Q. What is a bill of lading (BOL)?
A. A document issued by a carrier (railroad, steamship or trucking company) that serves as a receipt for the goods to be delivered to a designated person or to his order. The bill of lading describes the conditions under which the goods are accepted by the carrier and details the nature and quantity of the goods, name of vessel (if shipped by sea), identifying marks and numbers, destination, etc. The person sending the goods is the “shipper” or “consignor”, the company or agent transporting the goods is the “carrier”, and the person for whom the goods are destined is the “consignee”. Bills of lading may be negotiable or non-negotiable. If negotiable, i.e., payable to the shipper’s order and properly endorsed, title to the goods passes upon delivery of the bill of lading.