What is a bill of lading and why is it important?

So you’ve probably started to pack and move, and just discovered that when shipping items you need to sign some sort of legal document. The bill of lading. What is it? Why is it important? Do I need it? These are just some of the questions people who first encounter this document start asking themselves.

This article will hopefully dispell all questions that popped into your head regarding this topic. We are quite optimistic that when you finish reading this article all of your inquiries will be answered. Since this is a remarkably weird but important topic that needs to be covered. The more people need to know about it, the better. The reason behind this is because there are legal ramifications if you do not conduct yourself in a proper manner when fulfilling this document. So make sure to do it right!

a man signing the bill of lading.
A bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier to acknowledge receipt of cargo for shipment

What is a bill of lading?

Bill of lading is an integral part of the moving process. It serves as a binding contract between you and the moving company. Whether you’re moving international movers Kuwait or packing by yourself, your mover will provide you with the bill of lading. This document will contain all the important information regarding your relocation. The starting and ending positions. The bill of lading will also have the description of the truck your belongings will be transported be on. It will also show the cost of the move, and detailed the method of payment. Therefore because it outlines the most important aspects of the move you will want to carefully read through it before signing it.

A brief history overview

The act of trying to write up all the contents that are being shipped in one document is as old as ships and Ancient Rome. When people learned how to read and write, they found it useful to have evidence of what was being transported inked on a document. Et voila! The bill of lading was born. Even tho it existed for more than a dozen millennials, the importance of this document is of insurmountable importance even today. Why is that?

Why is the bill of lading that important?

There are several reasons why the bill of lading is important even to this day. For the sake of clarity, we have outlined the reasons into two groups:

Two question marks
There are two main important reasons you might want to sign a bill of lading.

Why is the bill of lading important to you?

Firstly, the main repercussion for signing the bill of lading is proof. Meaning that the bill of lading is a receipt.  The bill of lading shows exactly what was boarded on the truck. How much you paid them to move those items, etc.  Secondly, since you have proof that the items were obtained by a moving company you can file a claim against a moving company if any damages occur to your personal belongings during transport. Lastly, the bill of lading serves as a receipt, since it shows you the exact amount of money you need to pay to get the items moving from point A to point B.

Why is the bill of lading important to your moving company?

This receipt is also very important for your movers. The reason for that is similar to the reasons we mentioned above that apply to you. For example, by having this legal document they have the proof that they have accepted your belongings. Not just that, but also the state of those belongings, as well as the cost you paid them.

What does this receipt actually consist of?

So some of these elements we foreshadowed in writing this post. However, here we will give a brief overview of what this legal document actually entails.

Contact and information

Every bill of lading has the contact and license information of you and your moving company. This includes the names, the address, and phone numbers. In other words, the contact information of the parties that are adhering to the legal document.

signing a document
Know what you are signing! If you decide to null the contract a new bill must be issued by the Court.

Provided service & cost

Of course, every bill should have an in-depth look at the services that were provided. However, keep in mind that everything mentioned in the services provided section must be calculated in the final expenses. This way you are increasing the potential to recognize fraudulent movers. Since you know exactly what you have paid for.

Know your rights!

Lastly, we would like to underline a big part of this document. That being the liability of the movers. The general rule of thumb is that they are responsible for any damage that occurs on your belongings during transport. For which they will have to compensate you for.

However, there are to exceptions to this rule. First, if you do not mention belongings in the bill of lading and damages occur on those items, the company is not obliged to compensate you in any way. Secondly, the company won’t be liable for any damage to items that you have packed yourself. This way if any damage does occur on items that you have packed, you are the sole person liable for that item state.

The settlement process

This document should also host a part on the way to solve any disputes that may arise between you and the moving company. The movers must provide you with a summary of the arbitration process. Comprehend that dispute settlement programs are not free, fees are applicable. Moreover, these third party neutral arbitrators cannot take any lawful measures against the moving company.

In conclusion

The bill of lading is a simple legal document that is extremely important for both sides. You and the movers. It contains all the important data of the actual transport and shipping of your belongings. That’s why it is paramount that you know exactly all your rights and obligations. However, we advise you to hire Easy Move Kuwait as we have moved hundreds and hundreds of happy movers, and we have signed more bill of ladings we can count. We have the experience. We are waiting for your call.