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FAQ

What is the craziest thing you've had to do as a business owner to get someone to pay a bill?
I worked for a company that sold sponge rubber padding for under Oriental rugs. A store in Atlanta ordered a single roll. It weighed 125 pounds and cost $250. He asked to have it shipped prepaid freight and to set up a credit account. My boss approved his credit because he had a name known to the boss. It turned out he was not a member of that family.After two months and two invoices and no payment, I placed a call. He asked for forgiveness for this oversight. I could expect a check next week. Another 30 days and no payment, I called again. “I can let you pay 1/4 now, 1/4 each month until you have paid this. Otherwise I need to inform my employer.” He agreed to this. He was 100 days past due when I fessed up to the boss. He told me to get the phone number for the Atlanta Area Lawyer Referral Service. A lawyer down there agreed to take the case to small claims court for half the money. You can’t deduct bad debts from your taxes without making a legal attempt to recover.Our lawyer goes to court. The defendant claims he never received the goods. Our lawyer ask if we can get him a copy of the delivery bill of lading. I call the freight company. They tell me that records over 90 days are archived but he will do what he can. He took a week but he came up with it. We faxed the bill of lading to Atlanta.Back in court, the defendant tried to claim he was mistaken about which shipment he was being sued about. Our lawyer claimed that this was his first and only shipment, so what was there to be confused about?In giving his verdict, the judge asked our lawyer how much time he was forced to spend on this case above the usually time for small claims? The lawyer said that this case was about 5 billable hours over. The judge asked his billable hour rate. For non-contingency cases, $100/hour. Then the judge asked the defendant if he had his checkbook with him. Upon an affirmative answer, the judge told him, “Write a check to this lawyer for $500, another to this court for cost plus a fine for contempt for $1000.” Then he needed to make one out for $750 for our firm for payment and double punitive damages.He was not forced to make these checks. He could have appealed the ruling to a higher court. It was the judge’s opinion that a higher court might just add a zero to his judgment. The DA might want to prosecute on perjury charges if he saw this transcript. “Do you wish to appeal?” Our lawyer overnighted our check.
What are the main functions of a bill of lading?
A Bill of Lading (B/L or BoL) document is an extremely important document involved in the shipping and logistics industry. A Bill of Lading is a document that is issued by the Carrier of goods to the “Shipper” of the goods.The main function is to:1 - Provide evidence or proof of shipment2 - Provide a receipt of goods3 - Provide ‘title‡ as to which party legally owns the cargoThe owner of the cargo (the holder of the Bill of Lading) has the legal rights to claim the goods or arrange transfer ownership of the cargo to another party in the supply chain.Read this article to understand the difference between Freight Collect and Freight Pre-Paid, information that is included on the Bill of Lading, and an example Bill of Lading.
If a truck is inspected at the border, and the door seal is therefore broken, how is the receiver of the load assured that nothing has been tampered with or stolen during shipment?
I've only had this happen once, and it was several years ago, so if I'm wrong anyone feel free to correct me.If I'm remembering correctly, when the CBP agents break the seal to inspect the load, they will ask you if you want the load resealed after they are finished. If you say yes, they will put a new seal and make a notation on your paperwork that the original seal was broken for inspection and replaced with the new seal; they will put the new seal number on the paperwork as well.
What’s the difference between a waybill and a bill of lading?
In Simple terms,A Sea Waybill is a document that is given by the carrier which contains details of the Cargo like type of cargo, Dimension, name of the consignee and consignor and information like POL, POD, Carrier name, Charges etc., Now to the use of Waybill, the waybill is normally sent through mail which is mentioned as and it can be used to release the cargo. But if it is a LC shipment[1] the bill of lading is mandatory.One of the main difference between them is a Sea waybill shipment don’t need original SWB to obtain the DO whereas a shipment which has released a BL should provide the original BL to get the DO (Delivery Order).Bill of Landing is a document that is signed by the carrier and given to the shipper at the point of loading as a proof and it acts as an evidence. It also contains similar details as waybill has but it is a recognized document. Bill of lading should be sent through courier to the clearing agent in order to get the DO (Delivery Order).Now to your questions:If you are a liner you have to sign both the Waybill and Bill of lading on behalf of the Carrier (like OOCL, Mersk etc). No other has to sign those documents.There are 2 main types of BL[2], MBL and HBL, where MBL is issued by the Liner to the Shipper and HBL is issued by the Freight forwarders (the ones who loads the cargo).When you talk about no sign requirement, a Direct Master BL (only the MBL) is released there is no other documents needed (as it contain the name of actual Consignor and Consignee) other than a letter from the consignee stating the clearing agent name with it (which is necessary for the clearing agent to obtain the DO).I didn’t fully get the question details but still I have done my best up to my understanding.Hope its informative.Footnotes[1] Letter of credit - Wikipedia[2] A bill of lading ‡ Part 2 - MBL vs. HBL - Seaoo.com | Blog
What is bill of lading?
A Bill of Lading (B/L or BoL) document is an extremely important document involved in the shipping and logistics industry. A Bill of Lading is a document that is issued by the Carrier of goods to the “Shipper” of the goods. It’s a document to provide evidence or proof of shipment. This is extremely important in International Trade as it provides ‘title‡ as to who legally owns the cargo. The Bill of Lading acts as evidence of Contract of Carriage, receipt of goods and document of Title to the goods. The owner of the cargo (the holder of the Bill of Lading) has the legal rights to claim the goods or arrange transfer ownership of the cargo to another party in the supply chain.Useful information on how the Bill of Lading is actually used…The Bill of Lading is important in International Trade when it comes to the IncoTerms that the goods are sold on and the payment terms agreed between buyer and seller. In alot of cases, buyers and sellers will agree to pay a deposit to the supplier then arrange the balance payment ‘upon receipt of Bill of Lading’. This means that when the goods have been shipped and the shipper receives the Bill of Lading from the carrier (shipping line), the shipper will use this document as security and will only email a ‘copy‡ of the Bill of Lading to the buyer to prove that the goods have been shipped and to request the balance payment. The shipper will hold title to the original Bill of Lading (originals) and therefore legally retain ownership of the cargo. The shipper will use this as security to ensure that they receive the balance payment for the goods. Bill of Ladings are also used when shippers and consignees arrange Letter’s of Credit (L/Cs) with both party's banks. Letters of Credit are contracts written between the shipper’s bank and the consignee’s bank that will guarantee payment of goods ‘upon Bill of Lading’.Once the buyer has made the balance payment the shipper will ‘surrender‡ the Bill of Lading and tell the shipping company to issue an ‘Express Release‡ or 'Telex Release' Bill of Lading. This Express Release Bill of Lading will allow the title of goods to be transferred to the buyer without the buyer having to actually receive the original Bill of Lading documents in the mail. The buyer will use this Express Release Bill of Lading to arrange customs clearance and release of their cargo at the port of destination.Read this article to understand:The difference between Freight Collect and Freight Pre-PaidInformation that is included on a Bill of LadingAn example Bill of Lading
Is "bill of lading" something the hauling company gives you (the seller) when they come to haul your stuff to your intended buyer?
No, you have it backwards. The bill of lading or, BOL is what the shipper gives us. It may or may not give a complete breakdown of the goods we're transporting or, if the merchandise is of a sensative nature such as high value, it may only give a very generic description such as “1,200 cs electronic devices” which could be anything from computers to televisions. It also may, or may not list the gross weight of the merchandise.Then on the back is the usual legal mumbo jumbo which states that I, as a representative of my company will deliver the sellers goods in a safe and timely fashion.Most of the time when I go to a shipper to pick up a load, it's already preloaded on a trailer and that trailer is sealed. I'm given a pick up number by my company. When I go to the shipping office I give them the name of my company, the pick up number, and verify its destination. Many places also require a copy of my CDL for security reasons.Then, it's off to where they keep the trailers. I'll usually leave my empty trailer, the one I brought in, on one side of the yard to be loaded later. Then, find the loaded one, hook up to it, pretrip it, and then verify the trailer number and door seal to make sure it matches the information on the BOL.When I arrive at the customer they may or may not check the seal. If the customer insists on unloading the trailer, he'll verify that everything matches up on the BOL before signing it and handing me a copy.I must then hand these signed BOLs into my company which they use as proof of delivery so both they and I can get paid.
Shipping: What is Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN)?
Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN) is an EDI transaction known as EDI 856.Buyers require vendors respond with an ASN for improved accuracy. The EDI transaction simplifies order processing by providing important details such as delivery date, ship-from/ship-to locations, PO #, vendor #, quantities shipped, item description, etc.Vendors can easily generate an EDI 856 from the purchase order known as EDI 850 using cloud-based WebEDI. All of the information will automatically pre-populate in the corresponding fields. UCC/SSCC-128 Shipping Labels are also populated directly from the ASN.EDI 856 transaction set is useful for all parties to verify and track the progress of orders and shipments.