A Bill of lading, sometimes called a BL or BoL, is a legal document between a shipper of a good, and a transporter or carrier. It is often used in international trade. The word “lading” derives from the word loading, referring to the loading of goods onto a ship.The Bill of lading details the type, quantity and destination of the goods being transported. It must accompany the shipped goods and be signed by a representative of the shipper, the carrier and the receiver. For example, Vinnie’s Veggies wants to ship its products from Colombia to Virginia. Vinnie hires Terry’s Transportation to move the goods. Vinnie and Terry both sign the bill of lading. When Terry’s Transportation delivers the vegetables in Virginia, the receiver, Ralph’s Restaurants, also signs the bill of lading, showing he took possession of the vegetables. There are three kinds of bills of lading. A straight bill of lading means the carrier received payment in advance. An order bill of lading means the goods will ship before payment is received. An endorsed bill of lading is signed by the shipper and transfers title of the goods upon delivery. As a document of title, an endorsed bill of lading is also an important financial instrument that can be traded as a security.