During exportation and importation of good, a shipper needs to sign an agreement with the carrier. It details the type of goods that they want to transport. This document also shows the destination of these goods as well as their quantity. Once the recipient on the other side gets their cargo, the bill of lading can be used as a receipt of shipment. This shows you how important this document is. Regardless of the transportation mode that you will be using, it is important to ensure that the document accompanies every cargo. All signatures appended on it must be those of authorized representative of the shipper, carrier, and receiver.
Everyone involved in freight forwarding needs to know how to manage a bill of lading in the purchasing system. Business can easily use the purchasing system to monitor cargo and prevent theft of assets when they have this document. If you look at he busiest shipping companies, you will notice that they have staff employees that work exclusively on verifying every agreement attached to goods before shipping them. It is because they know that mishandling of such documents can lead to lots of trouble. Since you ca track these documents and manage them electronically, it becomes quite easy for everyone in the shipping process.
How the bill of lads works
The first step in signing the agreement is for the buyer of the good to determine the type of cargo that is up for shipment. He also sets the amounts. At this point, the owner has to fill a purchase order that is then put up for review. After that, the purchase order is emailed to the seller who gathers the goods, and signs a bill of lading. This is also signed by a representative from the overnight carrier that is trusted with this job. The carrier will then deliver the goods to the buyer. This is when the buyer compares all the information on the receipts and on the original order. A check that is payable to the seller is only signed once the buyer is satisfied that the information on all documents matches.
Segregation of duties
In order to prevent theft of company assets, it is important to put in place internal controls. Depending on the size of the company, segregation of duties can help to establish these controls. The main focus here is to ensure that one employee does not wield too much power and that they d not have too much control of the company. This is the reason why when it comes to purchasing, a business owner cannot sign a a vendor check before reviewing the purchase order and the bill of lading.When every employee involved in this process has a document to provide, it will promote accountability and it will be easy to know where most of the company assets get lost.
Advantages of the bill of lading
Anyone who runs a freight forwarding company knows how hectic it can be managing a business without all the important documents. It becomes even harder when you cannot find a connection between documents that relate to the same assignment. This is when you know that you should always have a bill of lading. It makes it easy for you to reconcile every document and make data ready for filing after the goods have been received and paid for. The fact that it has to be signed bay all the three parties means that it is one of the most reliable documents that you can ever need. In addition to that, it can be used as a reference tool in case of disputes. If the buyer feels that he did not receive the exact goods that he ordered for, you can always go back to this agreement and see where the problem began.
You need to know how to avoid some of the most common mistakes that people go through when using the bill of lading. You have to ensure that the information provided in there is accurate. You do not have to sign a document that you have not checked because it will cause huge problems. Just take your time to cross check the facts and reconcile it with purchase orders as well as as other agreements before you append your signature on it.