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Proof of Delivery vs. Bill of Lading

Proof of Delivery vs. Bill of Lading

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Knowing the key facts and getting your paperwork done can be challenging with all the moving parts of freight shipping. Two critical freight documents will play an instrumental role no matter what you ship: The Bill of Lading and the Proof of Delivery. We’ll compare Proof of Delivery vs. Bill of Lading and the key facts you need to know about each.

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Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading (BOL) serves as a receipt for services rendered by the carrier. This standard paperwork provides the customer, carrier, and driver with all the pertinent information related to shipping costs and transport information. This includes:

  • Pickup and delivery locations.
  • Consigner, consignee, and driver signatures.
  • Shipment weight and measurements.
  • Freight class.
  • Accessorials/Add-on services.

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. Knowing how to break down your BOL will help you avoid excess charges and ship more efficiently.

The process works because either the carrier or your broker will issue the BOL to the shipper (you). You provide the BOL at delivery/pickup, and the carrier then sends the BOL to the receiver at delivery. It is imperative the information on the BOL is accurate because carriers validate the information using high-tech equipment to weigh, measure, and confirm the contents of your cargo. Misinformation on the BOL will lead to any number of billing adjustments post-shipment.

Proof of Delivery vs. Bill of Lading

Proof of Delivery

The Proof of Delivery (POD) is a receipt that the consignee signs after the cargo/shipment is delivered. It is the point of the POD to confirm that the shipment was delivered on time and that there is no damage, including concealed freight damage.

POD Tips:

Before signing the POD at delivery, be sure to follow a few crucial steps:

  • Take photographs of the item and packaging before it is shipped.
  • Take photographs of any internal or external damage as it was delivered.
  • Thoroughly inspect every inch of the shipment, from external packaging conditions to the integrity of anything inside.
  • Report your damage within 2-5 days of delivery and file your official claim with the carrier as soon as possible.
  • Provide all shipment details on the Bill of Lading (BOL) or POD.
  • Provide contact information for the consignee.

Following this protocol will help you avoid freight damage and loss claims or help you file a successful claim if you do need to actually file a claim.

Get Your Shipping Facts Right with FreightCenter

The BOL and POD are crucial documents in the freight shipping process, so why not let the pros handle them for you? We are a third-party logistics company (3PL) dedicated to giving small business shippers the personalized freight solutions they need and to help manage all your shipping needs in one place.

Make shipping easy for your supply chain by getting a free online quote today or call 800-716-7608.

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