Bill of Lading


A bill of lading (BOL) is a document issued by a carrier or by a company's shipping department, indicating the items being shipped and (if applicable) their distribution on pallets. The bill of lading also includes the classification numbers of the items to ensure proper rating. The bill of lading is accepted as a valid contract between the shipper and the carrier for the shipment of cargo to a named recipient; once the cargo is transferred from the shipper to the carrier's vehicle, the carrier agent will sign the document, confirming whether goods matching the contract description have been received in good condition. The bill of lading can also be considered a receipt.


StarShip populates the bill of lading using item packing and classification information. StarShip settings provide flexibility as to how item packaging is converted to the bill of lading body.  Typically, similar items with the same class are grouped under one general description.



Bill of Lading Setup




There are two types of bills of lading.


Straight bill of lading

This is the most commonly used type and consists of all the details required to complete a contract with a freight shipper regarding transport of the items being shipped.



In an attempt to standardize the form and usage of the bill of lading, the VICS organization has implemented a standard bill of lading document, along with a 17-digit VICS BOL number.


In addition to the details contained in the Straight BOL, this version contains information regarding the order being fulfilled, including details about the order(s) from which each item in the shipment originates.


See table of BOL settings and example BOL printouts



Bill of Lading Setup

This dialog, accessible from Setup > Preferences > Freight > Bill of Lading, allows you to set bill of lading options such as the default BOL type, grouping items on the BOL, etc. Field values can change depending on choices made in other fields.




Items are classified using

You can define the items that you ship with varying degrees of freight classification. This affects the amount of classification information shown in the Shipping Assistant

This setting also affects the amount of classification information shown in the Shipping Assistant. For more information, see Freight Classification.


Default Bill of Lading Type

The default type, Straight or VICS, will display in the General Information section on the Shipment tab. Choose from Straight or VICS, based upon the descriptions above.

Note that in order to leave shipment items loose or loose on a pallet, this option must be set to Straight.


Manually Enter Bill of Lading

Choices are:


Notes about manually entering the BOL:

  1. When a shipper manually enters the Bill of Lading, StarShip cannot enforce the correspondence between items in the shipment and items on the Bill of Lading. The Shipping Assistant can no longer be used to pack/palletize items.

  2. StarShip will print the number of labels shown in the Packaging view only; the number of labels printed is not affected by what you enter on the BOL tab. So when manually entering the BOL, you must make sure that the number of packages/pallets entered on the BOL tab has also been added in the Packaging view. Otherwise, you may not receive the correct type or number of labels.


Group Items on Bill of Lading

These settings affect how line items are grouped together on the BOL printout.

Choices are :

This setting also affects the Classification columns shown in the Shipping Assistant. For more information, see Freight Classification.


Do not combine similar packages or pallets

Checking this option will prevent packages or pallets with the same "Group Items on Bill of Lading" information from being listed on one row of the BOL. The default setting is unchecked. If you use FedEx Freight, you should check this option to avoid issues with the FedEx Freight BOL.


When Generating the Bill of Lading

Choices are:


Automatically Generate BOL#

When this check box is checked, StarShip generates the BOL# and displays it in the Shipment tab under General Information.

If disabled, the BOL# Prefix, Rolling Number, Rolling Number Size, and Sample BOL#  fields are grayed out. You would then enter the BOL# manually on the Shipment tab.


BOL# Prefix

This information is used as part of the Sample BOL# field and the actual BOL# that StarShip generates. It is equal to your EAN / UPC bar code number.  It is stored on the server and can only be changed by contacting V-Technologies.


Rolling Number Size

This number value determines the length of the generated BOL#. It is predefined by V-Technologies and cannot be altered.


Rolling Number

A rolling number is required when automatically generating the Bill of Lading number and the value entered will be used as the next BOL #. If the number entered is shorter than the length entered in Rolling Number Size, it will be padded with leading zeroes.


Sample BOL#

This field is for display only. The Sample BOL# that is displayed is the BOL# that will be assigned to the next shipment. It will contain the values from the BOL # Prefix, Rolling Number, and Rolling Number Size. This data displays in the Shipment tab under General Information section and when you click Print Shipment on the toolbar.




When printing a VICS BOL for a shipment containing multiple orders, the weight totals in the Customer Order section may look incorrect. The information is correct, however StarShip is rounding the individual order weights.



You can change the BOL to display 2 decimal points in the Weight Column so that you can confirm that the weights are correct.



To change the weight column display, go to Setup > Printing > Manage Templates. Follow the instructions provided to create a new template by copying the existing BOL that you want to use and saving the copied template under a new name.



With the new template open in the Template Designer, navigate to the Customer Order Information and locate the Weight field. Double-click, or right-click and select Edit, to open the Edit window. Click the Format button to open the Variable Formatting window. Since the data type is Float (a numeric type), you can specify the number of decimal places to include and whether or not a zero value should be printed.