When it comes to the logistics industry, each and every truck, fleet, and freight involves some form of tracking and paperwork. It’s a major part of ensuring that a company’s system is efficient and up to par. However, many businesses in this sector are behind on the times. Far too many players in the transportation industry are still using basic pen and paper methods for this bill of lading system. As the industry becomes more competitive and implements more digital solutions, it’s vital to invest in software that makes the process of running a business smoother and more competitive.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about creating a digital bill of lading system for your trucking company. Let’s start by exploring the key differences between a traditional and digital bill of lading.
The Difference Between Paper and Digital Bill of Lading
A bill of lading is a type of legal document that carriers will deliver to shipping platforms that outline the type of goods, quality of goods, and final destination of goods that are expected to be carried. A bill of lading can be seen as a type of receipt for shipping when carriers deliver goods at the noted final mile. This type of document will be included with the products that are shipped, regardless of the type of transportation used. This document must also be signed by designated agents from each party, including the carrier, shipper, and ultimate receiver of the goods.
Traditionally, a bill of lading was a physical paper document. There are a lot of issues that come with having a paper bill of lading. It’s difficult to file these documents and ensure they are tracked for the benefit of all parties involved. Just as well, they can be lost quite easily.
A digital bill of lading solves these issues in a variety of ways. An electronic bill of lading will include all of the legal and functional needs of a traditional bill of lading, as well as these core functions: Receipt confirmation, evidence of the contract, and a document of title. These functions can be digitally stored and protected, as well as automated for shipping companies. Just as well, a digital bill of lading will allow auto-fill functions and integration functions, so businesses can transfer their bill of lading between various carriers and customers. You can also shorten your overall billing process, reduce instances and risks involving fraud, and create more transparency for your business.
How to Create a Digital Bill of Lading System
Creating a digital bill of lading system isn’t as difficult as one may think. You can simply take the following steps:
- Find the best possible digital software product for your use case. If your company already has some digital systems in place, RPA tools, such as UiPath, are great to implement without uprooting your current technology investments. Integratz can help you make this process much easier and match you with the right platform to create & automate your digital bill of lading system.
- Consider scanning your previous bill of lading paperwork into your system. Having everything transferred to a digital platform, even with documents related to business partnerships that have since ended, can improve your overall organization and document efficiency.
- Opt for something with a mobile application. Mobile apps can make the process of signing and checking on your bill of lading much easier, especially when it comes to signing at different geographic locations.
- Generate your bill of lading. The right software will automatically fill and generate your bill of lading with everything from freight details to special instructions for drivers. This takes little effort, especially when working with repeat customers.
- Send your bill of lading sign request. Once you’ve effectively generated your bill of lading for a specific freight or customer, you can send e-sign requests to everyone involved-- your drivers, shippers, and clients. Electronic signatures are easy to do with a mobile application. We recommend looking into a transportation management system that has bill of lading capabilities, as you can implement the Trucking Management System (TMS) app on the digital devices of everyone involved in the process with ease.
- Check in on your e-sign process. The status of e-signatures can easily be monitored via your digital bill of lading whenever necessary. Many TMS platforms provide notification systems that let relevant parties and management know when a signature has been submitted and the bill of lading has been completed.
- Save your bill of lading on your cloud-based software platform. For the sake of security, it’s vital to save your trucking company’s business information via the cloud, and that includes your bill of lading. Every fulfilled document can be easily stored on a cloud system and accessed whenever needed. This ensures the protection of documents in the event of a potential future legal issue.
Congratulations, you now have an excellent and efficient digital bill of lading system for your trucking company! From contactless signatures and reduced security problems, it’s clear that a digital solution for your bill of lading system is the right direction to take as a growing trucking company.
So many trucking companies struggle with business software and potential solutions to their IT issues. The type of software solutions you choose can impact your logistics business significantly. That’s why our team at Integratz is so passionate about helping companies in this sector simplify their approach, strategies, and solutions. Our goal is to help your business deliver quickly and align your business software with your bottom line, at a lower cost, via intelligent automation solutions. Get in touch with the Integratz team today to schedule a short meeting and learn more about how we can help you integrate the best solutions for your growing transport business!