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What is a Bill of Lading?

There are a number of different documents you can use when transporting goods from one place to another, one of which is a bill of lading. This kind of bill allows people to keep track of different goods more easily since shippers, recipients, and carriers can use it to monitor goods every step of the way. You can make your own simple bill of lading so that you have your own resource you can use in your own transactions.

1383+ FREE & Premium Bill of Sale Form Templates - Download NOWBeautifully Designed, Easily Editable Templates to Get your Work Done Faster & Smarter.

While there are indeed different kinds of bill receipt templates available to you, bills of lading are a fairly distinct type of document. With that in mind, it would help if you knew about the intricacies of such documents so that you could be more certain that you are using them properly. Since most documents have very specific purposes, this would go some way to making sure that your own transactions proceed more smoothly.

Elements of a Bill of Lading

One of the most important things to keep in mind when using any kind of document is knowing what elements make it up. After all, this ensures that you can use bills of sale in Word and other documents like them properly since you know what you need to include in order for them to do their jobs properly.

Shipper’s Address

In any transaction document, you always need to remember to put in the address of the party shipping the goods. This matters because this is likely the starting point of the goods. In the case of a bill of lading, this allows you to know exactly who sent the goods and where they came from so that you can confirm such information later on.

Consignee’s Address

The consignee’s address, on the other hand, is probably where the goods would be delivered to, so you would need to have this listed on the bill of lading as well. After all, this not only tells the carrier where the goods need to be delivered to, but also makes it possible to have confirmation for where they need to be dropped off.

Billing Address

Sometimes, the shipper’s address is distinct from the billing address. In that case, transport receipts should also specify another field so that it would be possible to list the address. After all, one of the other functions of a bill of lading is to enable payment as well as delivery. This would allow the shipper to be sure of receiving delivery of their payment, which should ease their minds.

List of Items

When conducting any transaction where you can expect to exchange goods of some kind, it would help to include a list of those goods. You could make use of Excel bill templates to give you a framework to include the goods as well as all the relevant details like the quantities. This is another element to include that can help make it easier to keep track of all the goods you are carrying since the numbers are clearly spelled out.


One of the most vital elements of a bill like this is space for the parties to place their signatures. Bills of lading are meant to let you confirm shipping and delivery with the parties, which is what the signatures are for. This way, the parties can do more than just check that every aspect of the transaction has been carried out properly. Now they also have a way of confirming in writing that everything has been carried out to their satisfaction.

Functions of a Bill of Lading

Different kinds of bills and other documents also have very specific functions to perform for the necessary parties. For example, generic bills of sale can provide a list of the items sold, their prices, payment information, and so on. There is some overlap, as a bill of lading can also be used as a receipt for all the items transported to the consignee. In any case, you would need to know about these functions so that you can take them into account when making and using your own bills of lading.

Lists Types and Quality of Items

Like other kinds of bill and receipt templates like transport receipt templates, bills of lading do list all the important details of all the items being transported. This includes information like their types, quantities, prices, and so on. This makes it much easier to keep track of them all since you have a very definite idea of what you are transporting and how many there are, making it much easier to monitor them at every step of the transaction.

Confirms Receipt of Goods

One other function of general business bills of sale is that they may also be used to confirm that the intended recipient of the goods has actually received them. This is evident in the case of bills of lading in the fact that it is possible to include the signatures of both parties. This makes it possible for the parties to be certain that everything is in order regarding the transaction.

Allows for Checking for Theft

Another way that bills of lading can be used to determine that a transaction has proceeded smoothly is by allowing the parties to compare all the documents to check if anything is missing. If there happen to be any discrepancies in the orders, then they would be easier to spot by comparing the bill of lading with any other documents.

Allows for Segregation of Duties

Bills of lading can also make it easier for businesses to segregate duties so as to avoid putting too much power into the hands of any one person. After all, you do want to make sure that you divide responsibilities among different employees in a business plan. If it ever becomes necessary to check on a transaction, then you would need to have multiple persons check and verify all the information in order to have the full picture.

With this, you should be in a better position to use bills of lading if it should ever be necessary for your business. After all, if you need a bill for confirming transportation of your goods, this is just the tool for you.

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