Bill of Lading (BOL) Explained

What is in a freight Bill of Lading (BOL)?


Names and addresses

  • The full names and addresses of both the shipper and receiver (consignee) should be legible and easy to locate on the document.

Purchase orders or special reference numbers

  • These numbers may be important to your business or a necessary reference in order for freight to be released for pickup or accepted at delivery.

Special Instructions

  • Here is where you will note instructions for the carrier like liftgate, non-stackable freight or delivery notification.


  • This is the pickup day, and it may be needed as a reference to track your freight or when you reconcile shipping invoices.

Description of Items

  • Shippers should note the number of shipping units, the dimensions and weight, as well as information about the material and its makeup.

Packaging Type

  • Note whether you are using cartons, crates, pallets, etc. when shipping.

NMFC & Freight Class

  • Freight classes can impact the cost of your shipment. Freight shipments are broken down into 18 classes based on weight, dimensions, density, storage capability, ease of handling, value and liability.

Department of Transportation Hazardous Material Designation

  • Hazardous shipments must be clearly cited and special rules and requirements apply when shipping. 



Article is closed for comments.