier’s federal SCAC® code, the planned carrier route, and the carrier vehicle’s ID. This source document, like the legal billing forms that attorneys use to document their time and expense information for companies, provides the necessary reference material for contract protection.

The body of straight, short forms also contain 8 or 16 ruled lines for providing information on each package being shipped:

  • Number of units per package
  • Hazardous material checkbox (in red ink)
  • Type of packaging material and form
  • Description of goods
  • Special notations, such as Fragile or Biohazard
  • Weight of each item
  • Freight class and rate specific to the type of package
  • Shipping charges

Carbonless bill of lading forms

Bills of lading come in either triplicate or quadruplicate formats. The top white copy in blue print is the original. It transfers information to the remaining sheets without requiring the insertion of carbon paper. After receipt and signature by the consignee and carrier, the top copy goes to the carrier, and a copy each goes to the shipper and consignee. Some four-part bill of lading forms have an additional copy available for a third-party broker or banker.

Forms from the leading document manufacturers

Straight bill of lading short forms are available by brands already well-known for producing a wide array of tax forms and other official documents. They include Tops®, Rediform®, and Adams®.

Multipacks of bills of lading

Like other documents that freight companies need, including medical claim forms, claim form envelopes, and W2 forms, bill of lading forms are available in cost-saving packages. Companies can purchase packages containing anywhere between 50 and 250 forms per pack.

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