A Bill of Lading is in essence the moving contract. In most cases, the Bill of Lading will be issued by the carrier and will spell out the specifics regarding the move, as well as any terms and conditions that may apply. Carriers are required by law to issue a Bill of Lading. In addition, a Bill of Lading must contain certain elements. Failure to include any of these elements will be considered a violation of federal law. Every interstate household goods Bill of Lading must contain the following:
(1) The carrier’s name and address;
(2) The names and addresses of any other motor carriers, when known, who will participate in transportation of the shipment;
(3) The name, address, and telephone number of the company’s office (or the office of its agent) where the individual shipper can contact in relation to the transportation of the shipment;
(4) The form of payment the company and its agents will honor at delivery;
(5) When the company transports goods on a collect-on-delivery basis, the name, address, and if furnished, the telephone number of a person to notify about the charges;
(6) For non-guaranteed service, the agreed date or period of time for pickup of the shipment and the agreed date or period of time for the delivery of the shipment;
(7) For guaranteed service, subject to tariff provisions, the dates for pickup and delivery, and any penalty or per diem entitlements due the individual shipper under the agreement;
(8) The actual date of pickup;
(9) The company or carrier identification number of the vehicle(s) that transports the goods;
(10) The terms and conditions for payment of the total charges, including notice of any minimum charges;
(11) The maximum amount that the company will demand at the time of delivery in order for the customer to obtain possession of the shipment, when carrier transports under a collect-on-delivery basis;
(12) A statement of the declared value of the shipment, which is the maximum amount of the mover’s liability to the individual shipper under the Full Value Protection for the replacement value of any household goods that are lost, damaged, destroyed, or otherwise not delivered to the final destination. If the individual shipper waives, in writing, the Full Value Protection liability for the declared value of the household goods, the moving company must include a copy of the waiver; the Surface Transportation Board’s required released rates valuation statement; and the charges, if any, for optional valuation coverage (other than Full Value Protection). The released rates may be increased annually by the motor carrier based on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Cost of Living Adjustment;
(13) Evidence of any insurance coverage sold to or procured for the individual shipper from an independent insurer, including the amount of the premium for such insurance.
(14) Each attachment to the bill of lading. Each attachment is an integral part of the bill of lading contract. If not provided elsewhere to the shipper, the following three items must be added as an attachment to the bill of lading. (i) The binding or non-binding estimate. (ii) The order for service. (iii) The inventory.
A Bill of Lading must always accompany the shipment and must be maintained by the carrier for at least one (1) year from the date it was created.
In summary, all carriers must issue a Bill of Lading for household goods shipments and the Bill of Lading must include all of the above required elements.
For help in creating a Bill of Lading, visit http://www.attorneydavid.com/household-goods-forms.html.