A bill of lading or waybill is the contract covering the carriage of goods. It identifies the contract parties (carrier, shipper, merchant), what is being carried (goods) and key voyage information (vessel, route).
The B/L :
- Evidences the carriage contract
- Represents the goods being carried
- Proves that the goods have been received
Lastly, it contains the terms and conditions governing carriage of the goods, describing the rights and responsibilities of each party.