The bill of lading is one of the basic elements of the transport process. The transport of goods requires the issuance of a transport document, which is also a confirmation of the conclusion of the contract between the carrier and the buyer of the service. What is the role of the bill of lading and what should it contain?

What is a bill of lading

Waybill is a document that is introduced in domestic and international transport confirming the conclusion of a contract for the carriage of goods. The transport document is issued by the service provider - for example, a transport company. It defines the transport conditions and details of the imported goods. It is also a confirmation of the fact that the contractor (transport company) undertook to provide the transport service. Waybill it is most often prepared by the service recipient and the service provider - that is, by the transport company and the sender of the transported goods.

Usually Waybill is made in four copies. Each of them has a different purpose and is dedicated to a different entity. Original bill of lading (usually blue) first stays with the carrier, and then, after the transport service is completed, goes to the recipient. Waybill in black (the so-called spine) is a copy that remains with the carrier at the place of dispatch. The green quote is used by the carrier to obtain a receipt for the receipt of the goods by the recipient. The secondary, on the other hand, is lis transport in red is handed over to the sender as a copy of the original transport document.  

Why one Waybill is made in as many as 4 copies? Such the transport document after signing, it must go to both the carrier and the sender - for this purpose, a duplicate (for the sender) and a spine (for the carrier) are issued. At the same time, it is necessary that the driver carrying the cargo has the original bill of ladingwhich will be delivered to the consignee along with the load and the quote on which he will receive confirmation of receipt by the consignee. What's more, Waybill jest CMR documentwhich may be inspected by customs during transport. It is on the basis of the information contained in the bill of lading that customs officers can determine actions - for example, they will determine the amount of customs duties. 

Each transport model has its own shipping documents. Therefore, when using rail transport, you should try to get one rail waybill. In the case of sea freight, it should be attached to the shipment sea ​​waybill itd.

What information should it contain Waybill?

The scope of information that should be included in bill of lading, is defined by the Transport Law and the Convention RCM. What is CMR? CMR is one of the international agreements on the carriage of goods, which define the rights and obligations of the party to the contract of carriage, as well as shares in the carriage of goods. The CMR contract defines issues such as transport conditions, liability for costs, shipping documents, delivery dates, insurance and penalties for damage caused to the goods during transport.

 It is worth emphasizing that under the applicable regulations there is no obligation to prepare bill of lading for each transport service. However, the information it contains can make it much easier to solve problems related to cargo control, for example. 

So what information should it contain? Waybill? It should clearly indicate the sender, the carrier and the receipt of the transported goods. It may also specify additional elements (e.g. indications as to transport) or e.g. the method of settlement. In addition transport document it should also contain a description of the consignment, including the number of packages, method of packaging, weight of the transported cargo or its value. Down bill of lading the shipper's statement regarding the condition of the cargo should be attached. CRM document it should also specify how to deal with the consignment in a situation where the provision of the transport service will be impossible. In the bill of lading, transport companies often also include a record that allows the driver to supervise loading and unloading. The transport document it is also a kind of security for the sender, who can claim on its basis in the event of a complaint about an incorrectly performed service.