A bill of lading number, also known as a BOL or B/L number, is a unique identifier assigned to a bill of lading. The BOL number is typically used to track the status and location of the shipment, as well as to verify the contents of the shipment when it reaches its destination.
There is no standard format for a bill of lading number. The BOL number is typically assigned by the carrier or freight forwarder responsible for the shipment, and can be any combination of letters and numbers. Some companies may use a specific format for their BOL numbers, such as using a certain number of digits or including the date or other information in the number. A check digit may also be utilized to further randomize and authenticate a bill of lading number. However, there is no universal standard for the format of a BOL number.
One example of a standardized fill of lading number format is the VICS BOL number. A Vics bill of lading, or VICS BOL, is a type of bill of lading that is used in the United States for domestic shipments. It is named after the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions (VICS) organization, which developed the VICS BOL as a standard format for electronic bills of lading.
BOL Pro Tools
BOL Pro has has you covered with flexible BOL number automation tools to save time, ensure accuracy and avoid duplicating numbers.
From your BOL Pro account, select "BOL No Settings" from the My Data dropdown to configure the following settings:
Auto-Generate Increment BOl Number:
Checking this option will require you to enter a start value, which must consit of only digits. From here, BOL Pro will auto-populate your next BOL form with this value. And the bill of lading number will be auto-incremented by one digit for all new forms from that point on.
The BOL number format can be customized with a static prefix or suffix, which can containg numbers and digitis, and optional dashes between them. Only the middle "start value" can be incremented.
Lastly, the Check Digit option can be selected to auto-generate a formulated 17th digit if certain criteria are met. This is a common option for the VICS BOL number referenced above.