Waybill 2023: The Free Guide!

The waybill is of paramount importance for any business concerned with ensuring the safety and traceability of its goods. This document, sometimes overlooked, plays a major role in the smooth execution of logistical operations. Let us explain everything!

Waybill: Explanation


The waybill is a transport document that certifies the carrier’s commitment to transporting the goods in accordance with the agreed terms.

What is the role of the waybill?

Firstly, the waybill serves as proof of the transport contract. It establishes the agreed-upon conditions between the sender, the recipient, and the carrier. These conditions generally include the point of departure, destination, mode of transport, type of goods, delivery deadlines, as well as the responsibilities of each party.

It also ensures the traceability of goods, allowing tracking of the cargo from its point of origin to its final destination. This guarantees complete visibility of the goods’ location at any given time, contributing to more effective supply chain management.

In the event of a dispute or damage to the goods, the waybill becomes an essential document for resolving these issues. It establishes evidence of the cargo’s initial condition and the agreed-upon transport conditions. This simplifies the procedures for claims and compensation in case of incidents.

Who should fill out the waybill?

The drafting of the waybill generally falls on the carrier. However, it’s important to note that the sender and recipient also play a role in this process.

The carrier, as the party responsible for transporting the goods, must fill out the waybill in detail, ensuring compliance with all agreed-upon conditions.

The sender, on their part, must provide the carrier with all the necessary information to correctly fill out the waybill. This includes a precise description of the goods, including any specifics related to handling or storage.

Finally, the recipient plays an important role by verifying the accuracy of the waybill upon receipt of the goods. Any inconsistencies or damage must be reported immediately to the carrier, facilitating the resolution of potential problems.

remplir lettre de transport

What are the advantages of the waybill?

  • Proof of delivery and receipt

The waybill serves as legal proof of the delivery and receipt of goods. It attests to the carrier’s responsibility for the proper transportation of the cargo and its receipt by the recipient. This helps resolve potential disputes in case of issues.

  • Traceability of goods

The waybill includes detailed information about the transported goods, such as their nature, quantity, and condition. It facilitates traceability throughout the logistics chain, which is essential to ensure efficient inventory management and minimize the risks of loss or theft.

  • Legal security

In the event of an accident or damage to goods in transit, the waybill can be used as a legal document to determine the responsibilities and obligations of the parties involved. This ensures greater legal security during transportation.

  • Payment management

The waybill can also serve as a basis for invoicing. It ensures that the goods have been delivered according to the agreed-upon conditions. This facilitates the payment process between the supplier and the recipient.

  • Compliance with regulations

Using the waybill is often a legal requirement for the transport of goods. It ensures that companies comply with current regulations, avoiding sanctions and unnecessary delays.

  • Effective communication

The waybill promotes communication between the parties involved in transportation, including shippers, carriers, and recipients. It provides essential information to plan and coordinate logistical operations.

  • Process optimization

By using the waybill, companies can streamline their logistical operations. It allows for better organization of shipments, route management, and optimization of transportation costs.

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Types of waybills

  • National waybill

The national waybill, as the name suggests, is used for exclusively domestic transportation within a given country. It is a key element in ensuring the traceability and legality of goods transported within the national territory.

  • International waybill

When goods cross borders, an international waybill is required. It is an essential legal instrument to track and control the movement of goods between different countries.

  • Electronic waybill

With the advent of technology, the electronic waybill has gained popularity. It replaces the paper version and offers many advantages, such as cost reduction, fast information transmission, and ease of storage. Electronic waybills are often used in modern transport management systems.

  • Multimodal waybill

When a shipment requires multiple modes of transportation, a multimodal waybill is used. It covers land, sea, air, or rail transport, providing complete visibility over the entire journey. The multimodal waybill simplifies coordination between different carriers involved in a complex shipment.

  • Bill of Lading Waybill

This type of waybill is commonly used in maritime transport. The bill of lading is a maritime transport document that certifies the receipt of goods on board a ship. It serves as proof of the goods’ acceptance and can be negotiated as a title of ownership.

  • Waybill for the transport of dangerous goods

Dangerous goods require a special waybill. It must contain detailed information about the nature of the goods, precautions to be taken, and relevant regulations. Safety and compliance are paramount when transporting dangerous goods.

Waybill: Essential Information

For your waybill to be effective and compliant with standards, it is essential to include the appropriate information. Here are the details not to be overlooked:

  • Sender and recipient: Start by indicating the complete contact information of the sender and recipient. Make sure to mention names, postal addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Date and place of issue: The date and place of issue of the waybill are key pieces of information to track the cargo’s journey. Be precise in these details.
  • Description of goods: Describe the goods in detail, specifying the type, quantity, weight, and other important characteristics. This section must be comprehensive to avoid any confusion.
  • Transport conditions: Specify the transport modalities, such as the mode of transport (road, rail, maritime, air), deadlines, and any special conditions, if applicable.
  • Waybill number: Each waybill must have a unique number for easy tracking. Make sure to assign it correctly.
  • Signature and stamp: The waybill must be signed by the sender or their representative. Adding a stamp is often required for legitimacy.
  • Responsibilities and insurance: You must specify the responsibilities of each party in case of loss, damage, or theft of goods. Details about insurance are also important.
  • Remarks and annotations: If there are specific transportation peculiarities, such as special instructions, restrictions, or particular conditions, note them clearly.
  • Recipient’s signature: Once delivery is completed, the recipient must sign the waybill to confirm the receipt of goods in good condition.

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Waybill: Formalities

The obligation

The waybill is above all a legal obligation. It accompanies each shipment, whether it is national or international transport. This formality is essential to guarantee the traceability and security of transported goods. Without it, any transport operation becomes risky and can lead to unpleasant consequences for all parties involved.


The conservation of the waybill is a step not to be overlooked. It must be carefully preserved throughout the logistics process. It is recommended to keep it for at least one year after delivery, as it may be required for various reasons, including dispute resolution or tax audits.

As you can understand, the transport waybill is indispensable for ensuring that goods are transported in compliance. Don’t neglect it! And feel free to contact Nomadia to improve your logistical services.