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What Is A Bill of Lading?

Published by Chris Townsend

Explaining Moving Terms: What Is A Bill of Lading?

In simple terms, the bill of lading is the document that serves as the contract between you and the moving company. They are legally required to give you a copy of the bill of lading (also known as BOL) and you must receive it before any of your belongings are loaded for transport. It’s important to note that it is your responsibility to read over the bill of lading and the terms of service detailed therein before you accept it. Once you have signed it, the bill of lading becomes an official contract between you and the moving company so look it over carefully. The BOL is similar to an Order for Service in that it includes all of the pertinent details that relate to your shipment, which we will cover below.

While you should carefully look over all of the information included in the BOL, there are some details that deserve more of your attention than others. For example, the pickup and delivery dates that you’ve agreed upon with the moving company should match what is listed on the BOL. The terms and conditions of the delivery should also match with what you’ve discussed with the mover, as well as the amount to be charged. Whether your agreement with the moving company involves a binding or non-binding agreement, the amount you’ll be charged should be outlined in the BOL. You should not sign and accept it until you have verified that all of the information it contains matches with your expectations.

Make sure that you keep your copy of the BOL in a safe place since it serves as your official contract. You should not discard it until all payments have been made to the moving company and you’re satisfied that the job has been carried out as discussed and without any loss or damage to your belongings. If you do have a dispute with the movers, either for damage, loss, or breach of contract, the BOL will serve as the main document that you’ll use to make your case.

Three Movers has years of experience in the moving industry, from helping people move across town to relocating them across the country! We proudly offer FREE estimates to all of our clients and our expert staff is happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at (888) 202-0036 to learn more about what we offer, or if you’d like to get started with a FREE price quote right away!

What Information Should Be Included In the BOL?

There are a number of things that should be included in the BOL, most of which pertain to the agreement you’ve made with the moving company. Remember that any promises or arrangements made over the phone or through email are not official if they’re not listed on the BOL. Here are the basic elements that should be included:

  • The name and address of the moving company, as well as any other moving company that will operate on their behalf in the moving of your belongings
  • The name, address, and telephone number that you can use to contact the movers in the event that you need to communicate with them before, during, or after your move
  • The agreed upon form of payment, which must be the same as that listed in the Order for Service
  • Your name, address, and telephone number if the move is being executed under a payment-on-delivery arrangement
  • The pickup and delivery dates you and the moving company have agreed upon
  • Any financial penalty assessed to the movers if they do not meet pickup and delivery dates (applies to guaranteed delivery)
  • The date of pickup of your belongings, whether the same or different from previously agreed
  • Registration numbers for any trucks or other vehicles used in transporting your belongings
  • Any minimum or maximum charges the moving company can assess
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  • Proof of insurance coverage for your goods
  • Type of estimate (binding or non-binding), Order for Service, and inventory of your items
  • Your liability protection (whether you’ve chosen full value protection or not)

bill of lading for moving company

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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