Bill of Lading

Transportation carriers use a bill of lading to record the quantity of goods delivered to a facility. For example, the bill of lading may state that ABC carrier delivered three boxes to a buyer on a certain date. This prevents the purchaser from stating a week later that it received only two boxes. The bill of lading details only the number of boxes or containers delivered. Detailing the actual contents of each container is the supplier’s responsibility; that information appears on the packing slip.

The bill of lading helps protect the carrier against wrongful allegations that the carrier somehow damaged, lost, or otherwise tampered with a shipment. This document does not necessarily protect the carrier against charges of concealed damage, however. A user may discover concealed damages after opening a shipping container. Responsibility for concealed damage is often difficult to establish. The receiving company may blame the carrier. The carrier may blame the supplier or maintain that the damage occurred after delivery of the material. The supplier may maintain total innocence and implicate the carrier. While all this goes on, the buyer must reorder the material as a rush order. This can affect customer service or commitments.

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