A Blind shipment – a shipment where a third party controls the movement of the freight and does not want the shipper and/or consignee to know the name of the other party – presents a unique set of challenges for both the shipper and the carrier. Most blind shipments are booked by “middle-men” in order to keep a manufacturer from attempting to do business directly with a distributor’s customer, or vice versa. Because of this, the information contained on the BOL is technically inaccurate.
3 Blind BOLs
Blind shipments can include up to three separate BOLs:
1) A BOL used by the shipper when the freight is picked up
2) A BOL to be used at the time of delivery to the consignee
3) The BOL with the correct information, which is given to the carrier when the shipment is booked.
Blind shipments always incur additional fees due to their complicated nature and the extra work it takes on the carrier’s part. Each carrier has a specific way blind shipments are handled, so it is always in your best interest to check with the origin terminal prior to the actual movement of the freight.
Potential Blind Blunders
Problems can arise with these shipments, as they are fairly complicated. All blind shipping documents provided to the carrier should be sent via email and confirmed received via email in the event that something goes wrong. At any point along the way the improper BOL may inadvertently be used; the shipper may not use the “blind” BOL, the carrier may not exchange the blind BOL for the real one (causing the freight to go to the wrong place), or the carrier may not switch the final BOL, alerting the consignee to where the shipment actually came from. It is fairly standard for carriers to have language in their rules tariff that states they will try their best to fulfill the requirements of the blind shipment, but they will not be responsible for any misroutes. More often than not, the carrier makes no adjustments to blind shipment routing mistakes.
Your Unishippers team of freight shipping experts can help take care of your business’s blind shipments – from BOL creation to arranging a pickup – and can help act as an advocate on your behalf if issues arise.