Bill of Lading

In my daily job, I help companies improve efficiencies in the warehouse through the use of technology. One of our workflows results in the creation of a VICS Bill of Lading (B/L or BOL). In a recent discussion with a customer, someone asked ‘what is the difference in a VICS Bill of Lading and a Bill of Lading?’ The short answer is…nothing.

The GS1 US (VICS) BOL is a standardized BOL a consortium of shippers and carriers developed to meet the express needs of all parties. Click here to download Frequently Asked Questions for Apparel and General Merchandise GS1 US Bill of Lading.

But what is a BOL?

The APICS Dictionary, 15th edition, defines Bill of Lading (Uniform) (B/L) as:

‘A carrier’s contract and receipt for goods the carrier agrees to transport from one place to another and to deliver to a designated person. In case of loss, damage, or delay, the bill of lading is the basis for filing freight claims.’

Other types of BOLs referenced in the CLTD Learning System include Master BOL and House BOL. A Master BOL is issued by a carrier and will generally reference multiple House BOLs. A House BOL is the document issued by an intermediary (i.e. Freight Forwarder) who has taken brokerage responsibility for the shipper. Click here to learn more about Master and House BOLs from

As a student studying for CLTD I encourage you to know the Bill of Lading (Uniform) (B/L) while generally understanding the various types.