• 26-05-2022

Difference Between Freight Bill and Bill of Lading

Do you know the difference between a freight bill and a bill of lading? Before going deeper, Let's discuss the brief.

What is the Bill of Lading?

A bill of lading (BL or BoL) is a permitted record issued by a courier to a shipper that details the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried. A bill of lading also acts as a shipment receipt when the carrier returns the goods to a predetermined destination. This record must accompany the shipped products, no matter the form of transportation, and must be signed by an authorized agent from the carrier, shipper, and receiver.

In general the following information should be listed on the Bill of Lading:

  • Carrier name
  • Signatures from the carrier and the ship’s Master (or legal representatives)
  • Details of the goods being shipped (value, count, weight, size, markings/numbers, etc.)
  • Date and indication of goods being loaded onto a vessel
  • Notation of the port of loading and the port of destination
  • Name of the consignee
  • Terms and conditions of carriage (or a reference to these)
  • Any special instructions for the shipment

What is Freight Bill?

A freight bill is basically an invoice and they're distinct from bills of lading because they never serve as proof in a court of law as proof of shipment in the event of a legal dispute. The freight bill has all of the details about the transaction and is signed by the shipper and the carrier as well. Freight bills contain details like the name and contact information of the shipper and receiver, a description of the goods being shipped, as well as the time and place the shipment will be delivered, among other information. The freight bill might also include further charges, such as for supplements.

One of the most typical questions that arise when we first bring on a customer has to do with the freight bill and bill of lading. While these documents are identical in most contexts, there are key differences between the bill of lading and the freight bill. Failing to know these can guide to misconceptions that might disable an otherwise mutually beneficial business relationship not only between your third-party logistics provider, but also with carriers, suppliers, and ultimately customers.

A freight bill and BOL are both necessary at the same time very crucial factors in freight shipment. But additional documents help deliver a bigger picture of the shipping agreement. The bill of lading document rehashes the connection between the shipper and receiver. In contrast, freight bills give a clear description of the financial part of the agreement. Used in conjunction, these two documents show the total cost of freight. While they may share comparable information, a freight bill can also include extra details or information that helps to explain the data on the bill of lading document. As mentioned, the freight bill is more of an invoice and although it's not as vital as a bill of lading, you should still keep a document copy for your all papers for as long as possible.