If your business requires freight shipping, then you’ve probably heard of a bill of lading (BOL) before. This form is a receipt of freight services and works as a contract between a freight carrier and a shipper.
So, given the importance of this document, knowing how it works, when it’s required, and how to fill it out are essential. You can find all of those answers in this article!
What Is a FedEx BOL in 2023?
A FedEx bill of lading (BOL) is a document used to ship less-than-truckload freight in 2023. A BOL contains information about the shipment, including its contents, origin, and destination. Moreover, it acts as both a receipt and a shipping label. FedEx allows shippers to complete a paper version of the form or fill one out online.
Knowing how to complete a BOL form is important for accurate shipping, so make sure to see our step-by-step instructions later in the article!
What Is a FedEx BOL?
A bill of lading (BOL) is a document that must be completed when shipping less-than-truckload (LTL) freight through FedEx.
A BOL serves as a legal contract of carriage between the shipper, FedEx, and the recipient.
As well, this form contains details about the shipment including its contents, origin, and destination.
Moreover, it includes the purchase order number, other reference numbers, and freight classification.
Finally, a BOL is used to calculate charges and acts as both a receipt and a shipping label.
When Is a FedEx BOL Required?
A freight shipping label, also known as a bill of lading, is a required document for all domestic and international less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments.
If you’re shipping a domestic LTL freight shipment, you can either complete a paper version of the BOL or create a shipping label online.
What Are My Options for Completing a FedEx BOL?
As mentioned above, FedEx gives you two options when it comes to completing a bill of lading – a paper form or an online form.
If you want to complete a paper version of the BOL, download a blank form, complete the editable fields, and print it.
Alternatively, you can print out the form and fill it out by hand. To complete a freight shipping label online, log in to your FedEx account and create the required label.
How Do I Complete a FedEx BOL Form?
If you’re new to freight shipping, completing a bill of lading can be an intimidating task. The form asks for a lot of information that needs to be accurate, especially since it’s legally binding.
Therefore, use these step-by-step instructions below to accurately complete the form:
- Date. Enter the month, day, and year the freight was shipped or picked up by FedEx.
- Purchase order #. Enter the purchase order number you received from the consignee/recipient (the person receiving the shipment) or buyer.
- Shipper #. Enter the reference number provided by the shipper.
- Required (select service type). Choose the shipping service for your shipment. Choose FedEx Freight Priority if speed is important or FedEx Freight Economy when savings are the goal.
- Optional (guaranteed shipping options). Choose a money-back guarantee for your delivery if desired (charges and tariff limitations may apply).
- Shipper section. Enter your name, FedEx Freight account number, attention designation, phone number, and address.
- Consignee section. Enter the consignee/recipient’s name, FedEx Freight account number, attention designation, phone number, and address.
- Optional or additional service fees and charges. Available options include a lift gate, inside delivery, or limited access delivery.
- Shipper’s Bill of Lading #. Enter the Bill of Lading number supplied by the shipper to reference shipment information.
- Custom delivery window. Only complete this section if your delivery request is something other than standard transit.
- Special instructions. This is an optional section for packages that require extra care.
- Bill freight charges to. If billing to a third party, list the representatives responsible for paying freight charges if different from the shipper or consignee.
Include their contact information and FedEx Freight account number if known.
- Freight charges are prepaid unless marked collect. Check this box if payment should be collected on delivery.
- C.O.D. section. Enter the C.O.D. amount and the currency type. Tick the box indicating how the funds should be collected and who pays the C.O.D. fee.
- Remit C.O.D. Enter the address where the C.O.D. payment should be sent (if different from the address above).
- Handling units (H/U). Enter the number of units to be loaded (e.g. 3 pallets)
- H/U pkg. Type. Enter the type of shipping unit (e.g. crate, pallet, drum)
- Pieces. Enter the total number of pieces (e.g. boxes or items on the pallet) included in the shipment.
- HM (X). Mark this column with an “X” or “RQ” (Reportable Quantity) if the shipment contains hazardous materials.
- Kind of package, description of articles, special marks, and exceptions. Add information about the type of shipping unit, freight contents, markings (e.g. Keep Upright, Glass), and special instructions (e.g. Call Before Delivery).
- Weight in lbs. Enter the total weight of each commodity, including the crate or pallet.
- NMFC item #. Enter the National Motor Freight Classification item number for the commodity type.
- Class. Enter the NMFC-assigned number for proper rating.
- Cube. Enter cubic feet of the shipment: (L x W x H) in inches, divided by 1,728.
- Total H/U. Enter the total number of handling units (e.g., pallets or drums) in the shipment.
- HM emergency contact section. If shipping hazardous materials, provide the hazardous materials emergency contact phone number and the provider’s name or contact number.
- Note (1). Enter the declared value of the shipment. When the rate is dependent on the value, you must specifically state the agreed-upon or declared value of the shipment.
- Note (2). If requesting excess liability coverage (ELC), indicate the new or used condition of the articles and the amount of coverage requested.
- For international shipments, indicate the broker name, fax, and phone number. Add the Electronic Export Information (EEI) Number of Exception.
- For freight collect shipments. Opt into this non-recourse clause when you don’t want to be responsible for the inability of the carrier to collect freight charges from the consignee at the destination.
- Shipper certification. Sign and date this field if the shipment contains hazardous materials. Signing indicates that the materials are packaged, labeled, classified, and marked according to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.
- Carrier certification. A FedEx driver must sign this field if the shipment contains hazardous materials. This indicates that the shipment is in accordance with DOT regulations.
This section also includes the date, driver’s employee number, the number of pieces in the shipment, and the shipping trailer number (for hazardous materials shipments).
Can I Track a FedEx Package With a BOL Number?
You can track a FedEx package with a BOL number; just be aware that you might have to wait a day or more to see tracking updates.
This wait time occurs because paper BOLs have to be manually entered into FedEx’s system before tracking is available.
Conversely, if you completed the freight shipping form online, you can start tracking your freight shipment as soon as it goes out the door.
While shipping freight with FedEx may seem daunting at first, it’s our hope that this article has answered some of your most pressing questions. If you have any further questions, call FedEx customer service at 1.800.463.3339.