Sample bill of lading and the explanation of their use. This article is part of the U.S. Commercial Service's "A Basic Guide to Exporting".

A contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier (as with domestic shipments). For shipment by vessel, there are two types: a straight bill of lading, which is not negotiable and does not give title to the goods, and a negotiable, or shipper’s order, bill of lading. The latter can be bought, sold, or traded while the goods are in transit. The customer usually needs an original bill of lading as proof of ownership to take possession of the goods.

Bill of Lading

Bill of lading instructions