What Is A Bill Of Lading?


The Bill Of Lading Essentials

It’s moving day and your stuff is all packed into the truck. You’re ready to have it all shipped to your new home, but you should ask for one document before your movers take off. That document is the Bill of Lading, an essential piece of the moving puzzle. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a Bill of Lading is “the receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation.” You and the mover will sign the Bill of Lading when your things are loaded into the truck, and you should get a copy of it before they roll away with everything. SEE ALSO: 5 Red Flags That Indicate A Moving Scam But before you sign your Bill of Lading, though, be sure you know these essential facts:

What It Includes

Every Bill of Lading should include the following:
  • Your mover’s name, address, and telephone number
  • The names and addresses of other motor carriers involved in the transportation of your goods (if applicable)
  • Information on who to contact in regards to the location of your items
  • The payment information, including the price and method of payment
  • Your name, address, and telephone number
  • The agreed date or period of time for pickup and delivery of the shipment
  • The actual date of pickup
  • The vehicle identification number of the moving truck your items are on
  • The terms and conditions of payment for total charges
  • Any minimum charges
  • The maximum amount your mover will ask for at the time of delivery
  • Any insurance information from a private insurer
  • The Surface Transportation Board’s released rates valuation statement and any charges for optional valuation coverage
  • Three attachments: the estimate (can be binding or non-binding), the order for service, and the inventory

What To Do About Disagreements

If you disagree with something that is listed on the Bill of Lading, you need to speak up about it before signing. Ask as many questions as you need to feel secure. You should feel confident with your moving company. After all, you’re entrusting almost all of your belongings to them. Also, keep in mind that the mover is required to provide the service you requested if a Bill of Lading is completed. However, the flip side is that you must pay the charges that the Bill of Lading outlines. So, for your own mental health, read the Bill of Lading in its entirety and make sure you understand it thoroughly before the moving truck leaves. If the services detailed in the signed Bill of Lading are not performed, you’ll need to bring it up with the moving company. If a correction is not made and the damages are large enough, you might wish to talk to a lawyer or take the case to small claim’s court. SEE ALSO: 5 Unexpected Moving Expenses Everyone Needs To Know About Moving is stressful enough as it is, but it will be more stressful if you do not check your Bill of Lading before you sign off on it. With this essential information, you’ll be able to sign your Bill of Lading with confidence.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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