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Electronic Bill of Lading
By Sharanya

Is Going Paperless with an Electronic Bill of Lading the Future?

August 10, 2021

Who we are is the result of the sheer number of habits we form over the years. Logistics form a crucial part of our daily life, and under the subject, every freight delivery requires a lot of paperwork. These include the documentation of all the aspects that form the core functionality of the delivery. Now, the most important piece of paperwork associated with the delivery of freight is the Bill of Lading (BOL). However, with digitalization and the emergence of technology, paperwork can only be touted as a secondary option that isn’t easily accessible. It harms nature and can get easily lost as well. Today, thus, we will be talking about taking the Bill of Lading in its electronic form and going paperless!

What does the Bill of Lading Mean?

Speaking in layman’s terms, the BOL is a fancy way of saying ‘receipt,’ where the word ‘lading’ is taken straight from the word ‘loading.’ Now, the BOL majorly serves three functions such as:

  1. The Receipt of Goods
  2. The Evidence of a Contract between the Parties
  3. The Documentation of the Ownership Title

So, to sum up, the BOL can be defined as a legal document binding the carrier and shipper into a contract that specifies the quantity and type of freight the driver is carrying, along with its destination. The Bill of Lading is typically offered by the driver upon arrival. Some of the other factors mentioned in the BOL includes:

  1. The name of the consignments
  2. Destination address
  3. Date of receipt of the shipment
  4. Description and quantity of the freight
  5. Type of packaging and its dimensions
  6. The class of freight (NMFC)
  7. Purchase order and BOL number
  8. Special instructions (if any)
  9. Designation of DOT hazardous material
  10. Two lines for signatures

Now, the Electronic Bill of Lading (also referred to as eBOL or eB/L) is a functional and legal equivalent of the paper form of the bill of lading and should be accepted as such.

Would the Electronic Bill of Lading be the Future of Logistic Documentation?

The advancement of technology in recent times, especially after what the world went through in 2020, has made it possible to turn everything into an electronic form, thereby saving a lot of time. This ensures a streamlined workflow for all the parties and storage of the documentation.

Given the current situation, several reputable tech companies have come up with applications and software that can easily eliminate any workflow issues with BOLs by auto-enhancing images, scanning barcodes, translating handwriting, and then load them to an integrated platform for the brand.

If the fact that going paperless means there will be no need for any paperwork, packets, or filing cabinets isn’t exciting enough, eBOLs can be stored in the cloud for easy access and extra information addition in the future.

To sum it all up, BOLs has been an integral part of the freight industry for a very long time as it serves a crucial legal purpose. Keeping in mind that you should work smart, no matter what, eBOLs are all set to make a massive impact on the industry and turn paperless in the future. For information, get in touch with the experts at https://www.centersource.io

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