How (and Why) to Use a Digital Bill of Lading

  • September 14, 2018
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For moving and other transport companies, a bill of lading is a crucial document. But in these modern times, it has taken on a new form. It’s more convenient, economical, and easier to track to have a bill of lading in digital form.

A bill of lading is a document issued by a moving or transport company, or a shipper, as a contract of carriage of the goods. It also acts as a receipt for the cargo accepted for transportation. The bill of lading must be presented for taking delivery at the destination of the goods.

What is a Bill of Lading?

It is much easier to manage a digital bill of lading than a physical, printed document. The time it takes to create is similar to that of a paper-based version, but it does require more infrastructure: an input device like a computer, smartphone, or tablet, and a software program.

For movers, this can and should be their moving software program. After you create it, however, the digital version is superior in a number of ways.

By taking the time to enter your bill of lading into a software program, you have a number of advantages, logistically and from an administration point of view.

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Reduction of Errors

Paper-based systems are prone to error. They rely on the legibility of the handwriting of the creator and are difficult to change. With a digital version, changes are easier and trackable. For example, let’s say a moving company is moving the contents of a home to two destinations: a new apartment and a storage unit. You can clearly note the items bound for each destination and the customer can check it for accuracy, referencing the exact arrival times.

Administration Made Easy

For moving companies, these documents are just as important as they are for customers. For insurance purposes, pricing, even weight calculations, the bill of lading has uses beyond its primary function as a contract. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires a bill of lading by law and has a number of regulations for freight brokers and shippers.

Syncing to Your Business Management Platform

Ideally, you want to integrate the bill of lading into your software program. Having a digital version is handy, but handier still when you tie it to your booking, scheduling, routing, and invoicing. Dedicated service business management platforms (like moving software) make this possible, and more convenient for all involved.

The Benefits of Moving Software

Moving software that can incorporate a digital bill of lading for moving jobs is the ideal solution for moving companies. “We’ve eliminated paperwork,” says First Due Movers Co-founder Jeff Drozdowski. “In our scheduling alone, we have become 50% more efficient. That kind of savings makes us more profitable.”

If you’d like to learn more about moving software and how to incorporate a digital bill of lading with your moving jobs, book a free, private demo of Vonigo.