Bill of lading

Bill of lading: Everything important about the freight contract in one document

For the smooth transport of goods, it is important to record all central information in a uniform manner. A so-called goods accompanying document, also known as a consignment note, takes over this task especially in freight transport. The information that must be included there is derived from § 407 et seq. HGB. - accordingly, the carrier is authorized to require the issuance of a consignment note, which (may) contain the following information:

  1. Place and day of the exhibition
  2. Name and address of the sender
  3. Name and address of the carrier
  4. Place and date of taking over the goods and the place designated for delivery
  5. Name and address of the recipient and any registration address
  6. The usual designation of the type of goods and the type of packaging, in the case of dangerous goods their designation provided for by the dangerous goods regulations, otherwise their generally recognized designation
  7. Number, characters and numbers of packages
  8. The gross weight or otherwise specified quantity of the goods
  9. The freight due on delivery and the costs incurred up to delivery, as well as a note on the freight payment
  10. The amount of a cash on delivery to be collected upon delivery of the goods
  11. Instructions for customs and other official handling of the goods
  12. An agreement for carriage in open vehicle not covered with tarpaulins or on deck

Source: § 408 HGB

Important aspects in dealing with a consignment note

The waybill is a transport document, so here you can find information about the involved merchants, arrangements for payment and, of course, information about the place of dispatch and destination. The transport risk that typically arises, e.g. due to possible damage during loading, is regulated here between the contracting parties. As a result, each waybill also exists in triplicate - one for the carrier, one for the shipper, and one for the consignee.

Differences in waybills depending on the type of goods transport

Since each subarea of logistics uses its own laws and terminology, a certain range of terms is also used for what the waybill generally expresses:

  • Rail waybill
  • Air waybill
  • Loading certificate (inland navigation)
  • Sea waybill
  • Waybill or CRM waybill (truck transport)

Please note: The consignment note is not only important as an information carrier, but also serves as evidence in the event of disputes arising from the transaction underlying a shipment. Waybills are often available in digital form and are valid even without a signature. According to the principle of documentary collection, for example, payment is proved by one party handing over its copy of the consignment note to the other.



Image: Lipik Stock Media / Shutterstock

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