A simple way to understand the purpose of the Bill of Lading in this process is to first think of what you’re sending as “a shipment of commercial cargo.”
A Bill of Lading is a commercial administrative document which lists the cargo being shipped via the postal service.
BILL OF LADING – n.
In common law.The written evidence of a contract for the carriage and delivery of goods sent by sea for a certain freight. Mason v. Lickbarrow, 1 H. Bl. 359. A written memorandum, given by the person in command of a merchant vessel, acknowledging the receipt on board the ship of certain specified goods, in good order or “apparent good order,” which he undertakes, in consideration of the payment of freight, to deliver in like good order (dangers of the sea excepted) at a designated place to the consignee therein named or to his assigns. Devito v. Barrels (D. C.) 20 Fed. 510; Gage v. Jaqueth. 1 Lans. (N. Y.) 210; The Delaware. 14 Wall. 000, 20 L. Ed. 779. The term is often applied to a similar receipt and undertaking given by a carrier of goods by land. A bill of lading is an instrument in writing, signed by a carrier or his agent, describing the freight so as to identify it, stating the name of the consignor. the terms of the contract for carriage, and agreeing or directing that the freight be delivered to the order or assigns of a specified person at a specified place. Civil Code Cal.