Documentation is one of the most important aspects of freight shipping. It clarifies exceptions, gives direction and tells the story of what happened. In this article we discuss the primary pieces of documentation produced for a typical freight shipment.
A freight quote is where all freight shipments start off. The freight quote is the estimate of how much a shipment will cost. In the quoting process the customer tells the transportation provider about their shipment and the provider responds back with a price. This communication is typically exchanged via email. Every quote has the same basic components. If you are unsure of what is needed, just ask your transportation provider. They will know for sure.
At BAM Frieght our customers request quotes via email to email@example.com or by using our online Transportation Management System (TMS), called Carrierrate.com.
Bill of Lading
A bill of lading is a legal document between all parties in a shipment that tells you everything about the shipment. It shows where the shipment is coming from, going to, what's being shipped, who's hauling the cargo who's arranging the transportation. It will contain the shipment reference numbers as well. Often the bill of lading will be called the "BOL" or "B/L" or just simply the "Bill." No shipment can travel in the US without a bill of lading.
When you ship with BAM Freight our system creates a clear and concise bill of lading for you. This bill of lading can be downloaded, printed or emailed out right from within the system.
Labels are kinda like a shorted version of the bill of lading. The purpose of them is to tell individuals handling your freight the details of it. All of the freight in your shipment should have a label. If you are shipping via LTL freight, labels are required. The placement of your labels is very important. Proper labeling can keep your cargo from getting lost or damaged.
At BAM Freight we automatically take your bill of lading inforamtion and produce labels for your shipment. We can format the labels to a variety of sizes and printer specifications.
Proof of Delivery (POD)
Proof of Deliveries or POD's are used as proof that a shipment has been delivered and that the freight charges should be paid. These documents also serve as a record of the condition of the cargo at the point of delivery. This is very important if you need to file a claim. POD's also contain a record of any special services necessary to make the delivery.
At the point of delivery the consignee will inspect the cargo for any visible damages and notate these on the POD before accepting the cargo. Usually the consignee will reconcile the packing list with the purchase order on file and document any overage, shortage or damages (OS&D). Sometimes damage can be found after delivery once the boxs are opened. This is called concealed damage and should be reported immediately. The POD is also where you will find in and out times to justify charges like detention. Most PODs are easy to retrieve because the driver returns the record the same day of the delivery. PODs from drop trailer locations can be hard to get because the carrier must wait for the consignee to empty the trailer and return the trailer and POD. In LTL freight supplemental documents to the POD are lumper receipts, inspections and scale tickets.
When you ship with BAM Freight we will retrieve the POD for you and upload it into our system Carrierrate.com. From there you can download, print or email them.
Help with Shipping Documents
There is a lot that goes into creating and managing the documentation around your freight shipments. This documentation sets exceptions and tells the story of the shipment. At BAM Freight we can provide FREE tools to help produce, manage and record your freight documentation.