What is Waybill

Table of Contents

What is the waybill and what is it for?

The Waybill is a transport document which is a legal document of a declarative nature that proves the existence of a transport contract. Informs about the terms in which the agreement was produced and attributes rights to the transported merchandise. In addition, in some cases, it is enforceable by the Authority if a verification is required. Although its best known function is to serve as a receipt for the merchandise by the carrier, it has many more practical applications in commerce, which vary depending on the means of transport to which it refers and the type of goods that are being transferring

Knowing what the bill of lading is for is the first step to understand a little more the scope of this document, essential in the transport of goods. However, not knowing about the waybill should not be limited to its functions, but should go further, if you want to have the ability to enjoy its use with full guarantees and in optimal conditions.

Waybill: Main functions

The bill of landing, that document that is signed many times without being given greater importance, has many important functions that need to be known. It is issued by the transport company, whether it is a shipping company, an airline, a road or rail transport company. They come in various forms and each serves several, but not necessarily all (except in the case of negotiable bill of lading), of the following functions:

  1. Receipt of the goods, which evidences the cargo, dispatch or delivery available and which indicates the general status of the goods received.
  2. Proof of the transport contract between the loader and the carrier.
  3. Invoice of the transport company for the amount corresponding to the service offered.
  4. A negotiable document that can be exchanged for money, allowing the goods referred to to be sold during transit.
  5. Constituent document of title that represents the ownership of the goods and that will only be announced by the shipping company against the presentation of an original signed document.
  6. Waybill Sample


    Waybill: Frequently Asked Questions

    The use of a waybill raises, sometimes, some doubts to the users. Among the most common are those that refer to its content, scope or conditions. To avoid problems and transport delays that may affect operations, it is convenient to know everything there is to know about this document and, for that, nothing better than to solve some of the main issues that arise to those who use it, such as the following:

    • Does the absence or loss of the consignment note affect the contract between shipper and carrier? No, in neither case does it extend its consequences to that level.
    • If an irregularity is detected in the bill of lading, can this be constitutive of the contract between the shipper and the carrier? No, it does not affect the validity of the agreement or the obligations derived from it for either party.
    • Is it possible to demand the issuance of a consignment note? Yes, either of the two actors can do it when one is not available, or it has been lost or errors in its content and / or form are identified.
    • Can there be a waybill for each vehicle involved in the transport of the merchandise? It is not obligatory although it can be demanded, if the carrier or the charger considers it appropriate.
    • Is it possible to integrate the corresponding information to all shipments made in compliance with a contract in the same waybill? No, it is not allowed and, therefore, one must be submitted for each of them.
    • What is the scope of the probative force of a bill of lading? Its scope of extension only reaches those who signed it.
    • Does the signature in the bill of lading have to be handwritten? It can be handwritten and, however, is not a mandatory condition since the signature by mechanical means is also accepted and is fully valid. Among the most used are the printing or stamping of a stamp.
    • Should you include dates? Yes, the issuance, the receipt of the goods by the carrier and the estimate for the receipt of the goods at destination.
    • What references to contract-bound actors should you provide? The names and addresses of both shipper and carrier, which can be replaced if necessary by that of the shipper, in the first case, and that of the person in charge of receiving the goods, in the second. In addition, both the name and the address of the recipient must be recorded.
    • Do you talk about prices in the bill of lading ? Yes, of the corresponding one for the transport and the estimate of expenses, clarifying if the recipient must meet them or if the shipper will be responsible for their payment.
    • What information does it collect about the goods transported ? Its nature and volume or quantity; the number of packages and that is distributed, the identification signs, the type of packaging used, the corresponding reference to its dangerous nature, if it had it, according to ADR regulations, the necessary instructions to satisfy administrative procedures or other formalities and The declaration of value.
    • Should the bill of lading contain any indication about the documents delivered to the carrier? Yes, when so agreed by one of the contracting parties and made known to the other.

    Sample transport document

    The waybill to be valid and useful throughout the distribution network must contain minimums:

    • Place and date of issuance thereof.
    • Place and date of receipt of the merchandise
    • Place of delivery of the goods and if known, exact delivery date.
    • Name and address of the merchandise loader.
    • Name and address of the carrier and, if it is a third party, who receives the goods must also indicate it.
    • Name and address of the recipient of said merchandise to be able to send notifications.
    • Explanation of the merchandise: nature, packages and identification methods.
    • Merchandise shipped, identified by weight and shipping quantity.
    • Packaging used for shipping.
    • If the merchandise is dangerous, it must be identified as such.
    • Identification of the agreed price for transport and who pays said amount (loader or recipient).