Bill of Lading Number

A bill of lading number is a ten-digit number that’s assigned by the carrier to identify the bill of lading. Since bills of lading are negotiable documents, they need to be traded in compliance with strict identification rules. The bill of lading number identifies both the shipper and receiver on it. This facilitates negotiation between cargo owners since the freight forwarder can quickly trace who has ownership over a bill of lading through its number before making payment arrangements for it.

The Bill of Lading Number uniquely identifies shipments and simplifies trade by allowing quick identification and sorting of bills among thousands, or even millions, of other bills within company databases. It also allows international exchange operators to keep track of their goods along supply chains, and provides a standard of security for the transfer of documents.

This number is useful in identifying the parties engaged in the transfer of goods, enabling them to keep track of their shipment throughout its movement from one point to another.

The length of this number may vary depending on the carrier that issued it. However, all ten digits are sequentially assigned by that carrier when they issue bills of lading in order to enable easy identification among other bills.

The bill of lading number is also known by other names, depending on the carrier issuing it. For instance, Maersk Line uses the term “Waybill Number”, while CMA-CGM uses “Order No.”

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