How to Breakdown the Bill of Lading

How to Breakdown the Bill of Lading

Even though the freight world is going more and more digital every day, basic shipping paperwork is still an essential part of the process. The Bill of Lading (BOL) is the most important document in freight shipping and knowing its breakdown will help you avoid excess charges and help you ship more efficiently. The BOL must be accurate with all the T’s are crossed and I’s dotted. We walk through what the BOL is, why providing inaccurate information on the BOL can cost you and how to fill it out properly. Let’s dive into how to break down your Bill of Lading to get you shipping like a pro.

What Is a Bill of Lading?


The Bill of Lading (BOL) is standard paperwork that provides the customer, carrier and driver with all the pertinent information related to shipping costs and transport information. A simple breakdown of your bill of lading is below:

The BOL essentially operates as a sort of contract between shippers and carriers and facilitates the moving of freight. No matter what you ship or how many times you ship, a detailed BOL will be involved.


BOL Best Practices


Many shippers make common BOL mistakes every day that cost them hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. Knowing how to properly breakdown and handle your BOL makes the shipping process go much smoother and saves you money in the end. Use these BOL best practices to keep money in your pocket and to make incorrect paperwork headaches a thing of the past.

  • Accuracy is key. When filling out the BOL, be absolutely, 100% sure that the information you are providing is correct. Carriers measure and weigh freight to a tee when fulfilling their capacity, and they use sophisticated equipment to ensure accuracy. So, no guesstimating dimensions or weight. Be precise! Double, triple, then quadruple check for spelling mistakes and accuracy. Misspellings or inaccurate shipment details will result in a very costly shipment due to billing adjustments after the shipment is completed.

  • Prepare for the elements. Paperwork, from BOLs to shipping labels, are not great friends of the natural elements. It’s in the name—Paperwork! Prepare your paperwork for rain or snow conditions. Laminate shipping labels on shipments, so they can still be read. Nowadays, the BOL is often electronic. This is a safer, more efficient way to handle the BOL.

  • Sort out your accessorials. We mentioned earlier, accessorials, or add-on freight services, are spelled out on the BOL. This part of the BOL is crucial. Make sure you have all the accessorials you need. Determine ahead of time which ones are required, and which ones are just luxuries. If an accessorial is needed during the shipment and it was not recorded on the BOL, you will receive a billing adjustment post-shipment. Here’s an example – if you are delivering to a residential location, even if it’s a business operating out of a home, you will need a liftgate because most likely the homeowner doesn’t have a forklift sitting around to unload freight.

Experience the FreightCenter Difference


For shippers everywhere, using the FreightCenter BOL makes it easier for shippers to clearly communicate shipment details to the carrier and all parties involved in the shipping process. Our expert shipping agents can help you get the best discounted rates in the business, explain accessorial needs and go over BOL details with you.

Don’t let freight rates, BOL details and other shipping terms confuse you and get in the way of shipping success. Let us help! Start shipping all over the U.S. with us today getting a free online quote or call 8007167608.

Instant Truckload Rates
Shipping option
Pickup/delivery information
Shipment information
Do you know the freight class?
Pickup/delivery information
Shipment information

limit of 70 characters

trust pilot reviews
What our customers are saying

We provide competitive freight shipping prices and an all-inclusive, easy-to-use shipping experience for our customers. Exceeding our customers’ expectations results in thousands of satisfied customer reviews and repeat business. We believe in the power of our customer relationships. Check out FreightCenter reviews from real customers, and learn what they have to say about their freight shipping experience!

I would recommend to anyone.

Working With Jennifer Rendine has been super easy. I know that every detail will be taken care of with each and every shipment. I would recommend to anyone. 5 Stars!

rating rating rating rating rating
It was very easy to do and priced right

It was very easy to do and priced right . The people I talked to were very friendly and helpful !

rating rating rating rating rating
It was a great experience.

It was a great experience. Everything went very smoothly. My customer service rep was exceptional!

rating rating rating rating rating
Thank you Freight Center for the good job.

I have used Freight Center for 3 different pickups and so far everything has worked beautifully. I would highly recommend their services and the pricing is very competitive. Thank you Freight Center for the good job.

rating rating rating rating rating
Great service and lowest price.

So happy using FreightCenter. Great service and lowest price. My go to shipper from now onT!

Tom R.
rating rating rating rating rating
Easy to work with

Easy to work with. Scheduled on line and then a CS rep called us to make sure all the details were in order to ship our product correctly to the customer.

Melissa G.
rating rating rating rating rating
Let’s Get Started! Compare shipping rates in an instant!
Get a Freight Quote