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Freight from the USA

U.S. domestic LTL Bill of Lading in Sea Freight

Suppose you ship goods from the USA overseas with international LCL sea freight service, and your shipping goods are located far away from an ocean carrier's freight terminal (called Container Freight Station or CFS). In that case, you can deliver your cargo to the nearest U.S. LTL carrier's freight terminal for ground transportation (line haul or LH) within the U.S. to the CFS. Our online freight calculator lists such terminals in lowercase, with an asterisk (*). For example, Orlando, FL*.

You can also select a pickup (collect) option to pick up your cargo "at your door" in the USA for further shipping from the USA overseas.

International LCL freight, such as U.S. domestic cargo deliveries (line haul) and pickups, are typically supported by U.S. domestic trucking companies specializing in LTL freight under U.S. domestic LTL bill of ladings. You may consider an LTL Bill of Lading (BOL or B/L) a title on U.S. domestic cargo transportation.

Do not confuse LTL and LCL:

  • LTL is an abbreviation for Less than Truck Load - a U.S. domestic ground transportation service designed to deliver consolidated cargo within the USA.
  • LCL is an abbreviation for Less than Container Load - an international sea freight service designed for shipping consolidated cargo out of the U.S.

Please do not confuse an LTL U.S. domestic inland bill of lading with an LCL sea freight bill of lading. Below is an example of a U.S. domestic bill of lading.

Ltl bol

A U.S. LTL domestic inland bill of lading (unlike LCL BOL) is an intermediate document. LTL bill of lading is NOT a final document in your international shipping from the USA. LTL BOL acts as a U.S. private carriage contract for cargo transporting from a cargo location to a CFS for further international transportation out of the U.S. LCL. Both terminals are located within the U.S. territory.

In respect of international cargo transportation from the USA LCL, besides other purposes, the LTL bill of ladings verifies details of goods delivered to a CFS, such as:

  • Transporting commodity,
  • Quantity of shipping units and their packing,
  • The weight and dimensions.

After the cargo is delivered at a CFS for further shipping overseas, the information in the LTL BOL should be verified by the CFS cargo recipient. The number of pieces and cargo weight/measurements information in the LTL BOL can be used to verify the number of pieces and w/m submitted by the consignee to international shipping from the USA until the cargo is palletized at the CFS.

Unlike the sea freight bill of lading, which is the final document in international cargo transportation from the USA abroad, in respect of shipping goods from the U.S. overseas, the LTL bill of lading is an intermediate document.

Please keep in mind that a discrepancy in cargo details in the shipper's proof of delivery (POD), LTL BOL, and LCL BOL may occur during cargo transportation. That's normal. There are different reasons for this. However, it often occurs due to palletizing or re-palletizing cargo delivered at the LTL carrier terminal (LH) and CFS.

Please note that it doesn't matter what number of shipping units and cargo w/m can be in intermediate shipping documents, such as POD, LH, or CFS warehouse receipts, LTL BOL, etc. The final information is in a sea freight bill of lading in international cargo transportation from the USA overseas. Consignees should rely on and work on cargo recovery at the destination countries with the information in the sea freight BOL.

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