Explanation of the Terms and Fine Print Found on the Bill of Lading

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Tricky Terms and Fine Print on the Bill of Lading

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During your move, you will likely come across the bill of lading. This document serves as a contract between you and your moving company and lays out all the information regarding the move. The bill of lading is full of legal jargon, which can make it difficult to understand. That being said, here are explanations of some of the tricky terms and fine print you might encounter on your bill of lading.


While you might think the shipper is the company shipping the goods, the term actually refers to the customer sending out his or her shipment.


The moving company hired to transport the shipment is referred to as the carrier on the bill of lading.

Delivering carrier:

Should an additional carrier be used to handle the final leg of the delivery, that is where the delivering carrier term comes in. If the same carrier handles the entire move, you won't have to worry about this term.

Consignor and consignee:

The consignor is the person who sends the shipment from the origin on behalf of the customer. The consignee is the person who receives the shipment at the destination. The consignor and consignee can be the same person.

Shipment declared value:

The shipment declared value is the value of your shipment, as determined by its weight.

Without recourse:

This term means that, under special circumstances, the customer can be freed from the liability of paying the carrier charges.


This term simply refers to the type of vehicle used to transport your shipment, whether it's carried by a truck, train, or ship.

Class or rate:

The class or rate of the individual items in your shipment is determined according to the National Motor Freight Classification system. This is a method for determining the transportability of a particular item based on its density, ability to be stowed, handling, and liability.


The tariff is a table comprised of such details as the moving company's rates, classifications, and rules. It is designed to ensure your move is safe and regulated.

Now that you know what these tricky terms mean, you'll (hopefully) have an easier time understanding your bill of lading. If you still have trouble with any of the terms or fine print on the bill, you can always ask your movers to explain them to you.

Author :

on August 27, 2009

Movers.com - Moving Expert
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