What is a bill of lading?

Moving Tips - February 4, 2019

When you decide that you have to move, and actually start planning it, you will realize why moving is one of the most stressful events for an average human being. There are a lot of things that you have to think about and to do. You have to pack your belongings really carefully, so they can survive the trip unharmed. You have to plan where everything will go in your new home. One of the crucial things that you are going to have to do when moving is to hire a good moving company. This choice may make or break your entire move. So, when dealing with movers, there are a lot of things that you have bear in mind. One of the most important ones is the bill of lading. Unless you are an experienced mover, you probably don’t know what this is, but we are here to help.

So, what is the bill of lading?

Well, the simplest way to explain is to say that the bill of lading is a type of a document given to you by your moving company in which all of your belongings are listed, and how all of them are going to be shipped. All of the data given in the bill of lading is usually rather specific and detailed. It is really important that you go through this document carefully. If you chose a good moving company, then they will surely be there to help you out and answer any questions that you may have.

a woman looking at a bill of lading
Make sure that you understand the bill of leading clearly before the move

One of the ways to be sure that you picked a good moving company is if they offer a variety of services, like the services of antique movers Chicago. So, a good moving company will go out of their way to ensure that you are content and aware of all of the details. However, there is a way that you can help yourself ahead of time. Before you hire a moving company, the best thing to do is to make an inventory list by yourself.

An inventory list is a must have

Whether you are looking for moving services Chicago based or New York-based, or Los Angeles moving companies can offer, having an inventory list can be of great use for you in several ways.

  • Your dealing with the moving company will be more effective – First of all, once you have your own inventory list, you will be able to understand and synchronize your list with the bill of lading. Also, sometimes things get lost or misplaced during a move. If this happens you will need the inventory list as a document when making an insurance claim.
  • It will help you with packing and unpacking – Once you finish inventorying all of your things, you will find it much easier to pack your things. It will simply be a lot easier to decide how to organize each box. Furthermore, if you decide to divide your things into groups according to each room (which we highly recommend) and then mark the boxes respectively, unpacking will be a lot easier.

What types of bill of lading are there?

As it is the case with some other documents that you may need during the move, there are quite a few types of bill of lading. We have prepared a list and explanations of all of them:

Type 1. The ocean BoL

The types of bill of lading are divided according to several factors like, for instance, the mode of transportation. The first type is the ocean bill of lading. In are the details of how exactly are your things going to be transported over the ocean.

a transport ship
The ocean bill of lading usually requires the inland bill of lading also

Type 2. The inland BoL

This one is the most common of all types, which should not be that surprising. When transporting your things from one state to another, for instance, you will most likely be using this one. Your belongings will probably be transported by trucks, like the ones reputable Chicago moving companies have.

Type 3. The airway BoL

There are three basic methods of transportation – the land, the ocean, and air transportation. Generally, the airway type of transportation is the most complicated one. This is so because it often entails international shipments. That is why there are a lot more details to it and you should take your time and make sure you understand it. The estimated time of arrival is in it. Also, you can find which airport was designated for your things to be transported to.

A wing of a plane
Going with airplane transportation is the most expensive, but also the most efficient way of transport

Making sure that your things arrive safely and soundly is, of course, a top priority. That is why, in most cases, this mode of transportation is the best one. When moving with trucks, your things are moving slower and it is tougher for them, as there is always a chance that the moving trucks have to go over poor roads, through rush hours etc. When going with the oceanic bill of lading, you need to obtain the inland and the oceanic one both. Going with an airplane may be more expensive, but it is the safest and most effective way of moving, particularly if you are no moving internationally.

Type 4. The through BoL

When compared to the previous three, it is more complicated, that is for sure. If you choose this one, it allows the company handling the shipping to change between various types of transportation. If you choose this one, there will be of course all of them detailed in the bill. When people move internationally, the through bill of lading is the most common choice.

Type 5. The extra versions of the oceanic and inland BoLs

An important thing to know about these two is that they can each be negotiable and non-negotiable. With the negotiable type, the person that has the bill of lading owns the rights to the shipment. This means that they have the authority to change the way the shipping route goes. Furthermore, they can even change the final destination completely and pick another one, and they can do that even during the shipping. The bearer’s bill of lading is a second name for the negotiable bill of lading. The non-negotiable type means that the carrier has to deliver the bill to the consignee of the bill of lading.

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