What is a eBOL?

eBOL is the acronym typically used to identify what is referred to as a Electronic Bill of lading. In reality what is meant by the term is a digital bill of lading if we distinguish between an electronic document vs. a digital document.

An Advanced Solutions eBOL is a Logical data model that represents the entities included in a bill of lading document shared between partners.

Advanced eBOL logical data model

fig.1 Advanced eBOL logical data model

In 2018, Advanced Solutions announced and released AdvancedBOL (at that time we referred to it as BOL2 our naming was intended to denote that this was the second version of a Bill of lading document).This was the first commercially available software product that made generating eBOL’s available for domestic transportation.

Typical Shipping Process

In a typical shipping transaction the shipper generates a bill of lading using the known information of the materials being shipped and the order information driving the shipment. After loading the shipment in the carriers trailer the driver (as the representative of the carrier) is given a printed copy of the bill of lading document which is reviewed and signed. A copy is given to the driver and another is kept by the shipper. Either at the end of their work or when arriving at their terminal a driver will turn in their paper documents to their office which will re-key the information into their system for routing and billing purposes. This is a slow and error-prone process.

Shipping using an eBOL

The shipper generates a bill of lading digitally from data sourced from their ERP system with key information of the materials being shipped and order information driving the shipment. After loading the shipment onto the carriers trailer the driver reviews a electronic version of the eBOL (typically on a kiosk or tablet) and e-signs for the shipment. A eBOL (the digital data) is transferred to the drivers mobile device or transmitted to the carrier and a generated bill of lading paper document is given to the driver. (Due to federal regulations the paper copy is still required.). The driver/carrier have access to the digital values necessary to route, bill track the shipment accurately instantaneously with no data re-keying necessary reducing  errors.

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