A bill of lading documents the type and quantity of goods being sent from a seller to a buyer. The document also details the method of shipment and how it will be routed, and can be used as a receipt for the cargo. A bill of lading can also be used as proof of ownership of the goods being moved.
A bill of lading is created by a carrier and attached to the goods being delivered. The accounting department of the buyer uses the bill of lading as a proof of receipt to verify that supplier invoices should be paid.