Moving requires a great deal of paperwork; none more valuable than the bill of lading.
So, what exactly is it?
Simply put, the bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier (such as Stevens Worldwide Van Lines) that lists the goods being shipped and specifies the terms of their transport.
Why is this document so important?
It’s the key to knowing that all of your possessions make it to your new home on time and in the manner in which you and the carrier have agreed. Think of it as a giant receipt for all the possessions you are moving.
Here are a few details to look for on your bill of lading:
- The full name and address of your mover. If any other movers are participating in your move, you should see their information as well. It should also list vehicle ID numbers for any of the trucks that are moving your possessions
- The time and date of pickup and delivery
- The method of payment expected upon delivery
- The final price of your move. Any additional services required should be included in the total
- The address of the place you are moving to. Double check to make sure there are no discrepancies
- A list of inventory of what was loaded onto the truck
As a general rule of thumb, don’t sign the bill of lading without reading it. It’s your job to be informed and ensure that everything detailed on the paperwork is accurate. If you have any questions, or are confused by the document, make sure to ask your mover before you sign!
Being able to explain what is on a bill of lading is a very important part of selecting a mover. For more on what to look for when choosing a mover, check out our How to Pick a Mover
, Questions for your Mover
and Comparing Moving Companies